Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok said Monday night that it would pull its social video platform out of the Google and Apple app stores in Hong Kong amid a restrictive new law that went into effect last week.

Why it matters: TikTok's move comes as many large tech companies say they are still evaluating how to respond to the Hong Kong law.

What they're saying: "In light of recent events, we've decided to stop operations of the TikTok app in Hong Kong," a spokesperson told Axios on Monday night.

  • Observers have said the new law forces companies doing business in Hong Kong to provide user data to the Chinese government as well as to comply with censorship requests.

Between the lines: The move comes as TikTok parent ByteDance has looked to more clearly separate TikTok, which operates outside of China, from a similar app used within mainland China. The company has said that TikTok has not shared data with the Chinese government nor would it, a position that would be difficult — if not impossible — to maintain under the new law.

TikTok said last September it had 150,000 users in Hong Kong. While that number has probably since increased, it remains a small market and an unprofitable one, according to the company.

Go deeper

TikTok sale drama clouds the app's genuine security concerns

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Political and economic motivations behind a sale or shutdown of TikTok in the U.S. are obscuring sincere security concerns raised by the rise of the Chinese-owned social video app.

The big picture: U.S. intelligence officials evince deep worry over Chinese companies’ ability to resist Beijing’s demands for data.

TikTok users are rising but time spent on the app is falling

Reproduced from CivicScience; Note: ±3.0% margin of error; Chart: Axios Visuals

TikTok has been all over the news in recent days, as President Trump has put the app squarely in his sights.

The state of play: New CivicScience data provided first to Axios show continued growth in TikTok’s user base since the beginning of the year, with 14% of those surveyed saying they use the app.

Facebook launches its TikTok rival, Instagram Reels

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook-owned Instagram on Wednesday launched its answer to the popular karaoke app TikTok, whose future remains in limbo.

The big picture: Facebook has a long record — sometimes successful, sometimes not — of adopting features that have proven popular on rival platforms and rolling them out to its billions of users worldwide in an effort to avoid being eclipsed by younger upstarts.