World: From Shake Shack to Starbucks, the Hong Kong-China standoff is proving bad for business - PressFrom - US
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World From Shake Shack to Starbucks, the Hong Kong-China standoff is proving bad for business

01:05  09 october  2019
01:05  09 october  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

2 Hong Kong protesters charged under mask ban

  2 Hong Kong protesters charged under mask ban Two protestors were charged Monday in the first violations of Hong Kong's new ban on wearing masks at rallies, the Associated Press reported.An 18-year-old student and a 38-year-old woman were the first to be prosecuted under the ban, which was instituted by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Friday using emergency powers.The two were detained Saturday shortly after the ban's implementation. An 18-year-old student and a 38-year-old woman were the first to be prosecuted under the ban, which was instituted by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Friday using emergency powers.

HONG KONG — One after another, the Starbucks outlets in the Wan Chai district just east of central Hong Kong were smashed up. Hong Kong ’s pro-democracy protesters have turned their anger toward businesses perceived as supportive of Beijing, with even American brands such as the

Shake Shack ’s Asian expansion continues: The NYC-born burger and fries darling opened in Hong Kong earlier this week. businesses were mostly prohibited there just three decades ago. Highly publicized domestic food scandals like tainted baby formula and mislabeled meats mean the average

HONG KONG —One after another, the Starbucks outlets in the Wan Chai district just east of central Hong Kong were smashed up.

a person cooking hot dogs on a grill: A store vandalized by protesters who believe it to be associated with organized crime groups during a protest against a government ban on face masks in Hong Kong last week.© Laurel Chor/Getty Images A store vandalized by protesters who believe it to be associated with organized crime groups during a protest against a government ban on face masks in Hong Kong last week.

One, set on fire and vandalized just days before and boarded up, was splattered with fresh expletive-laden graffiti Sunday. The glass door on another was broken, the sharp tiny shards littering the sidewalk. The green logo of the twin-tailed mermaid on another store was defaced by black spray paint.

China warns Apple against 'reckless' support of HK protesters

  China warns Apple against 'reckless' support of HK protesters China's state media accused Apple Wednesday of supporting pro-democracy protesters, warning the US tech giant would suffer consequences for its "unwise and reckless" decision, in an echo of campaigns against other Western firms. An opinion piece in the People's Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, highlighted a transport app available on Apple's store that it alleged helped protesters identify police in Hong Kong.

Stand with Hong Kong ,” a message of support for pro-Democracy protests that have swelled over the summer. In response, the Chinese Basketball Association announced it would sever ties with the From Shake Shack to Starbucks , the Hong Kong - China standoff is proving bad for business .

That is what China did. It purchased whatever soul the NBA had. It bought off a league many observers thought in recent years was some sort of paragon to progressivism despite evidence to From Shake Shack to Starbucks , the Hong Kong - China standoff is proving bad for business .

Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters have turned their anger toward businesses perceived as supportive of Beijing, with even American brands such as the Seattle-based global coffee chain and upscale burger joint Shake Shack becoming targets. It’s not the corporations that are in the crosshairs but rather the local franchisee, Maxim’s Group, which is detested for perceptions that it backs China over the pro-democracy protests.

The pressure, however, is arguably even more intense from the other side. Beijing has been hypervigilant about any local or international corporation that has expressed even a shred of sympathy for the protest movement.

Among the hardest hit has been Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways, where about three dozen employees have been fired for making comments perceived as supporting the pro-democracy demonstrators.

Apple removes Taiwan flag emoji from iOS in Hong Kong

  Apple removes Taiwan flag emoji from iOS in Hong Kong Apple appears to have removed the Taiwan flag from the emoji keyboard of users that have their iOS region set to Hong Kong or Macau, according to a number of local websites, including Hiraku. The change, implemented via a software update, comes not long after the company released its iOS 13 operating system, and highlights the complicated relationship that Apple -- and indeed many American companies -- have with China. Apple's region lock of ROCApple's region lock of ROC Taiwan flag ???????? extended beyond CN devices to HK and Macau's in the iOS/iPadOS 13.1.1 rollout. Interestingly, the new lock only affects the keyboard, and has no problem displaying and is easy to bypass by switching region. https://t.co/RVRKNQyc1lpic.twitter.

Like its other international locations, Shake Shack in Hong Kong will serve burgers, chicken China 's fast-food industry is currently growing more than three times faster than the US fast-food industry Shake Shack is expected to open 14 restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau over the next decade, in

Shake Shack , restaurateur Danny Meyer’s cult-beloved burger chain, plans to open a location in Hong Kong next year. Eventually, the burger brand hopes to open restaurants in Shake Shack already operates locations in Tokyo and Seoul, and plans to expand further in those cities in the next decade.

But jitters have spread beyond the city’s borders, with shoe brand Vans, Spanish fashion house Zara and even the National Basketball Association getting caught between Hong Kong and Beijing.

The mounting pressure from protesters and authorities in Beijing is exposing a harsh truth for Hong Kong. Its days as a Western-friendly global financial hub, perfectly positioned to access the lucrative Chinese market, appear numbered. Hong Kong’s strong suit has become its weakness as companies get trapped on either side of a spiraling confrontation.

“Hong Kong as Asia’s world city is finished. There is no way that Hong Kong can recapture its reputation as an efficient, safe, well-governed, orderly place to live and work and do business anymore,” said Mike Chinoy, a Hong Kong-based nonresident senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s U.S.-China Institute. “Some of this stuff you can’t put back together.”

Apple removes Hong Kong protest app following Chinese pressure

  Apple removes Hong Kong protest app following Chinese pressure Apple's complex relationship with China has made the headlines again. Just a day after Chinese state media criticized the company for allowing HKmap in its App Store -- and a week after Apple flip flopped on its initial decision to delist the app -- the crowdsourced map app has been removed, again sparking concerns that Apple is pandering to China's political regime. The app, which shares information on the location of pro-democracy protests and police activity in Hong Kong, was slammed by China Daily -- owned by the Communist Party of China -- for enabling "rioters in Hong Kong to go on violent acts," adding that Apple has to "think about the consequences of its

They also brought Shake Shack to Hong Kong in 2017. The protests have made this a very tricky time for businesses in Hong Kong . Cathay Pacific saw its top executives forced to step down and veteran staff fired after their expressions of support for the protests angered Beijing.

They also brought Shake Shack to Hong Kong in 2017. McDonald’s Hong Kong and China business , for example, is 52%-owned China ’s state-owned conglomerate CITIC Group. And before coming into the sights of protesters, Starbucks drew ire on Chinese social media after a barista in

'Very bad' impact

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam acknowledged in a news conference Tuesday that Hong Kong’s economy is being battered, saying that last quarter’s economic data is likely to be “very bad.” Goldman Sachs in a research note last week estimated that up to $4 billion in capital left Hong Kong for Singapore over the summer.

In an American Chamber of Commerce survey in August, half of respondents said they thought Hong Kong’s reputation as a regional base had been tarnished, along with its status as a “model of effective and business-friendly governance.”

More than 80 percent of companies polled said the ongoing unrest was affecting plans for future investments.

a group of people standing in front of a store: People take photographs of a Starbucks shop damaged by pro-democracy protesters during clashes with police in Hong Kong last week.© Chris McGrath/Getty Images People take photographs of a Starbucks shop damaged by pro-democracy protesters during clashes with police in Hong Kong last week.

The survey was conducted even before the campaign against brands with perceived pro-China connections. Police said Tuesday that more than 200 cases of vandalism had occurred over the past four days, crimes that go “beyond the freedom-of-speech argument” and will be punished in accordance with the law.

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Shake Shack Hong Kong , Hong Kong . 12K likes. Opening Days: Monday to Sunday Opening Shake Shack ® is a modern day “roadside” burger stand known for its delicious, all-natural burgers, f Cost of fries alon e was more than an entire BgMc meal, and they were worse than McDonalds

All Starbucks outlets in Hong Kong are operated by Maxim's, a large food and beverage conglomerate that has been a key broker for U.S. restaurant chains looking to " Starbucks -Maxim's is supporting China and not just doing business ," said Mr. Chan, the person who started the petition, adding that

Aside from MTR Corp., the subway operator considered now to be siding with authorities to suppress the protests, demonstrators have taken aim at the franchises operated by Maxim’s Group, Chinese banks and chambers of commerce, and businesses run by the Fujian community, a group from a southeastern Chinese province that has suspected links to pro-Beijing organized crime.

Some have even created guides and fliers, disseminated online and plastered all over Hong Kong, instructing their fellow protesters about what to target — hoping to instill some discipline and counter the government narrative that they are indiscriminate rioters.

Using cute graphics featuring a cartoon pig, the leaflets describe why one business should be smashed up and another supported. They have apologized to those inadvertently targeted, such as an HSBC bank branch graffitied along with a Bank of China branch, and helped them clean up the mess.

U.S. brands such as Starbucks, which declined to comment for this article, are now being pushed to rethink their association with these Hong Kong businesses or risk their stores being routinely damaged and boycotted.

“We won’t trust a business anymore once they have betrayed us,” said Sam, 32, a front-line protester who Sunday threw a petrol bomb into a Xiaomi store, a prominent Chinese electronics brand. “We Hong Kongers are beginning to know how to make a choice, to support the pro-democracy stores rather than pro-Beijing megacorporations.” He spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals from authorities.

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But Shake Shack is changing more than what people eat and how much they pay for it. Millennial rebellion. Although the appeal of burgers and concretes - Mr Meyer's take on milkshakes In that model, food is generally prepared off -site, meaning more chemicals and industrial suppliers are used.

Starbucks is introducing a new store concept in China in Shanghai: All-day dining, featuring fresh Italian food, according to a Bloomberg report . “The Starbucks Reserve Bakery Cafe is, along with the already-opened Reserve Roastery, part of the company's Siren Retail strategy,” says equity analyst

A statement from Maxim’s said, “we genuinely hope all parties will resolve their differences and our community may resume normal operations again soon.”

Yet the pressure from Beijing is hard to ignore.

China’s pressure has extended to global banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered and BNP Paribas. The latter, a global French financial institution, distanced itself from bank lawyer Jason Ng after he posted a pro-democracy post criticizing pro-China supporters on Facebook late last month. He has since resigned.

a person holding a blue umbrella: Protesters vandalize a store during a march against government ban on face masks in Kowloon on Oct. 6, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.© Laurel Chor/Getty Images Protesters vandalize a store during a march against government ban on face masks in Kowloon on Oct. 6, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.

“It has become clear to me that I can no longer juggle my day job and my activism work,” Ng wrote on Facebook. “If I must pick one, I will always choose the latter and I did.”

Felix Chung, a pro-Beijing lawmaker, said concerns about China’s influence on international companies working in Hong Kong and doing business in the mainland were overblown.

“If people worry about China, how come there are so many international companies and multinational companies that step into the Chinese market?” he asked. “If they think China is a very dictating country, why do they still do business with China?”

The “big market,” he added, presents an opportunity for “big money.”

Airline purge

Cathay Pacific became one of the earliest and most significant examples of how far Beijing’s authority could reach into Hong Kong.

After singling out the airline and its 20,000 Hong Kong-based staff members, China’s aviation regulator forced an overhaul of policy at the company and barred those who had participated in protests from flying into or over the mainland. The chief executive, one of his deputies and the chairman have been replaced.

Tim Cook defends Apple’s decision to remove Hong Kong protest app

  Tim Cook defends Apple’s decision to remove Hong Kong protest app Less than a day after Apple sparked controversy by removing a Hong Kong protest app, CEO Tim Cook has defended the decision. Apple removed the HKmap.live app after China Daily -- owned by the Communist Party of China -- criticized the company for listing it in the App Store. In an internal letter, Cook wrote, "we believe this decision best protects our users." According to Reuters, Cook said Apple based the decision on "credible information"According to Reuters, Cook said Apple based the decision on "credible information" from Hong Kong police and Apple users.

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Once told that they would never be penalized for their political leanings, union representatives as well as current and former Cathay employees say a purge has begun, resulting in the firing of more than 30 employees thought to have even mild protest sympathies.

The Washington Post spoke to more than half a dozen former employees of Cathay Pacific and its regional arm, Cathay Dragon, who told nearly identical stories of abrupt firings after they were confronted by superiors with printouts of their private social media accounts and conversations in encrypted message groups.

All of the terminated Cathay employees who spoke to The Post said they were now seeking jobs outside of the airline industry, noting that three of the four airlines based in Hong Kong are owned by Cathay and that the fourth, Hong Kong Airlines, is owned by a Chinese company.

“No [airline] company would take a chance on me if they heard about what happened,” said Yeung, 34, a senior flight attendant terminated last month after 13 years of service, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid possibly harming his job hunt.

In an emailed response to questions, a spokesman for Cathay Pacific said the company “fully supports the upholding of the Basic Law,” referring to the framework that gives Hong Kong significant autonomy from China, but said the company also has to comply with regulations in all jurisdictions to which it flies.

For many, however, it is the increasing acquiescence to the regulations in mainland China that is forever changing Hong Kong and taking away what once made it so attractive for business.

“People still don’t understand how terrible this place could be if the whole place is turned into China under the Cultural Revolution,” Yeung said. “I don’t recognize this place anymore.”

Tiffany Liang contributed to this report.

Blizzard halves 'Hearthstone' pro's suspension over Hong Kong protests .
Three days after Blizzard handed down a year-long ban to pro Hearthstone player 'Blitzchung,' aka Ng Wai Chung, the company has walked back its decision. In a letter to fans Blizzard president J. Allen Brack stated that they decided since he played fairly, he is entitled to his winnings, which had been stripped after he called for the liberation of Hong Kong during a postgame interview. The suspension for Blitzchung and the Taiwanese shoutcasters who were interviewing him is now six months, as "a consequence for taking the conversation away from the purpose of the event and disrupting or derailing the broadcast.

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