Hong Kong users will not be able to access Tiktok after the short video app withdraws from the autonomous city in the coming days, a spokesperson of Tiktok parent company Bytedance told TechNode Tuesday.

Details: Reuters reported Tuesday that the app “will exit the Hong Kong market within days,” as a controversial national security law comes into effect in the autonomous city.

  • “In light of recent events, we’ve decided to stop operations of the Tiktok app in Hong Kong,” a Tiktok spokesman told Reuters.
  • Tiktok is also not accessible from within mainland China. Users in the country can only use Douyin, the version of Tiktok tailored for Chinese users.
  • Bytedance is working on making Tiktok unavailable in Hong Kong, the company told TechNode. The company declined to reveal how that would be achieved or how it defined “Hong Kong users.”
  • The company added that it does not plan to bring Douyin to Hong Kong. Douyin is currently available only in mainland China app stores, but a source cited by Reuters said Douyin has more users in Hong Kong than Tiktok.
  • “Douyin has lots of users in Hong Kong and will continue to serve the users there,” Bytedance China CEO Zhang Nan told Reuters.

Context: Tiktok’s move came after China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong, which includes a provision mandating local authorities to take measures to regulate the city’s internet.

  • Tiktok has previously said it would not hand over user data to the Chinese government or censor content at Beijing’s request. 
  • US tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, have suspended processing Hong Kong government requests for user data in the wake of the new law.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include comment from Bytedance.

Wei Sheng

Wei Sheng is a Beijing-based reporter covering hardware, smartphone, and telecommunications, along with regulations and policies related to the China tech scene. Before joining TechNode, he wrote about...