After the whole fiasco in India, TikTok will now be exiting the Hong Kong market and even cut off access to all of its residents of this semi-autonomous region, according to ByteDance's own statement to Reuters.
The company mentioned that it is really concerned that Hong Kong may eventually fall under China's own jurisdiction after the recent security laws came right into effect. According to a spokesperson, in light of the recent events, they have finally decided to stop operations of their TikTok app within Hong Kong.
Though ByteDance is still based in China, the particular TikTok app itself is actually not available within the nation. Rather, China also has access to another, similar app that is called Douyin.
The Delicate Involvement with China
In addition, the company, which is led by the former Walt Disney executive known as Kevin Mayer, has recently decided to stop using these Chinese moderators for this app and has also said that no data is actually stored within China. All of this was also done in order to avoid the impression in the United States as well as other markets that the app or even its data is controlled by the government of China
All of these particular efforts are still not necessarily helping, though. When previously asked about the issue by Fox News, the US Secretary of State known as Mike Pompeo stated that the US is in fact "certainly looking at" banning these known Chinese social media apps just like TikTok.
In addition, even the US Senate recently asked certain intelligence services to actually probe TikTok in order to see if it presents any particular kind of national security risk. TikTok was also recently banned in India, along with a huge number of other Chinese apps.
A Potentially Different Reason Behind the Exit
Facebook has recently stated that it would also "pause" responses to certain data requests coming from Hong Kong, despite the really new security law that actually gives police the power over certain companies to even remove their content.
However, Apple, which is still currently a large presence all around China, has already complied last year with the communist government's own demands to remove a particular Hong Kong protest-tracking app.
ByteDance has also continued to try and keep itself distant from China and in order to do so, the company is exiting Hong Kong now, in order to avoid the appearance of being involved with any potential conflicts.
TikTok has also previously said that it already has a huge number of 150,000 users within the city itself in a source statement to Reuters and that it's a particular money-losing region for the company which could potentially be the actual reason behind the exit. This alleged reason is still to be confirmed by more concrete evidence.