•   
  •   
  •   

World TikTok withdraws from Hong Kong as Pompeo says U.S. may ban Chinese apps

16:27  07 july  2020
16:27  07 july  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

China Enacts Sweeping Powers to Silence Hong Kong’s Dissidents

  China Enacts Sweeping Powers to Silence Hong Kong’s Dissidents Beijing asserted broad new powers over Hong Kong to rein in those who criticize its rule -- from pro-democracy protesters to news agencies to overseas dissidents -- laying out a new national security law that activists and business groups warned endangered the city’s appeal as a financial hub. The legislation passed by lawmakers in China and signed by President Xi Jinping allows for potential life sentences for crimes including subversion of state power and collusion with foreign forces.

The short-form video app TikTok said Tuesday that it was withdrawing from Hong Kong, the latest tech company to review its involvement in the territory following a sweeping national security law passed by China.

  TikTok withdraws from Hong Kong as Pompeo says U.S. may ban Chinese apps © Provided by NBC News

Earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. was considering banning TikTok and other Chinese apps.

TikTok is owned by the Beijing tech giant ByteDance and has been eager to show lawmakers in the U.S. and elsewhere that people can trust it with their personal data.

Xi’s Hong Kong Power Play Puts China Ever More at Odds With West

  Xi’s Hong Kong Power Play Puts China Ever More at Odds With West Minutes after reports broke that China passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, Carrie Lam stood in front of a backdrop of the city’s iconic skyline for a weekly press briefing. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); With legions of reporters clamoring to hear details of the law that could reshape the financial hub’s future, it quickly became clear that Hong Kong’s leader had none.

"In light of recent events, we've decided to stop operations" in Hong Kong, a TikTok spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

TikTok has always been intended for the international market, with ByteDance offering a separate version of the platform, called Douyin, to users in mainland China.

The move follows other Western tech firms announcing they would review their activities in Hong Kong following China's new national security law being signed last week.

Though officials in Beijing and Hong Kong deny it, many in the U.S., Europe, and Hong Kong itself see the legislation as a blow to the freedoms that the city was promised when the U.K. handed its colony back to China in 1997.

a close up of a sign: Image: The Beijing offices of Bytedance, which launched TikTok outside of China in 2017. (Thomas Suen / Reuters) © Thomas Suen Image: The Beijing offices of Bytedance, which launched TikTok outside of China in 2017. (Thomas Suen / Reuters)

On Monday, after pro-democracy activists reported that some of their books were no longer available in public libraries, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the move was "Orwellian" and condemned what he called China's continued "destruction of free Hong Kong."

How China killed Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement in less than a year, while the rest of the world were too weak to help

  How China killed Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement in less than a year, while the rest of the world were too weak to help The US, EU, and the UK made efforts to warn China over its new national security law for Hong Kong. China is beyond caring."Separatism, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference" in Hong Kong are now deemed crimes in Beijing's remit. Hong Kong police already used the law to make at least nine arrests on Wednesday, with those charged with the most severe crimes facing a maximum of life in prison.

Following the law's passage last week, Google, Twitter and Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said they are putting a hold on sharing information with Hong Kong law enforcement.

Twitter cited "grave concerns" about the law's implications.

China sees the new law as necessary for stability in Hong Kong, and to stop protests that have persisted for the past year, at times violently.

Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, who is backed by Beijing, attempted to reassure those troubled by the recent developments in the city.

"Surely, this is not doom and gloom for Hong Kong," she told her weekly news conference Tuesday, according to Reuters. "I'm sure, with the passage of time ... confidence will grow in 'one country, two systems' and in Hong Kong's future."

TikTok has become one of the most popular apps in the world, a platform where people, mostly under 30, share wildly creative 15-second videos set to music.

Hong Kong police make first arrests under new security law

  Hong Kong police make first arrests under new security law On the anniversary of the former British colony's handover to Chinese rule, thousands defied tear gas and pepper pellets to protest the security law.Police said 10 people were arrested under the law, including a man with a Hong Kong independence flag and a woman holding a sign displaying the British flag and calling for Hong Kong’s independence — all violations of the law that took effect Tuesday night. Others were detained for possessing items advocating independence.

But lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe have raised concerns that the app might be sending people's data back to China, whose government is classified as an authoritarian regime by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a research group that tracks the issue.

There have also been concerns that TikTok is censoring content that might be critical of China's well-documented human rights abuses, using the social media platform as an outlet to shape Beijing's image in the eyes of young people around the world.

TikTok has vehemently and repeatedly denied this, saying it is not influenced by China nor any foreign government, and that it has not shared data nor has it been asked to do so.

Its attempts to persuade the world of its trustworthiness can be seen in its hiring of former Disney executive, Kevin Mayer, to be TikTok’s CEO earlier this year.

These security concerns have placed TikTok in the crosshairs of the administration of President Donald Trump, which has been on something of a crusade against Chinese tech companies.

On Monday, Pompeo told Fox News that "we are taking this very seriously. We are certainly looking at it" when asked about TikTok in the U.S.

Taiwan slams Hong Kong national security law, opens office to help city's residents

  Taiwan slams Hong Kong national security law, opens office to help city's residents Taiwan has opened an office to help those from Hong Kong resettle. It comes as China passes a new national security law in Hong Kong.It comes as China this week passed a new national security law in Hong Kong that's sparked concerns about the erosion of freedoms and rights in the special administrative region.

Asked if Americans should continue to download TikTok, he said, "Only if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party."

Following Pompeo's interview, a TikTok spokesperson said denied the company was influenced by China.

"TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S," it said in a statement. "We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users."

Last month, teenage TikTok users claimed credit for registering thousands of ticket requests for Trump's rally in Tulsa as a prank — only to fail to show up and leave many seats empty.

The U.S. is not alone. India, which has recently clashed with China over a territorial dispute, banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps citing similar fears.

Pompeo suggested that TikTok might be treated with the same hard-line approach that the White House has dealt with two Chinese telecoms companies, Huawei and ZTE.

"We have worked on this very issue for a long time," he told Fox News, naming both firms as examples where the U.S. has cracked down.

The U.S. maintains that Huawei equipment could be used for espionage by Beijing, and that user data could be compromised. Huawei has repeatedly denied those allegations.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Over 200,000 vote in Hong Kong pro-democracy primaries .
HONG KONG (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents turned up over the weekend to vote in an unofficial two-day primary election held by the city’s pro-democracy camp as it gears up to field candidates for an upcoming legislative poll. © Provided by Associated Press People queue up to vote in Hong Kong, Sunday, July 12, 2020, in an unofficial primary for pro-democracy candidates ahead of legislative elections in September. Over 200,000 Hong Kongers voted in an unofficial Hong Kong primary that will help the pro-democracy camp decide which candidates to field in legislative elections in September.

usr: 0
This is interesting!