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Hong Kong Protesters Are Targeting Starbucks. Apple Could Be Next.ND

Edward Wong, The New York Times, Tuesday October 15, 2019

Pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong are now singling out companies that are sympathetic with the Chinese Communist Party in Beijing. Information is being circulated on apps and websites used by protesters to identify companies that are soft on China. Sometimes the stories of the companies are simply based on rumours or even comments made by executives and their families. Businesses in Hong Kong are being increasingly caught between the two sides, as they often try to avoid offending both China and Hong Kong activists. “All corporations here are walking on eggshells when it comes to what they say, whether it’s about Hong Kong or about the mainland,” said David Webb, a shareholder activist in Hong Kong. At a Starbucks branch in Hong Kong, protesters used hammers and a fire extinguisher to smash glass shelves, while others threw plates and trays on the ground. Activists have also called for protests at Apple stores after the company removed an app that showed the location of police officers. It is unclear whether the backlash against global brands will result in sustained financial damage.

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