Facebook, Twitter, Google and other Internet giants may pull out of Hong Kong over data security law

According to the U.S. “Wall Street Journal” on July 5 disclosed that the Internet industry organizations consisting of Facebook, Twitter, Google and other organizations have issued a warning to the Hong Kong government, if the authorities to promote the relevant data security legislation, the above Internet giants will likely stop providing services in the local to avoid being involved in legal disputes arising from the sharing of information, as well as the risk that employees of the relevant companies may be subject to criminal charges.

It is reported that the Hong Kong Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau proposed in May this year to amend the Internet Personal Information Protection Act to combat the widespread “undercovering” of violent police officers and public officials during the 2019 protests in Hong Kong. The proposal calls for fines of up to HK$1 million and imprisonment of up to five years for violators.

In a letter to the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Jeff Penn, managing director of the Singapore-based Internet Alliance Asia, said that while the group and its members oppose human flesh searches, the vague boundaries and wording of the proposed data bill could lead to criminal investigations and prosecutions of Internet companies and employees for alleged violations. prosecutions, and the only way to avoid the risk of sanctions is to avoid investing or providing services in Hong Kong.

The joint action by the Internet giants highlights the worsening tensions between some of the most powerful U.S. companies and Hong Kong at a time when Beijing is tightening its grip on the city and suppressing local political dissent, the report said.