US and Chinese threats hang over HSBC

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HONG KONG – HSBC, Europe’s largest bank with massive exposure to China, is caught in the crossfire of Sino-U.S. Commerce, technology and now an emerging financial war that threatens to torpedo its signature and the most profitable companies based in Hong Kong.

On the one hand, the United States has targeted HSBC operations in Hong Kong for verbally supporting Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law that the Donald Trump administration says has significantly undermined autonomy, rights and democracy of the financial center.

On the other hand, China threatens to block the bank’s access to the mainland economy – a crucial current and future growth market – for its cooperation with the US investigations into the alleged violation of sanctions against Iran by the Chinese tech giant Huawei. HSBC is a Chinese company lender.

This uncomfortable environment raises questions about the bank’s future viability in Hong Kong and as a global gateway to mainland China’s economy, with some analysts even believing it could possibly be kicked out of the city it is from. takes its name.

Speculation is now common that the United States could include HSBC – despite its UK rather than Chinese origins – in an upcoming round of sanctions to be imposed on Hong Kong to punish Beijing for squeezing the semi-autonomous city. The outlines of these sanctions should be announced today (October 12) in Washington.

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