AP Interview: U.S. companies in Hong Kong face risks, AmCham says

AP Interview: U.S. companies in Hong Kong face risks, AmCham says


Hong Kong (AP) — US companies operating in Hong Kong need to reassess their businesses and determine if the risks of doing business there are worth the rewards, said the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. Said in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday.

Tara Joseph said Hong Kong companies are in the midst of a conflict between the United States and China. Her remarks followed a recommendation issued by the US government on Friday to warn businesses about the risks of the former British colony.

Sino-US relations are deteriorating amid heightened tensions over the US-China trade war and China’s political opposition in Hong Kong. The Biden administration cited changing legal conditions in Hong Kong and increased control by the Communist Party-controlled government in Beijing as increased risk.

“The business environment is certainly more complex than it used to be. As long as the business goes here, we’re definitely in a new and normal state,” Joseph said.

“Not only this recommendation, but the overall concern, when it comes to Hong Kong, will be a certain backlash between the United States and China …. (This) is caught in the middle in many ways. Has been done, “she said.

According to US government recommendations, doing business in Hong Kong can lead to reputational, legal damage and data privacy risks.

Hong Kong officials have accused it of “stirring unfounded horror” and accused the United States of hypocrisy and dual standards.

Beijing has retreated the freedom promised to Hong Kong for 50 years when Britain handed over the colony in 1997. A drastic national security law was imposed in June last year, arresting more than 100 supporters of democratization, including Jimmy Lai. The Apple Daily Democratization Promotion Newspaper was forced to shut down after authorities arrested at least seven staff members and frozen millions of dollars in assets.

Over the past year, Hong Kong authorities have amended election legislation to arrest most of the city’s most prominent democratic activists, taking pandemic public health risks despite months of low coronavirus infection. Banned large-scale protests for reasons. These moves have attracted criticism from the United States and other Western governments.

China argued that Hong Kong’s problems were part of China’s internal affairs and that other governments should not interfere.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong represents the business interests of the United States in Hong Kong. The organization said last week it doubled its commitment and bought a new office to make the job easier.

Mr Joseph said the Biden administration’s recommendations could affect the view of US companies that are not yet doing business in Hong Kong. However, the city continues to be an important hub for doing business with mainland China.

Hong Kong has an independent customs territory and, on the surface, an independent judicial system, but due to the recent tendency to designate many issues as falling under the National Security Act, experts are familiar with Hong Kong’s famous “law”. I am concerned that “the rule of law” has been impaired.

“Currently, the rule of law really drives businesses in an international environment. At this point, commercial law is very healthy and it is very important to the business community,” said Joseph.

“But the signs that it’s unraveling and the actual changes that’re happening there can raise a lot of concern,” she said.

Joseph said he hopes Hong Kong will succeed in maintaining these global standards.

“If we undermine it, it can be difficult for Hong Kong to maintain its role, but we hope that people will understand and recognize that maintaining business here and in Hong Kong is beneficial to both parties. To maintain our position as a gateway, “she said.

AP Interview: U.S. companies in Hong Kong face risks, AmCham says

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