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TikTok removed fromApp Store and Google Play Store in Hong Kong

Days after TikTok announced that it would exit the Hong Kong market, the app is no longer available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | July 10, 2020 | Updated 16:27 IST

Highlights

  • TikTok is no longer available for download on App Store and Google Play Store.
  • TikTok while announcing its exit from Hong Kong had cited the new national security law passed by Beijing as the reason behind the suspension.
  • US companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Zoom and Twitter had said that they would temporarily stop processing users requests from Hong Kong authorities.

Days after TikTok announced that it would exit the Hong Kong market, the app is no longer available for download on App Store and Google Play Store. TikTok while announcing its exit from Hong Kong had cited the new national security law passed by Beijing as the reason behind the suspension. Things are going pretty downhill for TikTok as the app was recently banned in India and was removed from Play Store and App Store in India.

As per the Bloomberg report, while the app has been removed from App Store and Play Store in Hong Kong, the existing users who still have the app on their smartphones were greeted with a message when they tried opening the app. "Thank you for the time you've spent on TikTok and for giving us the opportunity to bring a little bit of joy into your life! We regret to inform you that we have discontinued operating TikTok in Hong Kong, " the message read.

TikTok, which had over 1.5 lakh, active users, in Hong Kong, said that it pulled out of the semi-autonomous country because it was not sure whether Hong Kong would fall under Beijing's jurisdiction or not after the national security law imposed by China was implemented.

Not just TikTok, US companies including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Zoom and Twitter had said that they would temporarily stop processing users requests from Hong Kong authorities. "When the law took effect, we paused production on any new data requests from Hong Kong authorities and we'll continue to review the details of the new law," a Google spokesperson had told The Verge.

Simiarly, Facebook said in a statement, "We are pausing the review of government requests for user data from Hong Kong pending further assessment of the National Security Law, including formal human rights due diligence and consultations with international human rights experts."

"We believe freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and support the right of people to express themselves without fear for their safety or other repercussions," the statement further read.

TikTok interestingly has a Chinese twin of the app called the Douyin. Reports claim that while TikTok is no longer available in China, it is not certain whether ByteDance will offer the Chinese Twin as the substitute to the semi-autonomous city.

The short-video platform had a dramatic exit from India as well when TikTok and 58 other apps were banned by the government due to some security and privacy issues. TikTok had over 200 million users in India with the majority of users from rural areas. The company said that it is complying with the government's order and is in talks with the government about the same.

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