Since so many American businesses—Apple, Alphabet, the NBA, to name a few—put their individual fiscal game ahead of American values, especially regarding Hong Kong and its citizens ongoing struggle for their own liberties (which just happen to lie at the core of our values), here are some thoughts on the fiscal value of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.

Since 1997, mainland Chinese companies have raised $335 billion by floating in Hong Kong, tapping a broader range of shareholders than they could onshore.
…since the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to its US equivalent, and the city has no capital controls, a listing there can generate hard currency for foreign takeovers and investments. It would be harder to use a Shanghai stock sale for the same goal.

And [emphasis added]

For global investors, Shanghai and Shenzhen have become more accessible. But investors typically prefer Hong Kong’s legal protections, and they have other concerns about mainland markets, including the difficulties of moving money out.


Hong Kong is by far the largest offshore center for bond sales by Chinese firms. Companies can borrow for longer than they can onshore and, crucially, can raise funds in hard currency….


Hong Kong serves as the main offshore hub for yuan loans, bonds, and trading.

Interestingly [emphasis added],

When it comes to dollar bonds, big state-backed banks and industrial companies even prefer to sell these in Hong Kong…. US deals would be overseen by American regulators and would require greater disclosure.


Hong Kong is a preferred location for Chinese and international financiers or business people to conduct transactions because it has a Western-style legal and regulatory system that is seen as fair and nonpolitical.

In sum,

…Hong Kong stands out from its mainland rivals for its rule of law, competent regulators, low taxes, free movement of capital, and use of English.
Neither Shanghai nor [the People’s Republic of] China’s free-trade zones “can really compete with what Hong Kong is and does….”

Hong Kong is still [the People’s Republic of] China’s financial window on the world, and the rest of the world’s financial window on [the PRC].

RTWT; there’s more.

Sadly, too many of our major corporations don’t have the moral underpinnings to exercise that leverage.  Apple’s Tim Cook would rather the prestige of sitting as Chairman of a major university in Beijing.  Alphabet would rather work on censorable search engines for the PRC and help develop AI tools for the PRC’s government and People’s Liberation Army than it would work with our own defense establishment on such tools or refuse to support PRC censorship.  And we’ve seen, just in last couple of weeks, how the NBA as a whole, and its individual team staffs and players think their pocket books are more important than the rights of others.

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