By Tony Winterburn • 19 July 2020 • 14:54
CHINESE social media giant TikTok has abandoned plans to open a massive global headquarters in London after relations between the UK and Beijing turn sour.
Last week the UK Government announced that all technology from Chinese firm Huawei must be removed from Britain’s 5G network by 2027. China is also very angry that Britain has offered sanctuary to potentially millions of Hong Kong citizens who will be affected by the country’s new security laws.
Tiktok suspends UK expansion
ByteDance, the Chinese company which owns TikTok, has reportedly suspended its UK headquarters plans because of the “wider geopolitical context”. British firms operating in China have also been warned they could now face retaliation as Beijing’s anger with the UK intensifies.
It is understood that Beijing based UK business leaders were called to a meeting by Chinese government officials on Friday where they were warned they could be at risk. A source based in Beijing said: “The message was that retaliation is coming and that British firms in China are in the firing line.”
Tiktok has to hand over data
Chinese companies are required by law to provide sensitive data if requested by the central government. India has already blocked TikTok for national security reasons and the United States is also considering whether to ban the company too.
The government decision against Huawei overturned an earlier decision announced in January that the company’s Chinese equipment could be used in the UK 5G network on a limited basis.
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