TikTok To Depart Hong Kong As Safety Regulation Raises Worries


HONG KONG (AP) — TikTok mentioned Tuesday it is going to cease operations in Hong Kong, becoming a member of different social media firms in warily eyeing ramifications of a sweeping nationwide safety legislation that took impact final week.

The short-form video app’s deliberate departure from Hong Kong comes as numerous social media platforms and messaging apps together with Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Google and Twitter balk at the opportunity of offering person information to Hong Kong authorities.

The social media firms say they’re assessing implications of the safety legislation, which prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist actions or as overseas intervention within the metropolis’s inner affairs. Within the communist-ruled mainland, the overseas social media platforms are blocked by China’s “Nice Firewall.”

Critics see the legislation as Beijing’s boldest step but to erase the authorized divide between the previous British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Occasion system.

TikTok mentioned in a press release that it had determined to halt operations “in mild of current occasions.”

Fb and its messaging app WhatsApp mentioned in separate statements Monday that they’d freeze the assessment of presidency requests for person information in Hong Kong, “pending additional evaluation of the Nationwide Safety Regulation, together with formal human rights due diligence and consultations with worldwide human rights specialists.”

Riot police hold up a warning flag during a demonstration in a mall in Hong Kong on Monday, in response to a new national sec



Riot police maintain up a warning flag throughout an indication in a mall in Hong Kong on Monday, in response to a brand new nationwide safety legislation launched within the metropolis which makes political opinions, slogans and indicators advocating Hong Kong’s independence or liberation unlawful.

Hong Kong was convulsed with large, generally violent anti-government protests for a lot of final yr as the previous British colony’s residents reacted to proposed extradition laws, since withdrawn, which may have led to some suspects dealing with trial in mainland Chinese language courts.

The brand new legislation criminalizes some pro-democracy slogans just like the broadly used “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time,” which the Hong Kong authorities says has separatist connotations.

The concern is that it erodes the particular freedoms of the semi-autonomous metropolis, which has operated below a “one nation, two programs” framework since China took management in 1997. That association has allowed Hong Kong’s individuals freedoms not permitted in mainland China, similar to public dissent and unrestricted web entry.

Telegram’s platform has been used broadly to unfold pro-democracy messages and details about the protests. It understands “the significance of defending the correct to privateness of our Hong Kong customers,” mentioned Mike Ravdonikas, a spokesperson for the corporate.

“Telegram has by no means shared any information with the Hong Kong authorities up to now and doesn’t intend to course of any information requests associated to its Hong Kong customers till a global consensus is reached in relation to the continued political modifications within the metropolis,” he mentioned.

Twitter additionally paused all information and knowledge requests from Hong Kong authorities after the safety legislation went into impact final week, the corporate mentioned, emphasizing that it was “dedicated to defending the individuals utilizing our service and their freedom of expression.”

“Like many public curiosity organisations, civil society leaders and entities, and trade friends, we’ve got grave considerations relating to each the growing course of and the total intention of this legislation,” the corporate mentioned in a press release.

Google likewise mentioned it had “paused manufacturing on any new information requests from Hong Kong authorities.”

Although social platforms have but to be blocked in Hong Kong, customers have begun scrubbing their accounts and deleting pro-democracy posts out of concern of retribution. That retreat has prolonged to the streets: Many retailers and shops that publicly stood in solidarity with protesters have eliminated the pro-democracy sticky notes and art work that had adorned their partitions.

Below implementation guidelines of Article 43 of the nationwide safety legislation, which give the town’s police pressure sweeping powers in implementing the laws, platforms, publishers and web service suppliers could also be ordered to take down any electronic mail printed that’s “prone to represent an offence endangering nationwide safety or is prone to trigger the incidence of an offence endangering nationwide safety.”

Pro-democracy lawmakers raise white papers to protest during a meeting to discuss the new national security law at the Legisl



Professional-democracy lawmakers elevate white papers to protest throughout a gathering to debate the brand new nationwide safety legislation on the Legislative Council in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

Service suppliers who don’t adjust to such requests might face fines of as much as 100,000 Hong Kong {dollars} ($12,903) and obtain jail phrases of as much as six months.

People who publish such messages might also be requested to take away the message, or face comparable fines and a jail time period of 1 yr.

Hong Kong authorities moved rapidly to implement the legislation after it took impact on June 30, with police arresting about 370 individuals.

The foundations enable Hong Kong chief govt Carrie Lam to authorize police to intercept communications and conduct surveillance to “stop and detect offences endangering nationwide safety.”

Police can conduct searches for proof and not using a warrant in “distinctive circumstances” and search warrants requiring individuals suspected of violating the nationwide safety legislation to give up their journey paperwork, stopping them from leaving Hong Kong.

Written notices or restraining orders additionally could also be issued to freeze or confiscate property if there are “affordable grounds” to suspect that the property is said to an offense endangering nationwide safety.

TikTok, operated by Chinese language web big Bytedance, has sought to distance itself from its Chinese language roots whereas striving for international attraction. It not too long ago employed former Walt Disney govt Kevin Mayer to be its CEO.

The corporate has mentioned all its information is saved in servers within the U.S. and insisted it could not take away content material even when requested to take action by the Chinese language authorities. Even so, TikTok has nonetheless been considered a nationwide safety threat, with U.S. secretary of state Michael Pompeo saying Monday that it was taking a look at banning sure social media apps, together with TikTok.





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TikTok to Pull Out of Hong Kong After China Imposed Nationwide-Safety Legislation



HONG KONG—TikTok, the buzzy short-video platform owned by Chinese language expertise big Bytedance Ltd., mentioned it could pull out of Hong Kong inside every week in mild of “current developments” within the metropolis.

Final week, mainland Chinese language authorities imposed a fast-tracked national-security legislation on Hong Kong that features provisions empowering police to order web corporations take down content material deemed threatening to nationwide safety. TikTok will pull its apps from Google and Apple app shops within the metropolis and stop operations for present…



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Google, Fb and Twitter Droop Evaluation of Hong Kong Requests for Person Information



HONG KONG—Google, Fb Inc. and Twitter Inc. are amongst tech corporations which have suspended processing requests for person knowledge from Hong Kong law-enforcement companies following China’s imposition of a national-security regulation on the town.

“We imagine freedom of expression is a basic human proper and help the correct of individuals to precise themselves with out worry for his or her security or different repercussions,” a Fb spokeswoman stated in a Monday assertion.



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Google, Fb and Twitter Droop Assessment of Hong Kong Requests for Person Knowledge



HONG KONG—Google, Fb Inc. and Twitter Inc. are amongst tech corporations which have suspended processing requests for person knowledge from Hong Kong law-enforcement companies following China’s imposition of a national-security legislation on town.

“We imagine freedom of expression is a elementary human proper and help the proper of individuals to specific themselves with out worry for his or her security or different repercussions,” a Fb spokeswoman stated in a Monday assertion.



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Fb, WhatsApp halt evaluation of Hong Kong requests for information after Beijing imposes nationwide safety regulation



Fb spokesperson Andy Stone stated it could cease contemplating requests from Hong Kong till the corporate reviewed the regulation and consulted with worldwide human rights specialists.

“We consider freedom of expression is a elementary human proper and assist the best of individuals to precise themselves with out worry for his or her security or different repercussions,” Stone stated in an announcement.

Regulation enforcement and authorities companies can ask Fb at hand over details about consumer accounts and their on-line actions as a part of investigations or different issues. Fb says it really works “with the regulation enforcement group to advertise security, on and offline,” however that it critiques each request to ensure it’s legit.

Fb considers regulation enforcement and authorities requests for consumer information on a case-by-case foundation, requiring the company to submit a request that Fb critiques.

Twitter stated it instantly paused information requests from the Hong Kong authorities final week when the regulation went into impact.

“Given the fast tempo at which the brand new Nationwide Safety Regulation in China has been handed and that it was solely revealed in its entirety for the primary time final week, our groups are reviewing the regulation to evaluate its implications, notably as a few of the phrases of the regulation are obscure and with out clear definition,” Twitter spokesperson Ian Plunkett stated in an announcement. The corporate stated it had “grave issues” in regards to the intention of the regulation.

Fb and Twitter are blocked in China however are accessible in Hong Kong, the place residents have traditionally had much less oversight from Beijing beneath the “one nation, two methods” commitments. Already, human rights advocates have decried the passage of the brand new nationwide safety regulation, partly as a result of China didn’t launch a draft for the general public to evaluation earlier than it took impact.

U.S. tech firms have largely maintained a cordial relationship with China the place many have some operations although most American social media is blocked within the nation. The response to the nationwide safety regulation may put stress on the fragile relationship.



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Fb, WhatsApp Suspending Evaluation of Hong Kong Requests for Consumer Information



HONG KONG—Fb Inc. and its WhatsApp messaging service have suspended processing requests for consumer information from Hong Kong law-enforcement companies following China’s imposition of a national-security legislation on the town.

WhatsApp is “pausing” such critiques “pending additional evaluation of the affect of the Nationwide Safety Legislation, together with formal human-rights due diligence and consultations with human-rights consultants,” a WhatsApp spokeswoman stated in response to a Wall Avenue Journal question Monday.



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US diplomat in Hong Kong says safety legislation use a ‘tragedy’


The legislation, imposed final week following anti-government protests in Hong Kong final 12 months, makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist actions unlawful, in addition to overseas intervention within the metropolis’s inside affairs. Any individual collaborating in actions reminiscent of shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags calling for town’s independence is violating the legislation no matter whether or not violence is used.

Critics see it as Beijing’s boldest step but to erase the authorized firewall between the previous British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Get together system.

For the reason that legislation went into impact, the federal government has additionally specified that well-liked protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” has separatist connotations and is thus criminalized.

In Hong Kong’s public libraries, books by pro-democracy figures have been pulled from the cabinets, together with these authored by outstanding pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and politician Tanya Chan. The authority that runs the libraries mentioned it was reviewing the books in gentle of the brand new laws.

Many professional-democracy retailers that publicly stood in solidarity with protesters have moved to take away pro-democracy sticky notes and paintings that adorned the partitions of their shops, fearful that the content material may violate the brand new legislation.

A 23-year-old man, Tong Ying-kit, has turn out to be the primary individual in Hong Kong to be charged below the brand new legislation, for allegedly driving a motorbike into a bunch of policemen whereas bearing a flag with the “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” slogan.

Copyright 2020 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.



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US diplomat in Hong Kong says safety regulation use a ‘tragedy’


The regulation, imposed final week following anti-government protests in Hong Kong final yr, makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist actions unlawful, in addition to overseas intervention within the metropolis’s inside affairs. Any individual collaborating in actions equivalent to shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags calling for town’s independence is violating the regulation no matter whether or not violence is used.

Critics see it as Beijing’s boldest step but to erase the authorized firewall between the previous British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Social gathering system.

Because the regulation went into impact, the federal government has additionally specified that in style protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” has separatist connotations and is thus criminalized.

In Hong Kong’s public libraries, books by pro-democracy figures have been pulled from the cabinets, together with these authored by distinguished pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and politician Tanya Chan. The authority that runs the libraries mentioned it was reviewing the books in mild of the brand new laws.

Many professional-democracy outlets that publicly stood in solidarity with protesters have moved to take away pro-democracy sticky notes and paintings that adorned the partitions of their shops, fearful that the content material may violate the brand new regulation.

A 23-year-old man, Tong Ying-kit, has develop into the primary individual in Hong Kong to be charged underneath the brand new regulation, for allegedly driving a bike into a gaggle of policemen whereas bearing a flag with the “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” slogan.

On Monday, a gaggle of about 10 protesters gathered at a shopping center in Hong Kong’s Central enterprise district, holding up indicators calling for metropolis chief Carrie Lam to step down, in addition to reiterating protesters’ 5 calls for from the pro-democracy motion final yr. The calls for embrace an impartial inquiry into the police and common suffrage.

Others held up clean white items of paper as an indication of protest in opposition to political dissidence being suppressed within the metropolis. About 20 riot police later entered the mall, detaining protesters holding up indicators, though they didn’t seem to make any arrests.

Copyright 2020 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.



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US diplomat in Hong Kong says safety legislation use a ‘tragedy’


The legislation, imposed final week following anti-government protests in Hong Kong final yr, makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist actions unlawful, in addition to overseas intervention within the metropolis’s inside affairs. Any particular person collaborating in actions comparable to shouting slogans or holding up banners and flags calling for the town’s independence is violating the legislation no matter whether or not violence is used.

Critics see it as Beijing’s boldest step but to erase the authorized firewall between the previous British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Get together system.

For the reason that legislation went into impact, the federal government has additionally specified that widespread protest slogan “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” has separatist connotations and is thus criminalized.

In Hong Kong’s public libraries, books by pro-democracy figures have been pulled from the cabinets, together with these authored by outstanding pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong and politician Tanya Chan. The authority that runs the libraries mentioned it was reviewing the books in gentle of the brand new laws.

Many professional-democracy outlets that publicly stood in solidarity with protesters have moved to take away pro-democracy sticky notes and paintings that adorned the partitions of their shops, fearful that the content material may violate the brand new legislation.

A 23-year-old man, Tong Ying-kit, has turn out to be the primary particular person in Hong Kong to be charged below the brand new legislation, for allegedly driving a bike into a bunch of policemen whereas bearing a flag with the “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time” slogan.

Copyright 2020 The Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed with out permission.



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China strangles Hong Kong, its world metropolis



We might now be watching a well-known world metropolis undergo such a demise, a lack of standing that feels each sudden and lengthy within the making.

For many years, Hong Kong styled itself as Asia’s preeminent metropolis, a bustling former British colony on the heart of the continent’s commerce and logistics networks and the primary worldwide gateway to the booming Chinese language market. Expats waltzed into Hong Kong as if it was an analogue of London or New York City. Native Hong Kongers exercised civil liberties unthinkable on the opposite aspect of the border with the mainland.

However these freedoms appeared to come back beneath fixed menace since Britain handed over Hong Kong to China’s authoritarian regime in 1997. Strikes, giant and small, by native authorities and their masters in Beijing to curtail Hong Kong’s particular liberties sparked repeated rounds of protests, together with the wave of demonstrations that paralyzed town final 12 months. After which, in a single fell swoop, China dropped the hammer.

In what the Economist dubbed “one of many largest assaults on a liberal society because the Second World Conflict,” China carried out a sweeping, new nationwide safety regulation for Hong Kong on midnight Tuesday. “In a single day, Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents were put beneath the identical speech restrictions because the mainland, with attainable life imprisonment for those deemed guilty of subversion — an ordinary cost used to jail political dissidents and human rights activists in China,” my colleagues reported.

To many observers, the regulation marks the definitive finish to an period. It’s the newest and maybe most emphatic demonstration of the draconian grip of Chinese language President Xi Jinping, who has shrunk the house for civil society all through China, steadily squeezed political dissent in Hong Kong and erected a dystopia of mass detention camps for persecuted ethnic minorities within the far-western area of Xinjiang.

“Hong Kong is a good world metropolis, not a distant space like Xinjiang. However the authorities of Xi Jinping is now clearly decided to convey it into line,” wrote the editorial board of the Financial Times. “The method of ‘one nation, two techniques’ utilized to Hong Kong since 1997 and sanctified in worldwide agreements appears in impact to be over — some extent underlined by the best way the nationwide safety laws was written and imposed from Beijing, with none participation by the Hong Kong authorities or legislature.”

1000’s of Hong Kongers nonetheless took to the streets in a present of defiance this week. A whole bunch had been arrested. The worry is that the breadth of the brand new regulation — which apparently additionally extends to individuals residing exterior of China’s authorized jurisdiction — might break the favored will to face in opposition to Beijing.

This week’s occasions will be interpreted as “a cold model” of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, Steve Tsang, a historian of Hong Kong at London’s Faculty of Oriental and African Research, told the Atlantic. “Individuals are likely to concentrate on the killing [at Tiananmen], however the killing was an instrument,” he stated. “The target was to intimidate and terrify the individuals so that individuals don’t even take into consideration [protesting] once more.”

Chinese language officers appear unmoved by the torrent of Western criticism and sanctions coming their approach. “The period when the Chinese language cared what others thought and appeared as much as others is up to now, by no means to return,” Zhang Xiaoming, the chief director of China’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Workplace, told reporters.

Nor do they appear a lot bothered by the information this week {that a} host of international governments — together with Australia, Taiwan, the US and, most significantly, Britain — are contemplating fast-tracking permits for doubtlessly tens of millions of Hong Kong refugees searching for to give up their house metropolis. That exodus might happen alongside a flight of Western capital and enterprise — particularly if the US decides to scrap its particular commerce relationship with the territory, as President Trump has pledged to do.

“The selection is between dying quietly with out the world noticing, or dying with dignity with the world noticing, and on the identical time creating the prospect of inflicting some harm to the individuals who kill Hong Kong,” Ho-Fung Hung, a professor of political economic system at Johns Hopkins College, told Quartz.

“Hong Kong’s individuals have regularly proven a capability to defy not possible odds and create magnificence even within the harshest settings,” wrote Jeffrey Wasserstrom, the creator of “Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink.” However he laments the creeping nihilism of the occasions.

“I’m full of unhappiness,” he wrote, “and discover it onerous to see something however darkness forward for town.”



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