Swedish Technology Company Cuts Business Ties With Hong Kong
(Bloomberg) — A Swedish firm that supplies law enforcement and government agencies with technology to extract data from mobile phones said it has pulled its business from Hong Kong.
The decision by Stockholm-based Micro Systemation AB came after a White House executive order on July 14 stripped Hong Kong of its special trading status, said Mike Dickinson, deputy executive officer. That status had granted Hong Kong more favorable treatment than China.
Dickinson said in an email that his company, known as MSAB, would no longer “supply solutions” to the Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force, nor any other government agencies in the territory. He said the executive order “impacts our U.S. legal entity and presence in the U.S.A.”
MSAB had pulled its business from China earlier in 2020 due to changes in “regulatory regimes and restrictions” related to export control laws, Dickinson said. “Having reviewed how this could impact our business operations in the region, we have decided to make the strategic decision to cease all business operations in Hong Kong and China,” he said.
The company’s website shows that it opened a new office in China in 2013, which yielded a “huge order” for its data extraction product from the Chinese government. In addition, its technology was used by Hong Kong authorities to examine the phone contents of pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong after he was arrested in October last year, according to a police report submitted to Wong during court proceedings earlier this year.
Joshua Wong at a news conference in Hong Kong.
Photographer: Chan Long Hei/Bloomberg
MSAB was in line for additional business from the Hong Kong government, according to a leaked proposal