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Facebook, Google, Twitter Could Quit Hong Kong Over Proposed Data Law

 |  July 5, 2021

US tech giants Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, and Twitter have privately warned the Hong Kong government that they could stop offering their services in the city if authorities proceed with planned changes to data-protection laws, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, July 5, citing a letter.

The laws could make the tech companies liable for the malicious sharing of individuals’ information online, the newspaper added.

A letter sent by an industry group that includes the internet firms stated that the companies are concerned that the planned rules to address “doxing” could put their staff at risk of criminal investigations or prosecutions related to what the firms’ users post online, the Journal reported.

Hong Kong’s Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau in May proposed amendments to the city’s data-protection laws that it stated were needed to combat doxing, a practice that was prevalent during 2019 protests in the city, the newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper, the letter dated June 25 was sent by Singapore-based Asia Internet Coalition.

“The only way to avoid these sanctions for technology companies would be to refrain from investing and offering the services in Hong Kong,” the Journal reported, quoting the letter.