TikTok halts Hong Kong entry after safety legislation

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    TikTok halts Hong Kong access after security law

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    Tick ​​tack

    The short video app TikTok has stopped operating in Hong Kong, according to a message published on its website.

    The company announced the move earlier this week after China imposed a new security law on the city.

    The law has restricted freedoms in the semi-autonomous area and raised concerns about official supervision over social media.

    Other social media companies like Facebook and Twitter are also reviewing activities in Hong Kong.

    TikTok has been scrutinized by the United States and other countries because of concerns that user data could be shared with Chinese authorities.

    The app was launched by Beijing's ByteDance outside of mainland China to reach a global audience.

    A spokesman for the app said on Friday that TikTok may be under a new business structure.

    "As we look at the best way forward, ByteDance is evaluating changes to the corporate structure of its TikTok business," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

    He also repeated previous commitments that ByteDance would refuse to disclose TikTok user data to Chinese authorities.

    "We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, and we would not do so if asked to do so."

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    According to the research company Sensor Tower, TikTok has increased its popularity during the worldwide blocking of corona viruses. Around 315 million people downloaded the app in the first three months of this year.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an Australian MP recently suggested that the app need to take a closer look at their data and privacy policies because their headquarters are in China.

    Mr. Pompeo has banned Department of State employees from downloading the app and suggested that the app be banned in the United States as well.

    However, the company denied presenting a security risk.

    "TikTok is managed by an American CEO (former Disney manager Kevin Mayer based in Los Angeles) with hundreds of security, product and public order executives here in the United States. We have no higher priority than promotion of a safe app experience for our users, "said a spokesman.

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