Hong Kong accountants join protests, but they’re ‘civilized and calm’

Accountants in Hong Kong took to the streets on Friday to call for the government to accept five demands of the people, including the complete withdrawal of a now-suspended extradition bill. “It’s time for us to stage a really civilized and calm march in the central business district to show that we’re still not happy with how the whole issue has been handled, and (the) government has to respond positively to the demands of the people,” Hong Kong legislator, Kenneth Leung, told CNBC on Friday, a


Accountants in Hong Kong took to the streets on Friday to call for the government to accept five demands of the people, including the complete withdrawal of a now-suspended extradition bill. “It’s time for us to stage a really civilized and calm march in the central business district to show that we’re still not happy with how the whole issue has been handled, and (the) government has to respond positively to the demands of the people,” Hong Kong legislator, Kenneth Leung, told CNBC on Friday, a
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-23  Authors: stella soon
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Hong Kong accountants join protests, but they're 'civilized and calm'

Accountants in Hong Kong took to the streets on Friday to call for the government to accept five demands of the people, including the complete withdrawal of a now-suspended extradition bill.

“It’s time for us to stage a really civilized and calm march in the central business district to show that we’re still not happy with how the whole issue has been handled, and (the) government has to respond positively to the demands of the people,” Hong Kong legislator, Kenneth Leung, told CNBC on Friday, ahead of the march.

The march was set to take place from Chater Garden, in the central district of Hong Kong, to the central government office.

Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997, when it became a special administrative region of China under the “one country, two systems” framework which allows the territory a certain degree of legal and economic autonomy.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-23  Authors: stella soon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, kong, central, civilized, protests, district, theyre, accountants, join, told, territory, demands, hong, withdrawal, took, calm, systems


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How Amazon is fighting back against workers’ increasing efforts to unionize

Three big unions are among those talking to Amazon workers — the Teamsters, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Recent worker protests point to organizing efforts. On Prime Day in July, a handful of Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, went on strike. Amazon workers at Prime Day strike in Shakopee, Minnesota, on July 15, 2019. “The people who participated in today’s event are mainly outside organizers who are


Three big unions are among those talking to Amazon workers — the Teamsters, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Recent worker protests point to organizing efforts. On Prime Day in July, a handful of Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, went on strike. Amazon workers at Prime Day strike in Shakopee, Minnesota, on July 15, 2019. “The people who participated in today’s event are mainly outside organizers who are
How Amazon is fighting back against workers’ increasing efforts to unionize Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-22  Authors: katie schoolov
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, workplace, center, unionize, 15, increasing, efforts, workers, fighting, amazon, employees, protests, strike, union, worker


How Amazon is fighting back against workers' increasing efforts to unionize

Throughout Amazon’s 25-year history, there have been multiple rumblings of workers trying to unionize, but to no success. With record-breaking sales numbers and newly doubled shipping speeds, however, momentum to organize has picked up among some of Amazon’s more than 650,000 worldwide employees. Three big unions are among those talking to Amazon workers — the Teamsters, the United Food & Commercial Workers Union and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Recent worker protests point to organizing efforts. On Prime Day in July, a handful of Amazon workers at a fulfillment center in Shakopee, Minnesota, went on strike. It was the first strike by U.S. workers during the company’s annual sales events that started five years ago, and one of several protests in the U.S. in the past year.

Amazon workers at Prime Day strike in Shakopee, Minnesota, on July 15, 2019. Katie Schoolov

The protests were organized by the Awood Center, an East African worker advocate group that’s backed in part by the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union, along with local labor groups like the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation. “The people who participated in today’s event are mainly outside organizers who are uninformed about what it’s really like to work inside an Amazon fulfillment center,” Amazon spokesperson Rachael Lighty said at the time. “With only 15 employees who participated from this site, that tells me that our employees truly do believe that they are working in a safe and innovative workplace.” Last year, Amazon led the industry by raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour, and it’s known for generous benefits. Its Career Choice program pays up to 95% of tuition for associates studying high-demand fields. And last month, Amazon pledged $700 million to retrain a third of its U.S. workforce by 2025 to move to more advanced jobs. “We’re already offering what unions are asking, which is industry leading pay, great benefits and a safe and innovative workplace,” Lighty said.

A training video for managers

Leaked Amazon training video sent to Whole Foods managers in 2018


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-22  Authors: katie schoolov
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, workplace, center, unionize, 15, increasing, efforts, workers, fighting, amazon, employees, protests, strike, union, worker


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Google shutters more than 200 YouTube channels amid Hong Kong protests

Pompeo says the US message on Huawei is clear. Trump’s words say…U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is under house arrest in Canada and facing extradition to America, is not a bargaining chip in the trade…Technologyread more


Pompeo says the US message on Huawei is clear. Trump’s words say…U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is under house arrest in Canada and facing extradition to America, is not a bargaining chip in the trade…Technologyread more
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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-22  Authors: jennifer elias
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Google shutters more than 200 YouTube channels amid Hong Kong protests

Pompeo says the US message on Huawei is clear. Trump’s words say…

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is under house arrest in Canada and facing extradition to America, is not a bargaining chip in the trade…

Technology

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-22  Authors: jennifer elias
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Mike Pompeo says ‘something like Tiananmen Square’ in Hong Kong would make a US-China trade deal ‘more difficult’

It would be “more difficult” to reach a trade deal if the protests end “in a way that there was violence — the president said something like Tiananmen Square,” Pompeo said in an interview on “Squawk Box. ” He was referring to the 1989 student-led demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, which ended in mass bloodshed after government-deployed soldiers and tanks and fired on those protesters. “I hope that the trade negotiations move forward, and I hope that Hong Kong is resolved in a peaceful


It would be “more difficult” to reach a trade deal if the protests end “in a way that there was violence — the president said something like Tiananmen Square,” Pompeo said in an interview on “Squawk Box. ” He was referring to the 1989 student-led demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, which ended in mass bloodshed after government-deployed soldiers and tanks and fired on those protesters. “I hope that the trade negotiations move forward, and I hope that Hong Kong is resolved in a peaceful
Mike Pompeo says ‘something like Tiananmen Square’ in Hong Kong would make a US-China trade deal ‘more difficult’ Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-20  Authors: kevin breuninger
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trade, difficult, square, tariffs, tiananmen, deal, pompeo, beijing, hong, mike, kong, china, uschina, protests


Mike Pompeo says 'something like Tiananmen Square' in Hong Kong would make a US-China trade deal 'more difficult'

A trade deal between the U.S. and China would be less likely if President Xi Jinping’s government cracks down violently on the large-scale protests in Hong Kong, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC on Tuesday.

It would be “more difficult” to reach a trade deal if the protests end “in a way that there was violence — the president said something like Tiananmen Square,” Pompeo said in an interview on “Squawk Box. ”

He was referring to the 1989 student-led demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, which ended in mass bloodshed after government-deployed soldiers and tanks and fired on those protesters.

“I hope that the trade negotiations move forward, and I hope that Hong Kong is resolved in a peaceful way. Those would be the best outcomes for both China and the United States,” Pompeo said.

Hong Kong has for weeks been roiled by massive protests that have resulted in tense clashes with police.

The protests stemmed from opposition to an extradition bill that critics say would have given Beijing undue control over Hong Kong. But after the bill was suspended, the scope of the protest movement expanded to encompass issues of civil rights and democracy. When Britain handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997, Beijing promised that Hong Kong’s economic and political systems would not be changed for 50 years.

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump said that a trade deal “would be very hard” to do “if they do violence. If it’s another Tiananmen Square … I think it’s a very hard thing to do if there’s violence.”

Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike have come out in support of the protesters. But the movement against Chinese interference complicates the political landscape for Trump, who has sought a trade deal with Beijing that addresses issues such as trade deficits, the alleged theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfers.

Even without factoring in Hong Kong’s impact on negotiations, the trade war between the two economic superpowers has shown little sign of slowing down. The U.S. has imposed 25% tariffs on about $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, while Beijing has responded with its own tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods.

Despite the White House’s decision last week to delay some new tariffs on Chinese goods to spare American holiday shoppers, billions in that country’s imports will be taxed on Sept. 1. The rest of that round of tariffs, which will cover roughly the remaining $300 billion in goods bought from China, are slated to go into effect Dec. 15.

China had initially responded to the prospect of new tariffs by announcing that it would no longer buy U.S. agricultural products. The U.S. then labeled China a currency manipulator.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-20  Authors: kevin breuninger
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, trade, difficult, square, tariffs, tiananmen, deal, pompeo, beijing, hong, mike, kong, china, uschina, protests


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Cathay’s ‘unusual position’ makes it ‘vulnerable to pressure’ from Beijing, analyst says

Rupert Hogg, chief executive officer of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., attends a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Mar. The company was recently caught in the Hong Kong protests, where staff reportedly took part in the pro-democracy rallies that have enraged Beijing. Innes-Ker said “companies may find that their employees’ activism turns into a political risk in mainland China, if this campaigning becomes associated with the firm’s brand.” “There are a lot of things within China t


Rupert Hogg, chief executive officer of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., attends a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Mar. The company was recently caught in the Hong Kong protests, where staff reportedly took part in the pro-democracy rallies that have enraged Beijing. Innes-Ker said “companies may find that their employees’ activism turns into a political risk in mainland China, if this campaigning becomes associated with the firm’s brand.” “There are a lot of things within China t
Cathay’s ‘unusual position’ makes it ‘vulnerable to pressure’ from Beijing, analyst says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-19  Authors: grace shao
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, vulnerable, kong, airline, position, analyst, chinese, political, hong, pressure, mainland, makes, resignation, beijing, protests, unusual, cathays, risk, china


Cathay's 'unusual position' makes it 'vulnerable to pressure' from Beijing, analyst says

Rupert Hogg, chief executive officer of Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., attends a news conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2019. The airline announced Hogg’s resignation on Mar.16. Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Cathay Pacific’s CEO Rupert Hogg officially stepped down on Monday amid what the company called “challenging weeks for the airline.” The company was recently caught in the Hong Kong protests, where staff reportedly took part in the pro-democracy rallies that have enraged Beijing. Hogg’s sudden resignation was announced days after China’s Civil Aviation Administration issued a “major aviation safety risk warning” to the airline. Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has seen more than 11 weeks of protests over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed people in the territory to be sent to the mainland for trial.

Most firms in Hong Kong that engage in business with mainland China know that there is always a degree of political risk that needs to be navigated. Duncan Innes-Ker The Economist Intelligence Unit

In a statement released Friday, the company said it remains fully committed to Hong Kong under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems” — which allows the territory a certain degree of legal and economic autonomy.

Cathay’s close China links

Two of the airline’s largest shareholders are Swire Group — a Hong Kong and London-based diversified conglomerate that owns 45% of the airline — and Air China, a Chinese state-owned air carrier group which owns 22.65% of Cathay, according to data provided by Refinitiv. Hogg’s sudden resignation is a special case on its own, said Duncan Innes-Ker, regional director for Asia at The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Cathay is in a slightly unusual position in that a large Chinese (state-owned enterprise) has a significant stake in its share ownership,” Innes-Ker said. “Companies that have an SOE as an equity partner are likely to be especially vulnerable to pressure from the Chinese authorities. Cathay’s China routes are also crucial to its business model and future growth, so this makes it doubly susceptible,” he told CNBC. He explained that “most firms in Hong Kong that engage in business with mainland China know that there is always a degree of political risk that needs to be navigated.”

Innes-Ker said “companies may find that their employees’ activism turns into a political risk in mainland China, if this campaigning becomes associated with the firm’s brand.” Just over a week ago, the airline said employees who “support or take part in illegal protests, violent actions, or overly radical behaviour” would be barred from crewing flights to mainland China. The airline also fired two pilots over their involvement in the protests.

External pressure from Beijing

Since the former British colony was handed over to Beijing in 1997, China has very much recognized it needs Hong Kong, David Dodwell, executive director at HK-APEC Trade Policy Group told CNBC in early August. That was especially true when China was still opening up to the rest of the world, he said at that time. “There are a lot of things within China that can’t be done in China, and Hong Kong is indispensable for that,” Dodwell said. The city is not just a financial capital but also an important “headquarter capital, ” he added, explaining that many Chinese and foreign companies use Hong Kong as their headquarters because of the array of services the city offers.

Protesters take part in a rally against extradition bill on July 1, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Billy H.C. Kwok | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-19  Authors: grace shao
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, vulnerable, kong, airline, position, analyst, chinese, political, hong, pressure, mainland, makes, resignation, beijing, protests, unusual, cathays, risk, china


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Hong Kong protests will be ‘settled or crushed’ ahead of China national celebrations, analyst says

The months-long protests in Hong Kong could come to an end soon, according to strategist David Roche, who said they will “be settled or crushed” before October 1 — the 70th anniversary of China’s National Day. The way China responds to the situation in the city is crucial in determining how markets and U.S.-China trade talks will be affected, he told CNBC on Friday. In fact, the politics go hand in hand with the Chinese economy, Roche said. “I don’t accept this will be a small scale problem in a


The months-long protests in Hong Kong could come to an end soon, according to strategist David Roche, who said they will “be settled or crushed” before October 1 — the 70th anniversary of China’s National Day. The way China responds to the situation in the city is crucial in determining how markets and U.S.-China trade talks will be affected, he told CNBC on Friday. In fact, the politics go hand in hand with the Chinese economy, Roche said. “I don’t accept this will be a small scale problem in a
Hong Kong protests will be ‘settled or crushed’ ahead of China national celebrations, analyst says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-16  Authors: grace shao
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, kong, roche, economy, hong, beijing, dont, national, settled, analyst, hand, celebrations, china, protests, crushed, ahead, trade, talks


Hong Kong protests will be 'settled or crushed' ahead of China national celebrations, analyst says

The months-long protests in Hong Kong could come to an end soon, according to strategist David Roche, who said they will “be settled or crushed” before October 1 — the 70th anniversary of China’s National Day.

The way China responds to the situation in the city is crucial in determining how markets and U.S.-China trade talks will be affected, he told CNBC on Friday.

In fact, the politics go hand in hand with the Chinese economy, Roche said.

“I don’t accept this will be a small scale problem in a larger China economy. The reason I don’t is because I believe any intervention (from Beijing) to Hong Kong will be immediately, umbilically, linked to what happens to trade talks and international relations globally,” said Roche, who is president at research and investment consulting firm Independent Strategy.

Roche said “Beijing has to weigh in on two things: the political and economic cause.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-16  Authors: grace shao
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Social media has become a battleground in Hong Kong’s protests

Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management Univer


Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management Univer
Social media has become a battleground in Hong Kong’s protests Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-16  Authors: grace shao
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, using, hong, loh, used, protesters, movement, media, protests, battleground, demonstrators, videos, social, brutality, kongs


Social media has become a battleground in Hong Kong's protests

Using social media as a tool to galvanize support during a political movement isn’t new — the image of a yellow umbrella was widely shared on Facebook to show support to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014. But this time around, the protesters are using social media in a way demonstrating a heightened awareness of cybersecurity and an increased understanding of how to effectively communicate with the medium.

Hong Kong demonstrators have remained largely anonymous, using social media to avoid being identified and arrested by police authorities. Media experts said such tech has played a significant role in the documentation, organization, and assembly of the large-scale demonstrations.

Social media has changed the way people document history, said Tracy Loh, senior lecturer of communication management at Singapore Management University. She told CNBC that social media has played a “more apparent” role in the 2019 protests than ever before.

Just as in the 2014 “Umbrella Movement,” social media is being used by protesters to conceal identities, spread information, mobilize demonstrators and avoid detainment — but it’s now gone beyond that, according to Loh

“I think that what has changed now is that social media is used to win the hearts and minds of the people. Both sides are using images of police brutality and/or protester brutality to further their own agendas,” she said.

The ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong — a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 — started as peaceful rallies against a single proposed law. They’ve since snowballed into a wider pro-democracy movement, with some even demanding full autonomy from Beijing and occasional outbreaks of violence and disruptions to the city’s operations.

Protesters have circulated images of a female protester that was injured in the eye by members of the police force, and videos of police brutality have been spread to galvanize demonstrators, explained Loh. But, in the meantime, Chinese authorities have also utilized the power of social media, pushing out videos of military vehicles on standby in the neighboring city of Shenzhen and circulating videos of protesters disrupting public transit operations.

Social media has been used “as a tool in the battle for public opinion,” said Loh. She added that it has become more and more difficult for users and consumers of online content because they have to “deal with misinformation and fake news and the associated damages that (such content) can cause.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-16  Authors: grace shao
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China accuses Pelosi and McConnell of inciting ‘chaos’ in Hong Kong

Months of protests, violence and large-scale disruptions in Hong Kong have thrust the city into the global spotlight. “The U.S. denied on many occasions its involvement in the ongoing violent incidents in Hong Kong. A host of public statements show it’s accurate to say American officials have been commenting about Hong Kong — which has seen increasing violence between pro-democracy protesters, counter-protesters, and police. U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Tuesday Twitter post that he “can


Months of protests, violence and large-scale disruptions in Hong Kong have thrust the city into the global spotlight. “The U.S. denied on many occasions its involvement in the ongoing violent incidents in Hong Kong. A host of public statements show it’s accurate to say American officials have been commenting about Hong Kong — which has seen increasing violence between pro-democracy protesters, counter-protesters, and police. U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Tuesday Twitter post that he “can
China accuses Pelosi and McConnell of inciting ‘chaos’ in Hong Kong Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-14  Authors: everett rosenfeld
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, inciting, country, pelosi, kongs, protests, chaos, chinas, mcconnell, kong, china, accuses, foreign, hong, violent, autonomy, hua


China accuses Pelosi and McConnell of inciting 'chaos' in Hong Kong

Months of protests, violence and large-scale disruptions in Hong Kong have thrust the city into the global spotlight. According to China, there’s “powerful evidence” that the United States has been involved.

A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry claimed Tuesday that recent comments from American lawmakers — including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — demonstrate that Washington’s real goal is to incite chaos in the city.

“The U.S. denied on many occasions its involvement in the ongoing violent incidents in Hong Kong. However, the comments from those members of the U.S. Congress have provided the world with new and powerful evidence on the country’s involvement,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, according to an official translation of her remarks.

A host of public statements show it’s accurate to say American officials have been commenting about Hong Kong — which has seen increasing violence between pro-democracy protesters, counter-protesters, and police. Still, Hua accused U.S. politicians of intentionally distorting their assessments and spurring clashes.

“By neglecting and distorting the truth, they whitewashed violent crimes as a struggle for human rights and freedom, and deliberately misinterpreted the work of Hong Kong police as violent repression when the police were only enforcing the law, fighting crimes and upholding social order,” she said.

“They even incited the Hong Kong residents to engage in confrontation with the (special administrative region) government and the central government,” Hua added. “How anxious are they to instigate and see chaos!”

U.S. President Donald Trump said in a Tuesday Twitter post that he “can’t imagine why” anyone would blame the United States for “the problems” in Hong Kong.

The ongoing protests can be traced back to March when thousands marched against a proposed bill that would allow Hong Kong to extradite people to mainland China. Although the former British colony has been part of the country since 1997, it’s designated as a Chinese “special administrative region” and has been allowed a degree of autonomy in legal and financial matters. That arrangement has been known as “one country, two systems” and it guides Hong Kong’s constitutionally enshrined mandate that the city will maintain its “previous capitalist system” for 50 years after it officially rejoined China.

Given that background, many in Hong Kong said the proposed extradition law would erode their city’s autonomy. Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, eventually announced the government would indefinitely halt the bill, but protests continued as demonstrators called for it to be officially withdrawn and for an investigation into police actions. As hundreds of thousands, by some counts, have continued to take to the streets, the messages have increasingly become about democracy, autonomy and even independence.

That’s been a red line for China’s leadership, and Beijing mouthpieces and officials have repeatedly emphasized that Hong Kong’s relationship with the rest of the country is not up for discussion. And that’s the topic now inducing the Foreign Ministry’s criticisms of U.S. officials.

“We solemnly remind you this plain truth: Hong Kong affairs are entirely China’s internal affairs, and you are neither entitled nor qualified to wantonly comment on them,” Hua said Tuesday. “Mind your own business and stay out of Hong Kong affairs.”


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-14  Authors: everett rosenfeld
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Global firms are sounding the alarm as escalating Hong Kong protests deal a ‘serious blow’ to the city’s outlook

Protesters walk on a highway near Hong Kong’s international airport following a protest on August 12, 2019. The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, added the violence was pushing Hong Kong “down a path of no return.” Traders have punished the city’s stocks in turn, sending Hong Kong’s stock market to a seven-month low on Tuesday. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF — which closely tracks Hong Kong shares — has plunged 10% over the past six months. Hong Kong officials, meanwhile, have cautioned t


Protesters walk on a highway near Hong Kong’s international airport following a protest on August 12, 2019. The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, added the violence was pushing Hong Kong “down a path of no return.” Traders have punished the city’s stocks in turn, sending Hong Kong’s stock market to a seven-month low on Tuesday. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF — which closely tracks Hong Kong shares — has plunged 10% over the past six months. Hong Kong officials, meanwhile, have cautioned t
Global firms are sounding the alarm as escalating Hong Kong protests deal a ‘serious blow’ to the city’s outlook Cached Page below :
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Global firms are sounding the alarm as escalating Hong Kong protests deal a 'serious blow' to the city's outlook

Protesters walk on a highway near Hong Kong’s international airport following a protest on August 12, 2019. Vivek Prakash | AFP | Getty Images

Two months of protests in Hong Kong are starting to take a toll on some of the largest global companies, adding to a host of geopolitical concerns as the U.S.-China trade war drags on. During the past few weeks, management teams at a range of multinational firms have taken to earnings calls to warn of dire consequences if the clashes escalate — including lost revenue and deterred business investment. Many of these companies are already feeling the strains of higher tariffs and a weakened Chinese currency. Ten weeks of increasingly violent protests have plunged the Asian financial center into its most serious crisis in decades. The growing unrest, sparked by a controversial extradition bill, also represents one of the most formidable popular challenges to Chinese president Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.

This week, demonstrations at Hong Kong’s International airport suspended check-ins for two straight days, causing hundreds of flight cancellations. Scuffles broke out as thousands of protesters barricaded passageways in the main terminal building, and riot police fired pepper spray to disperse crowds. On Wednesday, flights out of the financial hub resumed as the airport obtained a court order intended to restrict the protests. But, companies are still wary of further disruptions. Chinese officials condemned the latest rounds of demonstrations, calling them “the first signs of terrorism” in an indication of escalating rhetoric. The territory’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, added the violence was pushing Hong Kong “down a path of no return.” President Trump, citing U.S. intelligence, said Tuesday the Chinese government was moving troops to its shared border with Hong Kong, raising concerns that a possible intervention could be on the horizon. Traders have punished the city’s stocks in turn, sending Hong Kong’s stock market to a seven-month low on Tuesday. The iShares MSCI Hong Kong ETF — which closely tracks Hong Kong shares — has plunged 10% over the past six months. The fund now sits 16% below its recent highs in early April. By contract, the iShares MSCI World ETF (URTH) — which tracks shares across the world, including the U.S. — is down only fractionally since then. Hong Kong officials, meanwhile, have cautioned that protracted tensions could also inflict lasting damage to the local economy. The city — home to seven Fortune 500 global companies including tech giant Lenovo — grew at its weakest pace since 2009 in the first quarter. Hong Kong’s economy bounced back in the second quarter, but still fell short of analyst expectations, growing at just 0.6%. Warning signs are flashing in specific sectors, including retail, where sales plunged 7% in June versus the prior year. Double-digit declines are expected for July and August. “If a further escalation triggers capital flight … the city’s property market would be hit hard, resulting in a deep recession,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, Senior China Economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients Wednesday.

‘A bad cocktail’ for global retailers

Earlier this summer, Hong Kong-based cosmetics maker Bonjour Holdings cut its full-year profit forecast, citing the political unrest. In their most recent earnings calls, global luxury brands Prada, Hugo Boss, Gucci parent company Kering and Cartier parent Richemont, all said the protests weighed on sales in Hong Kong due to store closures and decreased tourist traffic, even as demand in mainland China grew. Other luxury retailers, like L’Occitane, have suffered even steeper setbacks in Hong Kong. Sales in the city, the company’s fourth-biggest market, plummeted 19% last quarter. “Hong Kong has been challenging,” L’Occitane Vice-Chairman Andre Hoffmann said on the firm’s most recent earnings call. “We lost several trading days in the quarter due to the protests. Chinese tourists spending in our shops has declined — all these are a bad cocktail for our business.” With the second-quarter earnings season entering its final laps, companies beyond retail – from financial juggernaut HSBC to media giant Disney – have also pointed to the political turmoil in Hong Kong as a negative headwind during conference calls with investors.

Airlines could stand the most to lose from heightened tensions. Hong Kong’s airport, the world’s eighth busiest, hosted over 400,000 flights and 75 million passengers in 2018. Government officials say the transit hub alone contributes 5% to the city’s GDP. Just last week, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, reported better-than-expected earnings. However, the company flagged that the protests hampered passenger numbers in July and would adversely impact future bookings. Since Friday, the company has fired two airport employees and suspended a pilot for his involvement in the demonstrations. China’s civil aviation authority has also ordered Cathay Pacific to bar employees who participated in the protests from flying to the mainland. Shares of the carrier have tumbled more than 7% in just the past two trading days, touching their lowest level since June 2009.

Hotel operators feel the pinch

Concerns are mounting for other segments of the tourism industry. Several major hotel operators have detailed to investors how the continued unrest is impacting their bottom lines. Tourism to Hong Kong, especially from mainland China, has fallen sharply over the past two months, denting hotel revenues. Occupancy rates dropped 20% in June from a year earlier and are projected to decline 40% in July. And, on Wednesday, the U.S. State Department issued a new travel advisory for the city, urging increased caution due to the unrest. Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, and InterContinental Hotels Group all flagged the negative impact of the protests on their most recent earnings calls. IHG, the world’s third largest hotel group, outperformed its industry peers in Greater China. But in Hong Kong specifically, revenue per average room — a key industry metric — dropped 0.4% in the first half of the year, in part due to the ongoing political uncertainty. That compares to a 5% gain in Macau, another Chinese territory across the river from Hong Kong. IHG CFO Paul Edgecliffe-Johnson said last week the company is closely watching the situation, noting Hong Kong accounts for 15% of the company’s total business in China. Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson, meanwhile, said that the Hong Kong market performed fairly well last quarter but was not as sanguine looking toward the second half of the year. “Obviously, what’s happening on the streets … is not a positive sign for travel into that market,” Sorenson said on August 6. “I suspect that we’ll see that Hong Kong weakens [in the current quarter].” CFO Kathleen Oberg added that Marriott expects revenue per available room for the Asia-Pacific region to come in below forecasts in the second half of the year, citing “cautious corporate demand in China and continued political demonstrations in Hong Kong.” Hyatt executives have echoed those sentiments. CEO Mark Hoplamazian said on the company’s earnings call on August 1 that they, too, expect to see a drop in hotel occupancies this quarter, owning to softened demand for Chinese leisure travel. With more rounds of demonstrations slated for the rest of the month, other business leaders are bracing for further fallout from the violent clashes. Disney, for instance, said visits to its Hong Kong park could suffer. Members of its Cast Members Union went on strike last week, disrupting rides. “[These protests] are significant…and, while the impact isn’t reflected in the results we just announced, you can expect that we will feel it in the quarter that we’re currently in,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said on the company’s earnings call last week. “We’ll see how long the protests go on, but there’s definitely been a disruption. That has impacted our visitation there.”

‘Serious blow’ to foreign investment


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-14  Authors: jr reed
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, outlook, kongs, sounding, protests, global, chinese, hong, china, earnings, deal, kong, week, escalating, market, quarter, serious, firms


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Hong Kong airport cancels all flights for the remainder of the day due to protests

Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest terminals, has canceled all departures for the remainder of the day, citing serious disruption due to protests. The airport authority said Monday it had canceled all flights not yet checked in by the afternoon. Around 5,000 anti-government protesters had been demonstrating at the airport for a fourth day on Monday. Some activists had reportedly moved to the departure area and caused disruption, according to the Hong Kong police. The air


Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest terminals, has canceled all departures for the remainder of the day, citing serious disruption due to protests. The airport authority said Monday it had canceled all flights not yet checked in by the afternoon. Around 5,000 anti-government protesters had been demonstrating at the airport for a fourth day on Monday. Some activists had reportedly moved to the departure area and caused disruption, according to the Hong Kong police. The air
Hong Kong airport cancels all flights for the remainder of the day due to protests Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-12  Authors: matt clinch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, airport, cancels, remainder, canceled, serious, flights, day, public, hong, international, disruption, kong, protests, car


Hong Kong airport cancels all flights for the remainder of the day due to protests

Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest terminals, has canceled all departures for the remainder of the day, citing serious disruption due to protests.

The airport authority said Monday it had canceled all flights not yet checked in by the afternoon. Around 5,000 anti-government protesters had been demonstrating at the airport for a fourth day on Monday. Some activists had reportedly moved to the departure area and caused disruption, according to the Hong Kong police. The police declined to say if it would move to clear the demonstrators.

The airport authority said in a statement: “Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today.”

“The traffic to the airport is very congested, and the car park spaces at all car parks are already full. Members of the public are advised not to come to the airport,” it added. It later advised all passengers to leave the terminal building as soon as possible.

The increasingly violent protests since June have plunged the Asian financial hub into its most serious crisis in decades and are one of the biggest popular challenges to Chinese leader Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-08-12  Authors: matt clinch
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, airport, cancels, remainder, canceled, serious, flights, day, public, hong, international, disruption, kong, protests, car


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