TikTok says it will exit Hong Kong market within days

UNTV News   •   July 7, 2020   •   303

TikTok said it will exit the Hong Kong market within days, a spokesman told Reuters late on Monday (July 6), as other technology companies including Facebook Inc have suspended processing government requests for user data in the region.

The short form video app owned by China-based ByteDance has made the decision to exit the region following China’s establishment of a sweeping new national security law for the semi-autonomous city.

Late on Monday, the U.S. secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said that the United States is “certainly looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok.

U.S. lawmakers have raised national security concerns over TikTok’s handling of user data, saying they were worried about Chinese laws requiring domestic companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”

The company, now run by former Walt Disney Co executive Kevin Mayer, has said in the past that the app’s user data is not stored in China. (Reuters)

(Production: Irene Wang, Thomas Suen)

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Trump to give TikTok’s Chinese owner 45 days to reach deal to sell — sources

UNTV News   •   August 3, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft Corp, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday (August 2).

U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. Trump said on Friday (July 31) he was planning to ban TikTok in the United States after dismissing the idea of a sale to Microsoft.

But following a discussion between Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the Redwood, Washington-based company said in a statement on Sunday that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, and that it aimed to reach a deal by Sept. 15.

It was not immediately clear what changed Trump’s mind. Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers put out statements in the last two days urging Trump to back a sale of TikTok to Microsoft.

The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to the sources, who requested anonymity ahead of a White House announcement. Microsoft cautioned in its statement that there is no certainty a deal will be reached. (Reuters)

(Production: Bob Mezan)

UK to suspend Hong Kong extradition treaty amid China tensions

UNTV News   •   July 21, 2020

Britain announced on Monday (July 20) it will suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in an escalation of its dispute with China over the introduction of a national security law for the former British colony.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament the extradition treaty will be suspended immediately and an arms embargo will be extended to Hong Kong.

“We will not consider reactivating those arrangements, unless and until, there are clear and robust safeguards, which are able to prevent extradition from the UK being misused under the new national security legislation,” Raab said.

The ban is another nail in the coffin of what then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 cast as a “golden era” of ties with China, the world’s second-largest economy.

London has been dismayed by a crackdown in Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997, and the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the coronavirus outbreak.

Australia and Canada suspended extradition treaties with Hong Kong earlier this month. (Reuters)

(Production: Lucy Marks, Marissa Davison)

Hong Kong tightens coronavirus restrictions as new cases spike

UNTV News   •   July 20, 2020

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam told a news conference on Sunday (July 19) that the city recorded more than 100 cases in the past 24 hours, the most since the pandemic took hold in late January, taking the tally close to 2,000 patients, 12 of whom have died.

“The situation is very serious and there is no sign of it coming under control,” Lam said.

Amusement parks, gyms and 10 other types of venues will remain closed for another seven days, while a requirement for restaurants to only provide takeaway after 6pm was extended. Face masks will be mandatory in indoor public areas. Non-essential civil servants were told to work from home from this week.

Earlier on Sunday, an event by pro-democracy politicians to mark the one-year anniversary of an attack in a train station by an armed mob was stopped by police in riot gear for breaking coronavirus measures already in place that restrict group gatherings to four people.

Police in riot gear halted an event and used pepper spray to disperse the crowd in the northern district of Yuen Long,

A small number of protesters marked the anniversary of chanting slogans in a shopping mall. (Reuters)

(Production: Aleksander Solum, Jessie Pang, Joyce Zhou)

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