“If companies make political statements, they must accept the following corporate responsibilities,” Cumming said. Said.
Even before Wong’s photo was published, HSBC faced a difficult situation. Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-Ying had previously chosen the bank for silence in the law, demanding that HSBC express its support.
Even Pompeo stated that HSBC is still facing a cold welcome in China.
“This spectacle show seems to have little respect for HSBC in Beijing, which continues to use the Chinese bank’s business as a political leverage,” the Chinese Communist Party said as a warning story about “browsing” HSBC. ” Said. “
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that everyone “has the right to make merit-based independent decisions”.
“For some in the U.S., perhaps the world lies in just two categories – either they’re with the U.S. and they have to attack China,” Hua Chunying said in response to a question about Pompeo’s statement. “These views are narrow-minded and absurd.”
The attacks are a major headache for HSBC, which started more than 150 years ago as Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to finance trade between Asia and Europe. The bank still has an important commercial asset in the region: Last year, the Hong Kong and Chinese divisions drew enough money to eliminate losses in the UK and keep the company profitable.
HSBC declined to comment. The bank’s shares traded in Hong Kong closed 1.5% on Wednesday.
As a British business, the bank faces the risk of collateral damage between the UK and China.
“It is not surprising that the Chinese have settled in HSBC as a target,” Lam said. Said.
According to Lam, Washington is “trying to form an allied coalition” against Beijing. He said that Pompeo’s decision to call HSBC reflects “severe” tensions, especially between the US and China.
– Eoin McSweeney, Isaac Yee and Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report.