HSBC walks tricky political tightrope between Hong Kong and Beijing

A worker cleaning one of the two iconic HSBC bronze lion statues daubed with red and black paint by protesters in Hong Kong.
A worker cleaning one of the two iconic HSBC bronze lion statues daubed with red and black paint by protesters in Hong Kong.PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

HONG KONG • The two bronze lion statues standing guard over HSBC Holdings' main offices in Hong Kong still bear the marks of an attack by protesters, who last week daubed them with red and black paint, setting at least one ablaze. Graffiti declared that HSBC had been dyed the red of China.

HSBC has vowed to restore the iconic lions to their former glory. But the Asia-focused lender may not find it so easy to disentangle itself from deepening tensions in its biggest market at a time when its new leadership must also repair a relationship with Beijing that has been weakened by the Huawei Technologies probe.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 08, 2020, with the headline 'HSBC walks tricky political tightrope between HK and Beijing'. Print Edition | Subscribe