As an African proverb goes, when elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. Currently, Hong Kong is finding itself in the position of that grass. Starting this month, locally-made goods can no longer be exported to the United States with the label “Made in Hong Kong”. More on that later.
But first, tech giants such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have dominated the world for decades. Today though, so-called “platform” companies and the “platform economy” are in the ascendant. One research report by McKinsey suggests more than 30% of global economic activity - some US$60 trillion - could be mediated by digital platforms within the next six years. And that concerns regulators everywhere, including in mainland China, where the government worries that digital platform companies such as Tencent, and Alibaba and its affiliated Ant Group, could be getting too big and too influential.
As his presidential term started, Donald Trump was sometimes full of praises for Chinese President Xi Jinping. Later though, he changed tack, accusing China of unfair trading practices and intellectual property theft and initiating a trade war with China in 2018. The US has since imposed hefty tariffs on Chinese goods, and China has naturally retaliated. In January, both sides called a truce, but Hong Kong has been caught in the US-China crossfire. Since the introduction of the National Security Law in May, the United States has revoked Hong Kong’s special trade status and imposed sanctions on top local and mainland officials. And starting this month, the “Made in Hong Kong” label is no longer allowed on locally-made goods exported to the US.
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香港电台2020/11/20 12:03:28 (UTC)1481