Yahoofinance, Hong Kong International Airport, Sun Hung Kai, Hong Kong, Mainland China

Yahoofinance, Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong billionaire ends silence, urges protesters to think

Hong Kong billionaire ends silence, asks protesters to think. #YahooFinance


Hong Kong billionaire ends silence, asks protesters to think. YahooFinance

Ten weeks into the protests that have rattled the Asian financial hub to its core, Hong Kong ’s billionaires are beginning to break their silence as the costs of escalating violence mount.

By Blake Schmidt and Sheryl Tian Tong Lee (Bloomberg) -- Peter Woo, the largest shareholder and former chairman of developer Wheelock & Co., on Monday called on protesters to ease off after they notched a victory by blocking the government’s extradition bill. Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd., controlled by the city’s wealthiest clan -- the Kwoks -- issued a statement Tuesday condemning the violent protests and calling for rationality. Woo’s comments, published in the Hong Kong Economic Journal, come as the city’s airport canceled flights after a night of clashes that saw riot cops fire tear gas in a subway station and protesters lash out at undercover officers. Two months of unrest have also weighed on the territory’s stock market, wiping more than $1 billion from Woo’s personal wealth. “It’s time to think deeply,” Woo wrote. “Going against the extradition bill was the ‘big tree’ of this movement. This one and only big appeal has already been accepted by the government, so this tree has fallen.” Some people are using the issue to “purposely stir up trouble,” he added. Hong Kong’s unrest has spiraled since the initial anger was sparked by the proposed bill that would have allowed extraditions from the territory to mainland China. As graphic scenes of violence between police and protesters went viral on social media, a turning point came on July 21, when a mob of men attacked protesters with poles at the Yuen Long subway station. The perceived passivity of the police response to that incident spurred outrage and shifted the protesters’ focus from the extradition bill to law enforcement and the territory’s government more broadly. Weakened by the turmoil, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has refused to resign. She has followed Beijing’s stance not to give in to protesters’ demands, which include an independent inquiry into the use of force by police and the release of detainees, following hundreds of arrests. Signs of economic fallout from the constant turmoil are starting to show. Flanked by business leaders on Aug. 9, Lam said the aftershocks could hit Hong Kong’s economy like a “tsunami.” The Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong issued a statement Aug. 8 condemning violence and calling for peace. Seventeen members co-signed, including Woo’s Wheelock, as well as Sun Hung Kai and Li Ka-Shing’s Hutchison Properties. Another appeal published in Chinese-language papers was issued on Aug. 10, with co-signers including Kwok family members as well as billionaire Henry Cheng of New World Development. Woo, Li and Cheng also were among billionaires who opposed plans for a mass sit-in at the city’s financial district in 2014. Cheng said at the time that the protests -- led by an activist group known as Occupy Central With Love and Peace -- could offend Communist Party leaders in Beijing and hurt the company’s jewelry sales in Hong Kong. Last week, Wheelock’s Wharf Holdings reported falling underlying profit and said demand in Hong Kong weakened due to “travel advisories, economic slowdown, contracting exports/re-exports, falling retail sales, stock market jitters and the threat to employment.” Sun Hung Kai, Hong Kong’s biggest developer, faced criticism after clashes last month at one of its malls in Sha Tin. The company denied protesters’ allegations that the firm invited the police into New Town Plaza. At the Harbour City center in Tsim Sha Tsui, owned by a unit of Woo’s Wheelock, protesters canceled a plan to swarm the mall in the wake of the New Town Plaza incident after management put up signs asking police not to enter unless a crime was taking place. Sun Hung Kai issued a statement on Tuesday asking protesters to think about their actions. “The recent series of violent acts to challenge the rule of law have damaged Hong Kong’s economy and seriously affect citizens’ daily life,” Sun Hung Kai said. The company would support the government and police to restore order, according to the statement. Aftershocks have spilled over into other industries. Protesters have been circulating a spreadsheet aimed at boycotting brands perceived to be supportive of the establishment, while China has also been exerting economic pressure. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. staff who join the protests face a ban on flights to the mainland, and the Gianni Versace luxury brand apologized for a shirt that allegedly implied Hong Kong wasn’t part of China. Story continuesHousing CrisisSome development tycoons say Hong Kong’s population has reason for discontent. Lan Kwai Fong Group head Allan Zeman said on Bloomberg TV Monday that urgent solutions are needed to address the territory’s housing crisis. “A lot of these people, I don’t blame them for marching because they don’t have hope,” said Zeman, whose holdings spanning Hong Kong, mainland China and Thailand include the city’s California tower. “They live with their parents, they don’t see a future for themselves.” In his column, Woo focused on violence wrought by protesters, but not the actions of the police, who he described as “outnumbered.” Wheelock gets about 38% of its revenue from mainland China, making him one of the most exposed to China among Hong Kong’s property billionaires. The son of an architect, Shanghai-born Woo moved to Hong Kong as a child amid the city’s postwar construction boom. He studied business at Columbia University and married the daughter of tycoon Yue-kong Pao. Woo later structured his father-in-law’s holdings as Wheelock & Co., which he stepped down from as chairman in 2015. He was replaced by his son Douglas. © 2019 Bloomberg L.P. Read more: Yahoo Singapore

First signs of terrorism emerging in Hong Kong protests: Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office HONG KONG (AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS) - China on Monday (Aug 12) slammed violent protesters in Hong Kong who had used 'dangerous tools ' to attack police officers and warned that 'signs of terrorism are emerging'. . Read more at These are people peacefully protesting and they are about to be attacked by government forces The definition of terrorism seems to depend largely on what’s explained by the Beijing English Dictionary. If it is true that terrorism is emerging in Hong Kong, then the question arises as to why this is so? Terrorism does not emerge from nowhere - there are causes for it. One is where governments refuse to listen to their polities, to learn of their grievances through discussion.

Canadian PM Trudeau urges China to show restraint in Hong KongOTTAWA (AFP) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday (Aug 12) urged China to be 'very careful' in how it responds to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and to heed their 'legitimate' demands.. Read more at none of his biz INDEED.

Hong Kong leader urges calm as protest tensions rise; airport reopens HONG KONGHong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday (Aug 13) the city's recovery from protests that have swept the Asian financial hub could take a long time and that she would be responsible for rebuilding its economy

Hong Kong stocks dive as protests rumble, China anger builds HONG KONG : Hong Kong stocks tumbled on Tuesday (Aug 13) as protests that have jolted the city for more than two months fuel political and economic ...

Chinese state media ups ante over Hong Kong 'mobsters'BEIJING: Chinese state media have ramped up the rhetoric against Hong Kong 's pro-democracy campaigners, describing them on Tuesday (Aug 13) as ...

Stranded passengers voice support for Hong Kong protesters HONG KONG : Travellers in Hong Kong 's airport voiced support for pro-democracy demonstrators on Tuesday (Aug 13), despite an overnight occupation ...

Scotland to approve free sanitary products for all women

Indonesia pressured to do more to detect coronavirus amid zero reported cases

Japanese woman reinfected with coronavirus weeks after initial recovery

Coronavirus: Switzerland confirms its first case

Johor's Pakatan Harapan state government falls, new coalition to take over

SMRT to cut pay, bonus as coronavirus crisis continues

Man loses PR status, barred from re-entering Singapore after breaching Stay-Home Notice

Write Comment

Thank you for your comment.
Please try again later.

Latest News


13 August 2019, Tuesday News

Previous news

Indian-controlled Kashmir under strict lockdown for 9th day

Next news

Exclusive: Google's jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals
Bullied Australian boy to donate $633,000 to charity Coronavirus cases in Singapore can rise anytime, premature to say worst is over, says MOH's chief health scientist Discharged coronavirus patients here no longer have viable virus and will not spread disease: NCID Muslim travel agents in Singapore call for patience after Saudi Arabia suspends entry for pilgrims Shincheonji: the secretive sect in South Korean virus outbreak Coronavirus: Iran's death toll reaches 26, says health ministry Shenzhen prepares ban on eating cats and dogs after COVID-19 outbreak 2 male students insulted women's modesty in different universities, third offender tried to commit offence in poly Two more COVID-19 cases in UK bring total to 15 Wife of Bangladeshi worker critically ill with coronavirus: 'He is going to be a father' Bullied Australian boy Quaden Bayles to donate US$475,000 to charity Urgent need to improve affordability, accessibility and quality of mental healthcare: NMP Anthea Ong
Scotland to approve free sanitary products for all women Indonesia pressured to do more to detect coronavirus amid zero reported cases Japanese woman reinfected with coronavirus weeks after initial recovery Coronavirus: Switzerland confirms its first case Johor's Pakatan Harapan state government falls, new coalition to take over SMRT to cut pay, bonus as coronavirus crisis continues Man loses PR status, barred from re-entering Singapore after breaching Stay-Home Notice 4 more COVID-19 patients discharged in Singapore, 2 new confirmed cases: MOH China city offers US$1,400 reward for COVID-19 patients who report to authorities 14% of recovered coronavirus patients in China's Guangdong tested positive again Switzerland reports first case of COVID-19 Mahathir says time for him to step down has not come yet