Hong Kong security law forces New York Times to Seoul

Hong Kong security law forces New York Times to Seoul

The New York Times has announced plan to move part of its Hong Kong office to Seoul.

The announcement on Wednesday July 15, 2020, came just two weeks after Beijing imposed a new national security law.

While disclosing the latest move, The Times said its employees had faced challenges securing work permits and it would move its digital team of journalists, roughly a third of its Hong Kong staff, to the South Korean capital.

The move delivers a blow to the city’s status as a hub for journalism in Asia, and comes as China and the United States have clashed over journalists of each nation working in the other.

This year, Beijing said journalists no longer allowed to work in mainland China could not work in Hong Kong either.

“Given the uncertainty of the moment, we are making plans to geographically diversify our editing staff,” a spokeswoman for the Times said.

“We will maintain a large presence in Hong Kong and have every intention of maintaining our coverage of Hong Kong and China," he added.

In a statement, the Hong Kong government said the city remained a regional media hub.

Other international media, such as the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Agence France-Presse, also have their Asia headquarters in Hong Kong.

Reuters moved its Asia headquarters to Singapore in 1997, the year Britain handed Hong Kong back to China.

Authorities insist that those freedoms remain intact but say national security is a red line. Leader Carrie Lam has said reporters can report freely if they do not violate the security law.