Foreign corporations in Hong Kong are nervously considering their options after the passage of Beijing’s totalitarian “national security law” with several already closing their local offices.
Chinese Communist operations are moving quickly to fill the gap by committing billions of dollars in capital to the island.
Apple Daily noted a “string of brand-name departures from the city” as the national security law took shape in Beijing’s rubber-stamp legislature, including Victoria’s Secret, Esprit, Forever 21, Jack Willis, and Greek jewelry chain Folli Follie.
Some of these corporate withdrawals have come in anticipation of U.S. sanctions and other nations withdrawing the special trade privileges Hong Kong has enjoyed in its autonomy.
“I believe that there’s a good chance that all companies who have Hong Kong as their headquarters for Asia will begin to rethink whether the new rules — the new relationship between Hong Kong and mainland China — whether those rules let Hong Kong be as favorable a place to have headquarters as it used to be,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted Wednesday. MORE