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protests for a lot of final yr as the previous British colony’s residents reacted to proposed extradition laws, since withdrawn, which may have led to some suspects dealing with trial in mainland Chinese language courts.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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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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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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Hong Kong Regulation Opens Door to China’s Hulking Safety State


The Chinese language conception of “nationwide safety,” nonetheless, differs from the usual Western concept that focuses on terrorism, exterior threats and diplomatic rivalry. In Chinese language, the very time period for it, guojia anquan, additionally means “state safety,” and official coverage is extra targeted on home threats and defending the Communist Occasion.

China’s Central Nationwide Safety Fee, which Mr. Xi first convened in 2014 to steer policymaking, is managed by the Communist Occasion management, fairly than the civilian administration, making it — just like the Folks’s Liberation Military — a direct arm of the celebration.

“The Chinese language conception of nationwide safety goes approach past what regular international coverage would cowl,” mentioned Ms. Solar of the Stimson Heart. “The pivotal place to begin is regime safety.”

Even by China’s tight-lipped requirements, its safety companies are strikingly secretive.

The Ministry of State Safety, which investigates critical nationwide safety instances and gathers intelligence at residence and overseas, not often makes public feedback and doesn’t have a telephone quantity to reply questions from journalists. The Nationwide Safety Fee not often surfaces in public, and clues about its actions have to be discovered scattered on native authorities web sites, which generally point out its conferences and directives.

The Fee final met just a few months in the past, when China was struggling to handle its coronavirus disaster. Mr. Xi known as a gathering that targeted on the threats dealing with the nation in a pandemic-stricken world, in line with brief reports on Chinese language government websites.

“We’re confronted with increasingly more nontraditional safety threats,” Chen Wenqing, the Chinese language minister of state safety, wrote in an article for a Communist Party journal in April, one in all his uncommon public statements. “Confronted with the schemes of hostile forces at residence and overseas to problem our core pursuits, we have now to make a transparent stand and be unafraid of displaying our hand.”



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Hong Kong Safety Regulation Jolts Worldwide Enterprise


HONG KONG—As China drew up a brand new safety legislation for Hong Kong final month, its prime Overseas Ministry official within the metropolis gathered worldwide enterprise teams and diplomats to ship a message from Beijing: Don’t panic.

The legislation would goal solely a small group of radicals and wouldn’t impede the free market ethos behind Hong Kong’s rise as a world enterprise hub, the official stated. However now that businesspeople are lastly seeing the legislation, there’s a lot to trigger concern.



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Hong Kong Police Shortly Implement China’s Safety Regulation as 1000’s Protest


HONG KONG—1000’s of protesters, unbowed by a sweeping new national-security regulation imposed by China, staged the most important present of defiance in Hong Kong this yr, with some risking heavy jail phrases to chant slogans of liberation and demand independence.

A whole lot of Hong Kong law enforcement officials moved in swiftly to quash dissent and implement the regulation, which supplies Beijing a lot better powers to police the town and punish these accused of subversion and supporting separatism. Police fired tear gasoline, pepper spray and water cannons…



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Hong Kong Police Rapidly Implement China’s Safety Legislation as Hundreds Protest


HONG KONG—Hundreds of protesters, unbowed by a sweeping new national-security regulation imposed by China, staged the most important present of defiance in Hong Kong this yr, with some risking heavy jail phrases to chant slogans of liberation and demand independence.

Lots of of Hong Kong cops moved in swiftly to quash dissent and implement the regulation, which provides Beijing a lot higher powers to police town and punish these accused of subversion and supporting separatism. Police fired tear fuel, pepper spray and water cannons…



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Hong Kong Police Rapidly Implement China’s Safety Regulation as Hundreds Protest


HONG KONG—Hundreds of protesters, unbowed by a sweeping new national-security legislation imposed by China, staged the most important present of defiance in Hong Kong this yr, with some risking heavy jail phrases to chant slogans of liberation and demand independence.

Tons of of Hong Kong law enforcement officials moved in swiftly to quash dissent and implement the legislation, which supplies Beijing a lot higher powers to police town and punish these accused of subversion and supporting separatism. Police fired tear fuel, pepper spray and water cannons…



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