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Big Tech’s China Face-Off Presages an Exodus From Hong Kong

  • Facebook, Google, Twitter stop giving data; TikTok pulls app
  • Hong Kong announced sweeping new police powers on Monday
A person checks a smartphone along the Victoria Harbour waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong on July 7.

A person checks a smartphone along the Victoria Harbour waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong on July 7.

Photographer: Roy Liu/Bloomberg
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Facebook Inc., Google and Twitter Inc. -- all of which are blocked in the mainland -- are now headed toward a showdown with China that could end up making Hong Kong feel more like Beijing.

Hours after Hong Kong announced sweeping new powers to police the internet on Monday night, those companies plus the likes of Microsoft Corp. and Zoom Video Communications Inc. all suspended requests for data from the Hong Kong government. ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok, which has Chinese owners, announced it would pull its viral video app from the territory’s mobile stores in the coming days even as President Donald Trump threatened to ban it in the U.S.