March 20, 2023


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Tic Tac Toe to leave Hong Kong following National Security Act (report)

2 min read

The hugely popular video sharing app Tiktok could come out of Hong Kong in a few days.

“In light of recent events, we have decided to close the Tiktok app in Hong Kong,” a spokesman for the agency told Reuters news agency. The source said the move was made because it was not clear whether Hong Kong would now move fully under mainland China.

On Monday, other international social media groups Facebook (which owns WhatsApp and Instagram), Telegram and Google announced that they had suspended cooperation with Hong Kong authorities due to user-data requests. Facebook said it was conducting a review. WhatsApp said it has formally accepted the perseverance and consultation with human rights experts.

The National Security Act was injected into Hong Kong’s mini-constitution last week by Beijing after a year of political turmoil in the former British colony. The law was not debated by Hong Kong legislators, and the text of the law was released at 11pm on Tuesday when it went into effect.

The law targets terrorism, sedition, separatism and alliances with foreign powers. It also breaks the separation of the legal systems of mainland China and Hong Kong, which has been identified as a special administrative region that has its own laws, judiciary and currency. The new law will bring together special prosecutors and judges selected by the city’s chief executive, through a combination of mainland security forces operating for the first time in Hong Kong. Serious and complex cases can be transferred to the mainland.

TickTock is owned by Chinese Unicorn BiteDance. However, the agency has repeatedly stated that it does not share data with the Chinese government, does not meet Chinese censorship standards, and cannot enter China. Bytens has basically the same, but separate, app called Dwayne that is suitable for the mainland Chinese market.

TickTock has been downloaded more than 2 billion times and recently claimed 150,000 users in Hong Kong.

Despite the tic tac toe, now run by former Disney executive Kevin Mayer, apparently relying on Western quality behavior, the company was one of several Chinese-owned apps banned in India last week. This was followed by a serious border dispute between India and China.

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