Hong Kong's sole leadership candidate John Lee said Wednesday that online video platform YouTube has terminated his campaign channel, to comply with U.S. sanctions placed on the ex-government official over crackdowns on demonstrations.
Google LLC, which operates YouTube, informed Lee in the morning that the channel had been taken down to comply with U.S. sanction laws and related policies under the platform's terms of service.
Lee was among 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials placed under Washington's sanctions in August 2020 for their roles in enacting the Beijing-imposed national security law in the former British colony, which criminalizes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
At the time, Lee served as the city's secretary for security before being elevated to chief secretary for administration, the No. 2 post in the territory, in June 2021.
Speaking to the press, Lee expressed disappointment at the move, calling it an "unreasonable, deliberate act of bullying and intimidation," but stressed that it would not affect his campaign.
The security hard-liner was confirmed last week as the sole candidate in Hong Kong's May 8 chief executive election after securing nominations by a majority of the Election Committee members who will cast votes.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Lee will begin his five-year term on July 1.