ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong police launch 'snitch line' for national security crimes

Critics draw parallels to China's Cultural Revolution

Surveillance cameras along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront in Hong Kong: the new hotline will take submissions through text and WeChat.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- The Hong Kong police on Thursday opened a dedicated hotline for reporting violations of the national security law Beijing imposed on the city earlier this year, raising alarms over critics of the controversial legislation.

The hotline, designed to help crack down on potential crimes that endanger national security, will take photo, audio and video submissions through texts and the WeChat messaging app. The police said it will only take submissions that are related to national security, and will not disclose personal details on informers.

Many Hong Kong news outlets have slammed the hotline, saying that encouraging the city's residents to report on each other is reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution in mainland China. The service will undermine freedoms and have a chilling effect on Hong Kong, said pro-democracy lawmaker James To Kun-sun.

"It will be even harder to talk about politics in public now," said a 20-something office worker. There is concern that the hotline could deepen the rift between the city's pro-democracy and pro-Beijing factions.

Financial authorities have also begun asking banks to report any transactions that could potentially impact national security, likely in an effort to identify activists through money flows to and from foreign organizations.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more