As implementation rules for Article 43 of the Hong Kong national security law took effect on Tuesday (7/7), TikTok has also said it will exit the Hong Kong market within days. A pro-democratic lawmaker on Tuesday called TikTok’s exit a "prelude to ousting Facebook” from the city.
The short form video app launched by China-based ByteDance responded to the Stand News’ enquiry via its public relation representative in Hong Kong that in light of recent events, the company has “decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong.”
Under the implementation rules, the Commissioner of Police may, with the approval of the Secretary for Security, authorise a designated police officer to request a message publisher, platform service provider, hosting service provider and/or network service provider to remove a message endangering national security, or even to request the relevant service provider to provide the identification record or decryption assistance.
Those who violate could be sentenced to a fine of HK$100,000 and one year of imprisonment.
Lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick said in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon that such an order would have a direct confrontation with multiple international electronic platforms.
Tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram have announced that they would temporarily stop processing requests or from the Hong Kong administration to obtain user data, until the international community has reached a consensus on the city’s ongoing political changes.
Chu described what several major platforms currently plan to do as “disobedience”. But if they fail to resolve their conflicts the Chinese Communist Party and the authorities carry out enforcement, they will have no choice but to pull out of Hong Kong.
The pan-democratic lawmaker believed that the authorities allegedly made the major electronic platforms quit the city using the draconian law.