Hong Kong Situation Update from Teneo, 14 October

Source: Teneo.com 

Information reveived via InvestHK from Teneo, the Global CEO Advisory Firm

Overview – Monday, 14 October:

  • First public rally since implementation of mask ban aims to support US bill passage
    · US Senators in HK criticize Lam administration, while President Xi warns separatists
    · Internal CEO memos on HK leaked, as protest impact to restaurant and luxury sector continues

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HK Protests & Related Developments

A rally in support of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act will be held tonight in Chater Garden in the first public gathering approved by police since the implementation of the mask ban (link). Central was experiencing large crowds as of this writing. The MTR will close all lines except the Airport Express will close tonight at 10pm, despite full service being restored to its transit operations (link).

Over the weekend, a range of smaller scale “flash mob” protests occurred across Kowloon and the New Territories as protesters were said to have changed tactics to avoid arrest (link & link). Police stated a total of 201 were arrested since last Friday, including two suspects involved in the stabbing of a riot control officer in Kwun Tong on Sunday (link & link).

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung published a blog on Sunday to call for mutual respect from lawmakers and outlined previously announced initiatives to support the city’s economy (Chinese – link). The LegCo Finance Committee also carried out an election for its chair roles (link).

SCMP reported this weekend that Edwin Choy has resigned as Vice-Chair of the Hong Kong Bar Association. The report stated Choy disagreed with the Bar Association’s position on the protests, while the organization has yet to comment on the resignation (link & link)

Regional & Global Political Affairs

Reports from HK-based media have suggested the US Congress may vote on the HK Human Rights & Democracy Act when it resumes this week (link). President Trump also spoke on HK when meeting with Vice Premier Liu He, and told media he believes the protests have “toned down a lot” and the situation would “take care of itself”, but did not mention the potential bill (link).

President Xi Jinping included a warning in his public remarks during a state visit to Nepal, stating that any attempts by ‘separatists’ to split China would be ‘crushed’. The comments were seen as having been made in relation to recent events in HK (link & link).

US Senator Cruz was in HK over the weekend, where he criticized CE Lam for cancelling a meeting due to disagreements over confidentiality (link). Cruz also issued a statement noting that he plans to “host a series of hearings on corporate America enabling Chinese censorship” later in October (link).

The HK government responded to Cruz stating the Senator had not previously raised ‘any objection’ to a confidential discussion (link). Both the HK government and the Global Times chief editor also criticized Cruz for not condemning violence by protestors (link).

Missouri Senator Hawley has also been in HK through the weekend, making a video statement in front of LegCo today advocating support for the protest movement (link). The Senator also met with Joshua Wong and attended protests in recent days, and continued to advocate support for the HK Human Rights bill (link and link)

Business & Industry Developments

The CEO of e-Sports firm ESL has warned his employees not to “actively engage in” discussion of events in Hong Kong as part of an internal message cited by local media (link).
Financial Secretary Paul Chan commented in a blog that over 100 restaurants have shut down due to the prolonged protests. He urged property owners to impose rent relief for tenants (link).

LVMH was also reported to have experienced a 25% drop in HK revenue from July-September, while an analyst for Citi was cited stating other markets have made up for the decline (link).

Additional Articles & Themes of Interest

CBS: “60 Minutes” reports: Who are the Hong Kong protestors?
Summary: Segment explores the makeup of the HK protest movement, speaking with those committing violence in the streets; following Jimmy Lai, an HK entrepreneur, head of Next Digital media group and outspoken supporter of anti-government protests, as he leads a peaceful protest march; and talking to Bernard Chan, an HK delegate to the Chinese Communist legislature, about what China wants.

SCMP: Hong Kong protests and ‘fake news’: in the psychological war for hearts and minds, disinformation becomes a weapon used by both sides
Summary: Masato Kajimoto is leading a University of Hong Kong (HKU) team scrutinising images, videos and any information from the ongoing anti-government protests, trying to tell which are real, misleading or fake. What is clear is that different camps…spread selective images and videos to sway public opinion, and disinformation…[as] a “psychological warfare” tool wielded by both sides.

The New York Times: A Healthy Fear of China
Summary: Today…there is a palpable fear in the liberal West that Beijing is succeeding where Moscow failed, and that the peculiar blend of Maoist dogmatics, nationalist fervor, one-party meritocracy and surveillance-state capitalism practiced in the People’s Republic of China really is a working alternative to liberal democracy — with cruelty sustained by efficiency, and a resilience that might outstrip our own.

Note: The views presented in this email are those of the authors and are included for informational purposes only. Teneo does not endorse any of the material or views shared.

Potential Significant Protests

*NOTE: The below includes an overview of potential upcoming events, many of which are subject to change as developments unfold. This is provided only as an FYI of potential impact on travel or logistics arrangements in Hong Kong

Date & Time Event & Potential Size Location &
Affected Areas
Additional Details
Daily Wear a Mask Day · Hong Kong · Encouraging HK citizens to wear a mask under the anti-mask law
Monday, 14 October
7:00-10:30pm
“Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” Rally · Charter Garden, Central · To sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the US Congress Meeting resumes
· Invited international guest speakers
Wednesday, 16 October Protest on the First Day of the Legislative Council · Tamar Park · Protestors are likely to occupy areas surrounding the LegCo building.
Friday, 18 October
8:00pm
18 Districts Masked Human Chain · MTR stations along Tsuen Wan Line, Kwun Tong Line, Island Line, and East Rail Line · Protestors will gather at 7:00pm, start the human chain at 8:00pm, and can go starting from 9:00pm
Saturday, 19 October
7:00pm – 9:00pm
International Humanitarian Aid HK SOS Rally · Victoria Park Further details have not been released yet
Sunday, 20 October
8:00-11:00pm
Human Chain in Sha Tin · From Riverpark to Shatin Park · Participants will form a human chain from The Riverpark to Shatin Park
Monday, 21 October
7:00-11:00pm
Sit-in Yuen Long Station · Yuen Long Station · Three months from the attack at Yuen Long Station on 21 July
Saturday, 26 October
1:00pm
Anti-white terror; anti-totalitarianism
rally
· Tamar Park, Admiralty · Stand with the sacked employees because of political stance
Thursday, 31 October
7:00-11:00pm
Never forget 31 August, give us the truth · Prince Edward Station · To commemorate those injured during the 831 incident
· To urge the government to investigate police’s use of violence
Sunday, 27 October to Saturday, 30 November
12:00pm-6:00pm
“Umbrella Movement” 5th Anniversary Exhibition · June 4th Museum, Mong Kok · Seminars, screenings, sharing and various activities will be held during the exhibition period.
· Organized by Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China

Potential Additional Protests

Date & Time Event & Location Location &
Potential Size
Additional Details
Every Monday Secondary School Student Strike · Students · Rallies and strikes at schools
Every day in November Salute to Police Month · Hong Kong · Supported by DAB, Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, and Junius Ho
· Calling for citizens to salute or bow to police officers
· Asking the public to take photos/videos of those who do not follow and report to the organizer

Injunctions

Date of Grant Plaintiff Effective Date Injunction Orders
Friday, 23 Aug 2019 Airport Authority This Order will remain in force until trial or further order Link to the injunction order
Friday, 23 Aug 2019 MTR Corporation Limited This Order will remain in force indefinitely unless it is varied or discharged by a further Order of the Court Link to the injunction order

HK Travel Advisories – October

Location Updated Key Advisory Notes
Hong Kong Airport Still current · Until further notice, only bona fide passengers with a valid air ticket or boarding pass for a flight in the next 24 hours and a valid travel document will be allowed to enter the terminal buildings.
· Passengers should arrive at least three hours before departure to allow sufficient time to pass through newly added control points.
· Other members of the public, including those who may want to accompany departure passengers or receiving arrival passengers at the airport, should not travel to the airport unless absolutely necessary.
Singapore Foreign Ministry Updated: 11 October · Large-scale protests have been taking place across Hong Kong since June 2019 which have become increasingly unpredictable.
· These protests can take place with little or no notice and could turn violent. Road closures and traffic disruptions in the aforementioned areas are expected.
· Singaporeans are advised to defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong, given current developments. If you are already in Hong Kong, you should take all necessary precautions to ensure your personal safety. You are advised to stay vigilant, monitor developments through the local news, and heed the instructions of the local authorities.
· You should avoid protests and large public gatherings, and stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe.
Ireland Foreign Ministry Updated: 11 October
Still current
· High degree of caution
· The violence intensified around the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on 1 October and further demonstrations are likely to take place in the coming days and weeks.
· Such demonstrations can close off large sections of the city and affect public transport. While Causeway Bay and Admiralty and surrounding districts have been the focal point of demonstrations, protests have occurred in many other areas of Hong Kong.
· Urge people to be extra vigilant and are strongly advised to avoid areas where protests and unplanned public gatherings are taking place and to follow the advice of the local authorities.
Australia Foreign Ministry Updated: 4 October
Still current
· Exercise a high degree of caution.
· Protests continue and are less predictable. There is an ongoing risk of violent confrontation. Protests may cause traffic disruptions and affect transport services, including to and from the international airport.
· ‘Flash mob’ demonstrations can take place with little or no warning, clashes between opposing groups and individuals have become less predictable and are expected to continue.
U. K Foreign Ministry Updated: 14 October

Still current

· While a number of peaceful activities have taken place, many other protests have led to clashes between police and protesters involving significant violence.
· Some Mass Transit Railway (MTR) metro stations have been closed – including in major tourist areas – due to damage caused by the protests. You should follow the MTR website for the latest updates before commencing your journey.
· The situation around protests and public gatherings can change quickly, with the potential for violence, especially during unauthorised protests.
· Protests can deviate from planned routes or rally locations and spill over into nearby public spaces, such as shopping centres, housing estates and public transport hubs.
· For important safety and security information surrounding protests, see Political situation
Canada Foreign Ministry Updated: 2 October

Still current

· High degree of caution due to ongoing large-scale demonstrations.
· Although many protest sites are made public in advance, authorised and unauthorized demonstrations can take place with little or no notice. They can quickly spread to surrounding areas, including those frequented by tourists.
Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Updated: 14 August

Still current

· Hong Kong (All the country): Level 1: Please be careful (new)
· Protests, some guerrilla-like, take place despite police disapproval. There is also a tendency for conflicts between protesters and police authorities to escalate.
· Protests are taking place in a wide range of Hong Kong, including airports and some tourist spots.
Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Updated: 5 October

Still current

· Since the beginning of June 2019, large-scale demonstrations, unannounced protests and calls for strike have repeatedly led to disruption of public life, inner-city traffic, such as the closure of metro stations (MTR), as well as partial interruptions of air traffic at Hong Kong International Airport.
· Violent clashes between demonstrators and the police also take place during the protests, in part with the use of water throwing and tear gas. The protests are occasionally increasingly without prior notice in districts for which no demonstrations or rallies are allowed.
U.S Department of State- Bureau of Consular Affairs Updated: 7 October · Hong Kong – Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution
· While protests are generally peaceful, they sometimes become violent and disrupt transportation across Hong Kong.
· The protests and confrontations have spilled over into neighborhoods other than those where the police have permitted marches or rallies.
· U.S. citizens, as well as U.S. Consulate General employees, have been subject to a People’s Republic of China propaganda campaign falsely accusing the United States of fomenting unrest in Hong Kong.
Consulate General of India Updated: 13 August · Indian passengers are advised to be in touch with airlines to find alternative travel routes to avoid inconvenience, till normalcy is restored in airport operations.
· Indian passengers who are already in Hong Kong and waiting to depart are advised to be in touch with their respective airlines for information about likely timelines for resumption of their flights.

Upcoming Key Events

Date Event & Location Relevant Attendees Potential Developments
Tuesday,
Weekly
HK Executive Council Meeting · Chief Executive Lam and all senior administrative officials · Chief Executive has held occasional press conferences prior to private ExCo meetings
· Has been a primary government channel on the protests to date
Friday, 4 – Thursday, 17 October Nomination period for District Council · The nomination period will occur in an ordinary fashion
· District Council elections have been speculated to be delayed
Wednesday, 16 October HK Legislative Council in Session · Legco members
· Senior government officials
· Legco year of 2019-2020 starts after damages at the Legco buildings
· New motions and queries will be heard at general and committee meetings, along with items continued for debate from last Legco year
Wednesday, 16 October Chief Executive Policy Address · Chief Executive Lam · Previously held 10 October, not fixed and can move to later. CY Leung made addresses in January
· Lam will present the policy address at 11am
· Secretary for Security John Lee will announce bill withdrawal after speech
Wednesday, 16 October Question Session for Lawmakers · Chief Executive Lam
· LegCo members
· A 90-minute long session for lawmakers to raise questions on the policy address
Sunday, 24 November HK District Council Elections · Local political parties and groups · Pending announcement of the nomination period
· Young individuals with no political affiliation are seen setting up Facebook pages to promote visions
· Election Affairs Commission
Saturday, 11 January Taiwan General Election · Presidential and local elections · HK and ‘One Country, Two Systems’, may become the defining issue of the election, alongside economy

Taylor Brown
Senior Associate
Teneo
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+852 3655 0521
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