Companies Consider Excluding Hong Kong From Legal Contracts: FT

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International companies operating in Asia are considering leaving Hong Kong out of legal contracts amid concerns about China’s growing control, the Financial Times reported, citing people it didn’t identify.

Lawyers in the region have received a surge of queries from clients about excluding Hong Kong from governing law and arbitration clauses when conducting business there or entering into joint ventures, the newspaper said. Such clauses determine the national laws that apply to companies’ agreements. The clients are mostly based in the U.S. and Japan.

China’s Foreign Ministry responded to the newspaper’s report on Monday, saying the business environment in the city had “been getting better” since the implementation of new national security legislation.

China “will continue firmly supporting Hong Kong in its status as an international financial, shipping, and trading center,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a briefing in Beijing. “We have full confidence in the bright prospect of Hong Kong.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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