According to a report by a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong, Paypal HK has reportedly stopped processing payments for the League of Social Democrats (LSD). The pro-democracy group said they were “stunned” to hear the news, and now have “a way less [to collect donations].”
Paypal reportedly stops providing services to the League of Social Democrats of Hong Kong
Recently, the Daily Wire news publication uncovered a draft Paypal Terms of Service (ToS) agreement that has yet to be implemented. The ToS said Paypal could fine users $2,500 if they spread “misinformation” online and the fine could be deducted from a Paypal account. However, Paypal said that the ToS was a bug submitted by mistake and the company stressed that it has no plans to fine users. On October 8, National Review spoke with a Paypal spokesperson and the representative said that the ToS notice was sent in error.
“An AUP notice was recently sent in error that included incorrect information,” a Paypal spokesperson told National Review. “Paypal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted into our policy. Our teams are working to fix our policy pages. We are sorry for the confusion this has caused.”
The issue between the League of Social Democrats (LSD) and Paypal HK was reported on October 12 at 3:39am ET via Facebook. The news was also covered by Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) Contributor, Peter Lee, who wrote that LSD was “one of the remaining active pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong.” At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, China made it much more difficult for pro-democracy groups to thrive in Hong Kong.
China introduced the National Security Law (NSL) in 2020 and made it much easier to prosecute protesters seeking to bolster Hong Kong’s autonomy. The HKFP report further explains that pro-democracy groups like LSD are also unable to collect donations using street stalls. LSD’s outside vice president, Chow Ka-fat, told HKFP that Paypal simply said payment services were canceled due to “excessive risks.”
However, the payment giant did not disclose what the “excessive risks” were, Chow told the publication. Chow detailed that while the group cannot accept donations from Paypal HK account, the group can still withdraw funds from the app. “It seems that even when doing business, companies have to think ahead who they’re dealing with,” Chow told the news outlet. The Vice President of LSD added:
That kind of commercial freedom in the past is apparently gone.
Pro-democracy groups in Hong Kong have had problems with payment providers in the past, specifically Chinese banking institutions. In June 2019, bitcoin (BTC) was trading for a premium in Hong Kong during the protests. A study published by an Amun researcher the following year showed that stablecoins had been used in Hong Kong as “vehicles for capital control flight.”
Following Chow and LSD’s account, HKFP’s Lee said the post contacted Paypal HK for clarification, but there is no response from the payment provider in Lee’s report. The day before Lee’s October 11 report, the Hong Kong Democracy Council reported that LSD member Tsang Kin-shing was fined HK$1,500 on charges of littering after he stood outside a government building calling for public gatherings to be reinstated.
What do you think of the report that Paypal HK has stopped providing services to the Hong Kong League of Social Democrats? Let us know your thoughts on this topic in the comments section below.
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