Can Hong Kong’s Financial Market Survive Without The Free Flow Of Information?

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Hong Kong Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer Charles Li speaks at an event to mark the end of … [+] floor trading at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on October 27, 2017.

ISAAC LAWRENCE/AFP via Getty Images

It is a truism that thriving financial markets need good information. Free flow of information allows both bad news and good to be weighed by the marketplace. Censorship breeds rumor and misinformation. Can Hong Kong prove this truism wrong?
The world will find out. Asia’s global financial hub, top of the rankings for IPOs for much of the past decade, woke up on July 1 with a new national security law that gives China broad powers to clampdown on political opponents and critics. China’s soothing promises about a “high degree of autonomy” and “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” that were made to put people at ease ahead of the 1997 Chinese takeover ring hollow now that we can finally see the full text of the new law. This was a national security bill that was rushed through in such secrecy that even Hong Kong’s leader hadn’t seen the law until after China’s legislature had approved it, gazetted at 11 p.m. on June 30, …

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