Tracy Qu

Tracy Qu

Tracy Qu is a Hong-Kong based technology reporter at the Post. She graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a master’s degree in journalism.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
China technology
TikTok’s challenge to Trump will not be easy
Many analysts think TikTok is unlikely to win its challenge to Donald Trump’s order banning the popular video-sharing app if it does not sell to a US company. The US president signed an executive order on August 6 banning TikTok within 45 days unless it is sold to US owners, citing national security concerns. Trump made the order under a 1977 law that lets the president block transactions and seize assets in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat.” Trump issued another order a week later giving ByteDance, its Chinese owner, 90 days to divest its US operations, including all data gathered in the United States. The lawsuit, to be filed by TikTok on Monday, challenges the August 6 ex
The potential TikTok sale is a herculean task
ByteDance has been forced into a corner by the Trump administration, which now says it must sell the US version of its global short video hit TikTok within 90 days if the app wants to stay in business. Analysts say pulling off a sale is easier said than done due to a complex array of legal and technical obstacles. Plus, TikTok, and Bytedance, have too much at stake in the US market to simply leave.  “There is credible evidence that leads me to believe that ByteDance … might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,” Trump said in the order announced on Friday. Trump originally signed an executive order on August 6 that would prohibit certain transactio
Hong Kong’s new security law puts social media giants in a tough spot
The Hong Kong authorities could block social media giants if they refused to hand over user data to the police under a new national security law, analysts said, describing a worst-case scenario that could drive global internet companies out of the Asian financial center. The world’s leading social media firms, including Google, Facebook (and its messaging app WhatsApp), Twitter, Telegram and LinkedIn, have so far presented a united front against such requests.  Their announcements to hit pause on processing requests by Hong Kong authorities for user data came a week after Beijing imposed the security law that critics feared could be used to crack down on dissent in the city. The former Briti
Hackers target Beijing and WHO amid pandemic, reports say
Hackers targeted Chinese agencies and diplomatic missions in a coordinated cyber espionage campaign, according to a report by a leading Chinese internet security provider. Both domestic Chinese agencies and Beijing’s diplomatic missions in countries including Italy, the UK, North Korea and Thailand have been attacked, according to a report by Qihoo 360. It speculated in the report that the East Asia-based DarkHotel hacking group attacked Chinese operations for reasons linked to the pandemic. The group is also suspected to be behind recent cyberattacks against the World Health Organization, according to a Reuters report. Officials and cybersecurity experts warn that hackers of all stripes are
The coronavirus has forever altered how China studies and works
With the coronavirus outbreak crippling normal life in China, technology has rushed to the fore on many fronts as a literal lifesaver. Robots in hospitals, health code apps, online education and remote working all played crucial roles in keeping the country operational with most of the population trapped in self-isolation. But as the devastating outbreak starts to ease within China, and life gradually returns to normal, many are asking whether the pandemic will leave a permanent mark on the way people work and live. The pandemic may even accelerate long-term trends such as the digitalization of education, work and even people.  Xu Yuting, an 18-year-old high school student in eastern China’s
Chinese buyers of face masks have lost $28 million in scams
Chen Xiaobai, a graphic designer from Changsha city in southern China’s Hunan province, has been running a WeChat messaging group since the beginning of February called The Victims of Online Masks Fraud. The group has attracted about 170 members, all of whom had been cheated out of money while trying to buy face masks online to protect themselves or other people from the spread of the novel coronavirus. Online fraud has a long history, but fears about the coronavirus outbreak and a shortage of masks have brought swindlers a fresh pool of potential victims among China’s 800 million internet users. With the demand for masks far exceeding the supply many have no choice but to turn to private c
Homebound and bored, millions of Chinese are tuning into live streams
Live-streaming, already a booming industry in China, is experiencing a new wave of popularity with many cities locked down and millions staying home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 2,000 people in the country as of Wednesday. While the outbreak has hit China’s economy overall, a strong move from offline to online activity from those confined to their homes has boosted the fortunes of some tech companies, including those with live-streaming platforms. Short video platforms with live-streaming features saw a sharp increase in user activity since the outbreak was first reported in late December, according to a QuestMobile report this week. Over the re
More people downloaded this Chinese app than Facebook
TikTok, the Chinese-owned short video platform popular among American teens, and Douyin, the domestic version of the service, became the world’s second-most downloaded app last year, according to market analyst Sensor Tower. TikTok and Douyin amassed a combined 740 million downloads last year, overtaking Facebook and Messenger, trailing only WhatsApp (which, like the Messenger app, is also owned by Facebook). As one of the rare Chinese-owned services that took off overseas, TikTok’s rise in the US has been met with pressure from lawmakers over national security concerns and alleged censorship.  The scrutiny has come at a time of mounting skepticism in Washington over China’s rising global in
To go viral in China, creativity may be pointless
Can virality be taught? The more than 20 people gathered in a room in Shenzhen, in China’s southern Guangdong province, certainly think so.  Some have forked out as much as $1,400 for a weekend crash course on how to create short, funny videos that will get lots of views on Douyin, ByteDance’s Chinese version of its short-video app TikTok. Lots of clicks lead to potential advertising endorsements, or so the equation goes. Zhang Bo, a moon-faced man in his late 30s, is the man who promises to unlock the secrets of creating crazy popular videos.  Perched on a white table at the front of the class, Zhang regaled us with how one client made over $10.1 million in just three days following his met
TikTok boss hopes DC visit can ease censorship and privacy concerns
The Chinese-owned social media app TikTok is wildly popular in the US, especially among teenagers who spend hours posting videos about the latest dance trends, their love-life complaints and personal unique talents.  As it grows into one of the world’s most used social media platforms, TikTok has found itself under increased scrutiny in the US, its third-largest market.  In an attempt to assuage concerns over censorship and user privacy, the head of the short video platform, Alex Zhu, is embarking on a goodwill tour to Capitol Hill.  The meetings with American lawmakers, scheduled for this week, come as the video app’s Beijing-based owner ByteDance is under increasing scrutiny to address cen