Law, 27, said he and other activists set up the website from outside Hong Kong. A New York Times examination of the digital route taken by traffic to the site revealed that it was hosted by servers in the United States.
Mr. Law said he has been in contact with a Wix representative since May 31, when the site first disappeared. At the time, the company told him there was a legitimate takedown request and that the site violated the company’s terms of service. The company then sent Mr. Law a letter from the Hong Kong police, stating that the site was a threat to national security.
The website has a letter, addressed to Hong Kongers who have left the city, urging them to unite in the fight for democracy in the city. It also called for the repeal of the national security law, urged policing reform in Hong Kong and criticized the authoritarian rule in China by the Chinese Communist Party. “We strive for the democratic transformation of Hong Kong, to realize the freedom, autonomy and democracy promised to Hong Kong,” part of the letter. Visitors to the website can sign a document they call the “Hong Kong Charter 2021”.
Mr. Law said the website does not encourage violence. “It doesn’t do anything that would be illegal in free countries, but governments can always cite national security laws” to stipulate that a website is illegal.
“So really, we’re going to face more similar events in the future,” he said.
In January, Hong Kong’s largest mobile telecommunications companies cut off access to a local Hong Kong website that listed police officers’ personal information. The move stoked long-standing fears that China’s strict censorship rules could be introduced into Hong Kong in the coming years.
This week, authorities said they would soon require people to use their real identities when purchasing mobile services. A similar system in China has helped regulators end online anonymity and empowered an internet police force who question and sometimes imprison the most outspoken.
Although encouraged by Wix’s response, Mr. Tsui said that resistance from tech companies to the police order could lead authorities to solve the problem themselves and, as in China, start head block more websites directly.