Company insiders and diplomatic sources said it was too early to assess the impact of the law on business in the financial hub. But its vague language and broad provisions have stoked fears and may result in “huge insecurity” for foreign firms – particularly a clause stating any person or organisation that imposes sanctions could be punished. They said the legislation could be a wake-up call for businesses to re-evaluate their engagement with China, and it may further complicate Beijing’s diplomatic relations with the West.
Beijing imposed the sweeping law on Hong Kong a week ago, after a year of anti-government protests in the city. It targets acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with a maximum sentence of life in prison.