Streaming issues? Report here
Aubrey Masango 2019 BW Aubrey Masango 2019 BW
The Aubrey Masango Show
20:00 - 22:00

Up Next: Best of CapeTalk
See full line-up
The Aubrey Masango Show
20:00 - 22:00
Business Unusual

When business, technology and politics collide

8 July 2020 7:15 PM

The most recent example is China’s new security law introduced into Hong Kong.

A business and its staff might have the ambition to take over the world and most would think that it was a fair ambition. For a country or political party to adopt a similar ambition, it is a very different story.

What should companies and the people that work in them do when face with political changes that don’t align with their values?

The short answer for most of history has probably been - too little too late.

There is no shortage of examples which for South Africans includes complying with Apartheid to being complicit with state capture. Hindsight makes it easy to see the problem, but the nature of most change is that it happens slowly.

Likewise, you would want to be sure your actions are justified especially if they will have significant implications.

Hong Kong - one country, two systems

Britain and China began negotiations to return Hong Kong to China in the 1980s the agreement was enacted on 1 July 1997 and would see Hong Kong remain principally autonomous for 50 years.

While it was expected that the region would revert to full control by the Chinese Communist Party in time, residents protested the planned introduction of a law that would allow extradition for those accused of a crime. Millions took to the streets and following repeated clashes the original law was not enacted.

The protests continued in response to what residents saw as the erosion of the freedoms guaranteed to them as part of the agreement.

China’s security law for Hong Kong

The new law is broad and covers actions that could be regarded as protest as acts that could result in long prison sentences.

The United Nations Human Rights Council saw 27 countries object to the new law, but 52 voiced their support.

When countries are divided what should companies do?

Major tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter have stopped complying with Hong Kong authorities requests for user data while they decide about the new law.

TikTok a Chinese owned company that operates outside of China has withdrawn the app for users in Hong Kong while the Chinese version will continue. TikTok has said they will not pass user info on to Chinese authorities even as India and the US look to prevent the app from operating in their countries. The company was banned in India

Now the stage is set

China was always going to make Hong Kong part of the country, it was just due to happen in 2047. Will doing so sooner be enough to have major trading partners change their relationship to challenge China about the future of 7 million citizens off China.

What will companies do that rely on producing their products there if their governments increase tariffs or impose sanctions?

What will South Africa do as a Brics member with China’s Xi Jinping effectively able to rule indefinitely? Russia’s Vladimir Putin has secured the backing to serve a further 12 years beyond the effective 16 he has already. India Narendra Modi as head of the World largest democracy does not appear to be as concerned with democratic principles as nationalist ones and Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has his hands full with growing infections including his own.

If 2020 was not already a year to make the future look uncertain despite its name, this adds yet another layer of complexity on a very complex situation. These are indeed interesting times.

8 July 2020 7:15 PM

More from Business Unusual

Recycling logo

An inconvenient truth - plastic recycling does not actually work

30 September 2020 7:29 PM

Most plastic was never intended to be recycled, but we have believed the story for decades

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

123rf smart home automation

Are you ready to make your home smarter?

9 September 2020 7:30 PM

The cost and benefits are making home automation easy and affordable

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

stock price line chart candlestick

How the Dow Jones Industrial Index tracks the state of the US stock market

2 September 2020 7:47 PM

Almost a century after it began the last original stock is removed from the index

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

invitation to fight emoji 123rf

Epic, Apple and Google, who is the bad guy?

19 August 2020 7:15 PM

You be the judge and consider the potential arguments and outcomes

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Dandelion flower

It has not been a good year for rubber

12 August 2020 7:15 PM

The wheels may be coming off for the substance gets us around the world

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Crisis just ahead dark clouds thunderstorm 123rf 123rfbusiness

A warning for the future, we do not think enough about our actions

5 August 2020 7:15 PM

Despite being one of the few animals that think about the future, we don’t think far enough

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Dumpster Fire Bill Ward Flickr

How social media became a dumpster fire and what to do about it

29 July 2020 7:15 PM

While it may feel things are getting worse they are starting to get better

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward


What the Twitter hack says about us

22 July 2020 7:15 PM

We are curious, innovative and greedy.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

medicine pills drugs

Drug profits - a necessary evil or something that needs to change

1 July 2020 7:15 PM

Using profit to solve health issues does not work in a pandemic, perhaps at all.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Mobile phone screen social apps

Social Media - mass mobilisation and the modern mob

24 June 2020 7:15 PM

What happens when everyone has access to such powerful tools

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward