(Washington) On Friday, the United States issued a warning to American companies that there are “increased risks” to their operations in Hong Kong, after Beijing implemented restrictions on this historic financial center.
The warning stresses that companies should “be aware of the potential reputational, regulatory, financial and, in some cases legal, risks associated with their operations in Hong Kong”.
The document acknowledges that Hong Kong, the former British colony that was ceded to China in 1997, “retains many economic differences” from the rest of China, including stronger intellectual property protections.
The new national security law
However, it highlights the changing climate with the new national security law, and particularly highlights the arrest of US citizen John Clancy, a well-known human rights lawyer.
There is also an increased risk to private data according to Washington which shows a lack of transparency and access to information, for example closing a tabloid newspaper, andApple Daily, It is considered a thorn in the side of the authorities.
The warning further alleges that companies have been more vulnerable to US sanctions in response to US concerns about the human rights situation.
Dozens of people, such as media mogul Jimmy Lai, as well as elected officials and pro-democracy activists, have been charged in the name of a new national security law that specifically prohibits subversion.
Beijing imposed the law in June 2020 after widespread protests to demand the guarantee of basic rights promised to Hong Kong before the 1997 handover.