China’s move to curtail Hong Kong’s autonomy threatens Hong Kong’s status as a business hub—and could have major implications for the tech industry, particularly the cryptocurrency sector, cloud services and tech financing.
At the extreme, venture capitalists and tech companies could shift their operations and regional headquarters to Singapore, which has already been courting more foreign investment. Even before that happens, the Chinese moves may dampen the flow of venture capital money out of the U.S. to Hong Kong, which is the conduit for U.S. funds to invest in Chinese tech. The new national security rules could also slow the growth of U.S. firms such as Amazon and Google, which have recently started to offer cloud-computing services in Hong Kong. News outlets, financial firms and business consultancies that sell research on companies may also have to reduce their presence in Hong Kong to avoid running afoul of China’s tougher rules.