Hong Kong residents will soon be unable to use the TikTok social network, which is very popular with young people, due to the recent national security law imposed by China, the company announced on Monday evening. "In light of recent events, we have decided to stop the TikTok app in Hong Kong," said a spokesman for AFP. The complete shutdown will take a few days, according to TikTok, which must communicate with its users and advertisers.
Facebook, Google and Twitter confirmed on Monday that they are no longer responding to requests for information about their users from the Hong Kong government and authorities, out of respect for freedom of expression. The four global platforms have said their teams are closely examining the controversial new law.
Hong Kong, a former British colony which was returned to China in 1997 on condition that certain freedoms are preserved, has unlimited Internet access unlike mainland China, where these three services are, for example, blocked. But last week, the Chinese parliament passed Hong Kong's national security legislation, paving the way for radical change and a potential authoritarian turn.
TikTok, owned by the Chinese group ByteDance, acclaimed by the youngest thanks to its videos with a light tone, especially around humor, dance and music, had 800 million users in January worldwide (according to DataReportal ).
The platform has often had to defend itself from its links with China, where its parent company has a similar application, under another name. She has always denied sharing data with the Chinese authorities and said that she did not intend to accept such requests.