Google and Amazon denied Hong Kong authorities access to customer data

U.S. companies Google and Amazon, as well as Microsoft, refused to provide Hong Kong regulators with access to cloud storage that contains customer financial data. This was reported by the Financial Times with reference to sources.

According to the newspaper, the companies were in talks with the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong on the terms of granting access to cloud platforms from 2019.

However, the law on ensuring national security in Hong Kong in June 2020 was a turning point in the discussion. Sources noted that U.S. corporations have expressed fears that they could become victims of restrictions by the U.S. authorities if they cooperate with representatives of the Hong Kong administration.

At the same time, according to the rules of the Hong Kong regulator, companies that provide cloud services must give access to their customers’ data without prior notice. Formally, such data is not part of the law on national security.

China’s national security law came into force on June 30. It identifies four types of crimes in Hong Kong, considered a threat to statehood: separatist activity, attempts to undermine state power, terrorist activities, conspiracy with foreign states or forces to threaten national security. Through this legal act, the Chinese authorities will be able to suppress the actions of radicals.