Just two weeks ago, it was reported that Deutsche Bank will be relocating its company from Hong Kong to Singapore.
And now, it was reported that Uber (yes, their HQ is still in Singapore, they’re just not operating here) will not be shifting to Hong Kong and will remain in Singapore instead.
Uber HQ Not Shifting Its HQ to Hong Kong & is Remaining in S’pore, Which Means More Jobs
Yesterday (30 Jul 2020), Uber announced that they’re ditching a plan to shift their headquarters to Hong Kong.
In May 2020, they had announced “massive layoffs” and said they’ll move to China’s semi-autonomous state, Hong Kong, should there be a “progress” on regulations there.
Uber Hong Kong’s general manager Estyn Chung said that the Hong Kong government must regulate ride-sharing so “jobs and investments can be brought to Hong Kong”.
However, they’ve decided not to because of “regulatory uncertainty” within the country.
They added that they’ve seen a “strong need for reform from the people”, but not from the government.
So at least for the “medium term”, they’ll remain in Singapore until, at least, the end of 2022.
Currently, Uber employs 90 employees in its Singapore office.
Hong Kong’s New Security Law
Then, a new security law was passed.
Also, known as Article 23 of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law is said to prohibit “treason, secession, sedition and subversion” against the Chinese government.
In layman terms, no one is allowed to conduct speeches to incite rebel, overthrow or undermine the Chinese government.
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This made a lot of people unhappy and businesses jittery. Businesses who might be looking at getting out of the country and all its political uncertainty.
Which Is Good For Singapore
Some might not like PM Lee’s lunchtime rally because of how it sounds: “Give us a very strong mandate or Singapore will fall.”
It’s like: either you choose us or you choose to die; definitely not popular with the people.
While Singapore has not fallen, he has gotten one thing right: If a country is stable, foreign investments will come.
According to a TODAYonline report on 27 Jul 2020, Japan, Australia and many other countries are looking to attract banks and asset managers in Hong Kong who are looking to leave the country because of the new security law.
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However, Singapore remains a top choice.
Lawyers and advisers spoken to by the newspaper said that if there is any relocation, Singapore will definitely benefit.
In terms of being a financial centre, a corporate tax of 17% (Hong Kong is 16.5% while Japan and Australia are at least double of that), and having a business-friendly environment, Singapore stands a higher chance of being selected.
In other words, this period could be an opportunity for more jobs to be created here.
After all, even Nas Daily-
Reader Bao: Let’s not go there
Right, but you get the gist.
While attracting them remains a job for the EDB and relevant agencies, Singaporeans can do their part too by obeying Covid-19 rules here.
Because at the end of the day, whichever country manages to beat Covid-19 (or at least keep it down and help the economy keep running) will emerge as the winner in this pandemic.
That and keeping themselves relevant because who wouldn’t want their HQ to be located in a place where there’s a skilled workforce available?
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