‘No light at the end of the tunnel’ – Americans join Hong Kong’s business exodus

Worsening Sino-US ties, strict Covid rules, and the crackdown on dissent have dented the territory’s fabled allure as a business hub, say expats

In July 2018, Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, wrote an article in the best-known local English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, stressing to Americans the territory’s unique position an Asian business hub.

“The US is forgetting the differences between Hong Kong and China. Let’s remind them,” she wrote. “Hong Kong continues to have a robust and hearty infrastructure of values, practices and institutions that could not contrast more starkly with those of the mainland system.”

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Canada judge delays extradition hearings in win for Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou’s team had sought more time to review new documents after Hong Kong settlement with HSBC

A Canada judge has agreed to delay Meng Wanzhou’s US extradition hearings for three months, according to a ruling read in court on Wednesday, handing the Huawei chief financial officer’s defense team a win.

Meng, 49, was arrested at Vancouver international airport on charges of bank fraud in the US for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, causing the bank to break US sanctions.

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HSBC to slash post-Covid office space by 40% as profits drop by a third

Bank also reaffirms greater shift towards Asia-Pacific, where most of its earnings come from

HSBC is to reduce its office space around the world by nearly 40% as part of sweeping cost cutting designed to capitalise on new part-office-part-homeworking arrangements after the pandemic.

The decision to move to new hybrid working arrangements was announced as HSBC confirmed it was accelerating its pivot towards Asia, including China and Hong Kong, despite concerns about the political crackdown in the former British colony.

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British banks under pressure over £45m loans to firm with links to Myanmar military

Campaigners say the deals revealed in new report are a breach of firms’ human rights responsibilities

Human rights groups are demanding that two of Britain’s biggest banks explain why they have lent tens of millions of pounds to a technology company building a telecoms network that is part-owned and used by the Myanmar military.

HSBC and Standard Chartered have loaned $60m (£44.5m) to Vietnamese telecom giant Viettel in the last four years, a period when the Myanmar military has been accused of committing war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Viettel is a major investor in Mytel, a Myanmar mobile network that, since its launch in June 2018, has grown to become the second-biggest operator in the country with over 10 million users.

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Exiled Hong Kong legislator calls for action after HSBC bank accounts frozen

Ted Hui says move by UK’s biggest bank is act of ‘oppression’ as eight more democracy activists are arrested

A Hong Kong legislator who fled to Europe has called on regulators to investigate the actions of major banks including HSBC, after his accounts and those of his wife and parents were frozen.

Ted Hui is the latest pro-democracy figure to leave Hong Kong amid the escalating crackdown on dissent. Last week Jimmy Lai was denied bail, and Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, and Ivan Lam were jailed. On Monday, eight people were reportedly arrested by the national security police over a small and peaceful student rally at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) last month, including three accused of breaching the national security law.

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How HSBC got caught in a geopolitical storm over Hong Kong security law

Bank’s future remains uncertain as it finds itself under pressure from Beijing and Washington

HSBC has been a fixture of the Hong Kong economy for more than a century. However, its origins as a financial bridge between Asia and the west have placed it in the centre of a modern day geopolitical storm. Facing pressure to choose sides as Hong Kong is convulsed by the new security law imposed by Beijing and Donald Trump pursues a trade war with China, HSBC is in danger of finding itself without friends in either direction.

Headquartered in London, but dependent on Hong Kong and China for profits, HSBC has been affected by tensions between Washington and Beijing – and shareholder concern over its controversial acceptance of an authoritarian crackdown in its key market.

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UK will ‘bear the consequences’ for Hong Kong decision, China warns

Ambassador to London calls extradition treaty suspension ‘blatant’ interference in Chinese affairs and a contravention of international law

China’s ambassador has accused the UK government of blatantly interfering in China’s internal affairs by suspending extradition with Hong Kong, and led a cavalcade of Beijing voices warning of consequences.

On Monday the UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, announced his government would follow moves by Australia, Canada, and the US, and formally suspend its extradition agreement with Hong Kong in response to Beijing’s unilateral imposition of national security laws.

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Protesters who demanded Huawei CFO’s release revealed to be paid actors

More than a dozen people outside Vancouver courtroom with ‘Free Meng’ signs were promised C$100 for two hours’ work on a movie

Protesters calling for the release of a senior Chinese telecommunications executive arrested in Canada have admitted they were paid actors, in the latest twist in a closely-watched extradition case that has chilled relations between Ottawa and Beijing.

More than a dozen people joined a demonstration on Monday outside a Vancouver courtroom where Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou is fighting extradition to the US for alleged fraud related to sanctions against Iran.

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