The top U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong sounded the alarm over growing internet censorship in the city, underscoring fears China’s crackdown on freedoms is diminishing the hub’s appeal as a global finance hub.

In his first interview since taking up the post in 2022, U.S. Consul General Gregory May cautioned that connectivity issues and data security concerns had prompted some American companies to use burner phones and laptops when visiting the once free-wheeling enclave.

"Hong Kong is starting to go down the slope of trying to take certain content off the internet and blocking certain websites,” he told Bloomberg News on Thursday. "It is kind of a slippery slope once you start that internet censorship. Where does that end?”