Apr 29, 2020 - Economy & Business

E-commerce giant JD.com eyes Hong Kong listing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JD.com, a Beijing-based e-commerce giant, filed confidentially for a Hong Kong stock float that could raise at least $2 billion, per multiple reports.

Why it's the BFD: It reflects how Hong Kong's 2018 decision to relax listing rules on dual-class shares is paying off by bringing local giants back home, with JD.com looking likely to follow NYSE-listed Alibaba Group's giant Hong Kong stock sale from last November.

The bottom line: "JD.com’s potential Hong Kong secondary listing may help to narrow its valuation gap with global e-commerce peers such as Amazon and Alibaba. Alibaba’s market value increased by more than 20% within two months of its Hong Kong listing, as its offering attracted domestic investors who are also its customers," writes Bloomberg.

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Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Beijing forces a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, the once semi-autonomous city's status as one of Asia's largest financial hubs is at risk.

Why it matters: Political freedoms and strong rule of law helped make Hong Kong a thriving center for international banking and finance. But China's leaders may be betting that top firms in Hong Kong will trade some political freedoms for the economic prosperity Beijing can offer.

China approves Hong Kong national security law

Hong Kong riot police round up a group of protesters during a demonstration on Wednesday. Photo: Willie Siau/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chinese lawmakers approved a plan on Thursday for a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong that would criminalize sedition, foreign influence and secession in the Asian financial hub.

Why it matters: China bypassed Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive to introduce the law, prompting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce Wednesday that the city is no longer autonomous from the Chinese mainland and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

Go deeper (1 min. read)ArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - World

Hong Kong police fire pepper pellets at demonstrators

Hong Kong riot police issue a warning as they aim to clear away people gathered downtownon Wednesday. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong riot police fired pepper pellets at activists and surrounded the Legislative Council during demonstrations against a bill proposing to criminalize "disrespect of the Chinese Anthem" on Wednesday, per Reuters.

Why it matters: The bill is the latest concern pro-democracy protesters have that Chinese authorities are encroaching on the high degree of autonomy the former British colony has retained since it was returned to China in 1997.