Opinion | Could Hong Kong’s loss become Mumbai’s gain?2 min read 03 Jul 2020, 11:06 AM IST
China has crushed the autonomy of Hong Kong and thrown the city’s future as a financial hub in jeopardy. This could give Mumbai a chance to emerge as Asia’s next money capital
China is on a rampage in Hong Kong. The autonomy of the island-city lay in shreds after Beijing slapped it with a harsh security law on 30 June that threatens to muzzle free speech and punish anyone whose actions fall afoul of the Chinese regime. For months, there had been signs that it would not honour its commitment to preserve the democratic freedoms of Hong Kong’s residents, a 50-year pledge made in 1997 when it got the territory back from the UK. But Beijing’s latest move has stunned the world, evoked another round of protests in the city, and reportedly plunged many of its finance professionals into despair. For nearly a quarter century, they thrived on the “one country, two systems" paradigm, living off China’s blistering rise while doing accurate research and analysis of Chinese businesses for global investors. Today, analysts fear that an honest job done could serve truths too bitter for China’s high-and-mighty and so they might end up behind bars for their efforts. In short, the new law could spell doom for Hong Kong’s status as Asia’s top financial centre. A race to replace it is already underway, with Singapore, Tokyo and Dubai as contenders. But if Mumbai gets itself up to speed, it may have more than just a glimmer of a chance.