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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Starbucks, banks among HK protest targets

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Starbucks, banks among HK protest targets
Starbucks, banks among HK protest targets

Hong Kong anti-government protesters are increasingly focusing their anger on mainland Chinese businesses and those with pro-Beijing links.

Ryan Brooks reports.

As Hong Kong mopped up after a day of violence protesters focused their ongoing anger on companies linked to the Chinese mainland.

Graffiti and posters have increased along marching routes and the morning after another day of clashes crews work quickly to either scrub it clean - or cover it up until they can.

The corporate targets are well known in the city.

At least least two Bank of China ATMs were set on fire Tuesday (October 2).

Some Starbucks outlets were also vandalized.

While the brand is an American coffee chain, it's locally operated by Maxim's Caterers.

That's become a target after the daughter of the company's founder condemned protesters at the UN human rights council in Geneva.

The city's MTR rail system also shut down 50 stations, ostensibly to stop protester movements.

That made them a target for demonstrators who blame the company for doing the bidding of the goverment.

Hong Kong is an Asian base for many global businesses.

But companies are walking a thin line between protesters and China's Communist Party rulers in Beijing.

One of earliest and biggest names to struggle with that has been Cathay Pacific.

In August, China demanded the airline suspend staff involved in protests.

The company's chairman and CEO have since stepped down, and Cathay's share price was pummelled.

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions says at least 20 pilots and cabin crew have been fired.

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