To paraphrase PG Wodehouse, it is never hard to distinguish between CY Leung and a ray of sunshine. The half-Transylvanian CCP-worshiping mouth-frothing scourge of pan-democrats decides to unload some of his limitless contempt on, of all things, HSBC. He calls for a boycott, for local establishment figures to quit the board, and for the creation of a rival institution to be called ‘Hong Kong Bank’ (no doubt with a copycat red-and-white logo, like a Mainland fake Apple Store or Starbucks).
It’s not clear what exactly HSBC has done to earn the wrath of the hyper-patriotic former Chief Executive. The institution has done all the usual craven pro-Beijing shoe-shining stuff, like groveling about Belt and Road, not advertising in Apple Daily and closing a protest movement account. It has suffered for its kowtowing, attracting mockery on-line and having its loveable iconic bronze lion statues, Snitch and Snot, mildly vandalized.
But from CY’s point of view, HSBC has probably not been as fawning as it could have. It moved its HQ to London back before the 1997 handover. And it’s Whitey-run, and a reminder of colonial times (and thus of China’s humiliation at the hands of evil foreigners, etc).
Worst of all, HSBC is one of those symbols of Hong Kong’s British heritage that have a place in local people’s hearts and minds. It is a part of Hong Kong’s identity. And it is traditionally the backbone of the local middle-class’s stock portfolios. Families bought a board lot of HSBC every year for their kids’ college fund. A taxi driver hit the headlines a few years ago after accumulating 40,000 shares and retiring at age 33. A newscaster famously burst into tears on live TV when reporting that the stock price had collapsed in 2007-08.
To an emotional if not rabid nationalist like CY, the sight of compatriots having such an attachment to a foreign/colonial symbol is a hurtful affront to the Han nation and race. These sons of the Yellow Emperor should be reverential to Bank of China! So HSBC’s suspension of dividend payments (under orders of the UK regulator) is an opportunity to strike a blow against historic oppressors, to implore wayward Hongkongers to shake off their British-imposed inferiority and self-loathing, and take pride in the glorious motherland.
Plus, maybe, an HSBC teller bit him when he was a child. Can’t rule it out.
Torn on who to side with here
I’m sure HSBC turned him or one of his daughters down after a job interview sometime in the past.
I’m not a fan of either. I’ll sit this one out and watch them destroy each other.
One is spite-worthy and the other spiteful. Hard to pick which is which, though.
Put them both in a room, toss in a loaded gun and then shoot the survivor.
The HK government seems pretty stressed about HSBC these days for some reason. In a single day, it’s gone from CY Leung’s give-HSBC-the-corporate-death-penalty, to this:
“Hong Kong will welcome HSBC, Standard Chartered if they moved headquarters to city, minister says.”
This is (petty) retaliation for HSBC’s cooperation with US authorities during investigations into a little company founded by the PLA engineer named Ren Zhengfei.
You’re spot on with the comment about the counterfeit logo. Image versus Substance every time!
Actually the Bank of England bullied the UK banks to withhold dividends to shareholders largely on the premise that since the taxpayer had bailed them out in 2008, they “owed” something to society. This is actually quite unfair, since HSBC did not take one penny of Government money…
” A newscaster famously burst into tears on live TV when reporting that the stock price had collapsed in 2007-08. ”
There is also the story (perhaps improved in the telling) of the old woman following the market on the television screens in her bank. When she saw how the price of Hong Kong Bank had fallen, she collapsed. An ambulance was called, but fortunately she had only fainted. Her first words when she came round were, “How much is Hong Kong Bank?”
CY Leung’s angry outburst is pretty standard behavior for anyone who ever tried to get something done via HSBC’s online “service”.
Dear Hemmlok, that should be Wodehouse, not Woodhouse. Ironically, the quote you link to also contains a typo – an extra “with” has crept into the text.
Re colonial times AKA “China’s humiliation at the hands of evil foreigners”
I never entirely understood the massive and deliberate history fail that is the “3,000 years of continuous culture” malarkey from the CCP: China had already been taken over by evil foreigners centuries before white fellas with gunboats turned up.
It’s really more accurate to say “Manchuria’s humiliation at the hands of evil foreigners”. That’s not to excuse the foreigners fronting up with all sorts of drug cartels paying the British government to invade so they could keep flogging drugs: it’s despicable.
On the other hand, there’s no need to lie about the Manchurian Empire being Chinese: it’s a bit like France pretending the Roman Empire was actually French for the next 200 years after Caesar turned up.
Did you know that Julius Caesar was not a Roman emperor? He was a dictator. Not many people know this.
Did you know that many people say that Donald Trump is a big bag of orange shit and also that he is mentally disturbed?
They are a crap bank when it comes to all the forms you have to fill out in order to withdraw a crisp twenty bob, but I think this is a strong buy signal. I’ll have my wife make a transaction tomorrow morning at the branch.
Hans Solo, foreigners invaders were always assimilated, because of the superiority of chinese culture. The humiliation was less the gunboats more the cultural demise
They only have themselves to blame for cultural demise.
Thank goodness CKS took so much loot with him to the free island nation of Taiwan where the National Palace Museum could be established for the benefit of generations of Taiwan citizens and visiting foreign guests interested in learning some “Chinese” culture minus the CCP tinted angle.
Thing is they weren’t really assimilated at all — quite the opposite. That answer is mostly just buying into CCP marketing bullshit.
It’s like saying the Normans became British after 1066 — when all the evidence points to it being mostly the other way round.
The Han had to adopt Manchu haircuts (sometimes on pain of death) and also Manchurian clothing like the changpao and changshan: pretty much everything the outside world views as “traditional Chinese” cultural stuff is actually “traditional Manchurian” cultural stuff.
About the only truly “Han” cultural practices to survive the Manchus was foot binding and maybe female infanticide: not the greatest of legacies.
Sure there’s intermingling, as there always is in longterm occupations — especially as the occupied territories far exceed the occupiers’ territory, but the Han aren’t really the Borg at all…
That’s just the CCP doing their “1984” thing:
“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control,’ they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink.'”