TikTok is going to be pulling out of Hong Kong due to a controversial law put out by the People’s Republic of China that will now be applying to Hong Kong. The law is just further pressure put on Hong Kong by the PRC to limit freedom of speech and basically make it so that no one can criticize the PRC with impunity. ByteDance, TikTok’s developer, is trying to keep its overseas brand TikTok separate from its mainland Chinese equivalent Douyin and doesn’t feel like they can keep using TikTok in Hong Kong in light of this new law. In other words, they don’t want people using TikTok overseas to worry about the PRC stealing their data.
At the moment, TikTok has no plans to open up Douyin to Hong Kong. Gonna be interesting to see when/if ByteDance allows Hong Kongers access to their mainland equivalent in the future and where the company goes from here.
Side note: The U.S. has threatened to ban TikTok over their Chinese ties, so that seems to be part of the equation for ByteDance as well.