On 30 June 2020, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (NSL), was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in China and officially listed in Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law. It came into effect in Hong Kong on the same date – a day before the 23rd anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the U.K. back to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The NSL was enacted in the aftermath of a year of social unrest in Hong Kong and introduced criminal sanctions against acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign or external forces. The NSL aims to regulate behaviour through increased scrutiny but its knock-on effects, including the almost immediate response from the U.S., will likely give rise to far-reaching consequences for the technology and service sectors given the introduction of new export sanctions for Hong Kong, the increased powers of local enforcement authorities to gain access to data as well as other trade issues that will affect the way technology companies and other businesses operate in the region.

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