When the UK lowered the flag on its former colony of Hong Kong in 1997, China was still playing catch-up with other Asian economies. Today, China is second only to the US in economic might and the UK, along with every other country in the world, is keen to build closer ties. (continue reading…)
Still think China is a cheap place to do business? Think again. US businesses operating in China complain that getting — and keeping — talented employees is their biggest headache and this is reflected in soaring wage inflation. (continue reading…)
Should western workers fear China’s rise as a hi-tech nation? The question is topical as Alcatel-Lucent, the struggling French telecoms manufacturer, has just announced 10,000 job cuts, the latest round of losses in an industry that has seen the rapid rise of Chinese competitors. (continue reading…)
Shanghai’s new Free Trade Zone has attracted a lot of media attention as many see it as laboratory for reforms that could one day be implemented nationwide.
Some 25 companies have so far been given the green light to start operations including 11 financial institutions, most of which are domestic banks. (continue reading…)
EngagingChina has always hoped that China would one day realise that its policy of aggressively stimulating its export-led economy would end in tears if pursued indefinitely. It looks like that day has arrived. (continue reading…)
It had to happen sooner or later, of course. Nevertheless, news that China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest grocery market has profound implications for both food producers and retailers in the west. (continue reading…)
All roads lead to Hong Kong, at least the digital ones do. HK’s strategic location on the mainland’s doorstep combined with its business-friendly regime make it the idea place for a data centre hosting business.
Sign of the times. HSBC, the London-based banking giant, is to relocate its chief executive’s office to Hong Kong.
Anyone who had been asleep for the past twenty years would wonder what the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, as the bank was originally know, was doing in London in the first place.
In 1992, HSBC had to move to London to take over the Midland Bank, one of the original Big Four of British retail banking.
But the western banking market is no longer as attractive as it then was – particularly after the credit crunch.
HSBC clearly believes its greatest growth possibilities lie in Asia rather than in the west and its highly symbolic move will no doubt endear the bank to Chinese authorities.
Michael Geoghegan, group chief executive of HSBC, who will relocate to HK,said:
We can’t get away from the fact that the East is growing at a faster rate than the UK, the US or Europe. In my time it will take over from the west as the most powerful part of the world economy.”
The news has caused much hang-ringing in the UK media, the more conservative elements of which never have really forgiven the British government for handing Hong Kong back to the Chinese in 1999. The shift suggests that the City of London’s traditional pre-eminence in all things financial could come under threat.
HSBC will continue to be Britain’s biggest bank and there are no plans to move the head office or change tax domicile. Stephen Green, HSBC’s chairman, will continue to be based in the UK
More in this Times story.