On 30th June, a new law in Hong Kong came into effect, allowing Beijing to gain control of the country’s development in the future even though China has confirmed that the law will help them restore stability in Hong Kong. Still, critics believe that it is against the freedom of speech.
In light of these recent events in Hong Kong, TikTok has decided to pull back the app from the region to believe that the new security law grants power to the mainland Chinese government. The social video apps’ Spokesperson has announced this as the parent company believes that the expanded power to the mainland will result in unfavorable conditions for them later.
Tik Tok isn’t the first global tech company to have taken drastic measures after the security law was passed in Hong Kong. Many consider this a matter of concern as the new law would make them comply with the rules and regulations put forward by the mainland, which could include providing user data in the future.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter notably have already started declining any requests coming in for user’s data from Hong Kong. People of Hong Kong itself have been in fear of what the new law might entail for them in the future.
It is also noteworthy that Tik Tok’s parent company is also a Chinese internet company, Byte Dance. Still, there have been constant tries on the part of Tik Tok as an individual app not to associate itself with the fact and meanwhile differentiate from the actual Chinese version of the app, that is, Duoyin. The company has also previously claimed that they have no connection with the mainland Chinese government when it comes to users’ data.
Given how Tik Tok has claimed that no data is shared with China, the new law in Hong Kong would have been an opposing case to that claim. It seems to be the main reason the video app won’t be available in Hong Kong anymore.
It is not the first instance that Tik Tok has been in the news regarding non-operation or bans. Recently, India banned the app in the country from play store and app store both as the tension between the two countries also seems to be growing. Alongside Tik Tok, other 58 Chinese apps were also banned in a digital strike by India’s government.
In the US as well, the Byte Dance video app is facing backlash among many other countries. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said in an interview with Fox that the government in the US was looking at banning the app in the region.
As for the security law that has been passed in Hong Kong, it is bound to have repercussions. The choice was earlier given to Hong Kong to draft this law, but that never happened when the country was handed back after British rule. Now that it has come into effect Hong Kong as an independent country will be different.
Image source: TheVerge