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On 28 October 2022, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued a first round of FAQs regarding the advanced computing and semiconductor manufacturing Interim Final Rule, published on 13 October 2022 (87 Fed. Reg. 62,186) and amending the Export Administration Regulations. The FAQs clarify that that the new restrictions on exports and reexports to China also apply to Hong Kong.

Regulators and courts in common law jurisdictions around the world are being given significant and increasing powers to impose financial penalties without traditional criminal law safeguards. Competition law has been particularly susceptible to arguments that traditional safeguards should be discarded to aid regulators in securing convictions. In the first competition case to go to trial in Hong Kong, the Competition Tribunal held in 2019 that in competition proceedings seeking financial penalties, the authority had the burden to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. This article considers the approach taken in other common law jurisdictions and scope to argue for increased safeguards and human rights protections for clients facing financial penalties.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission’s “Manager in Charge” regime, which aims to heighten senior management accountability within licensed corporations, came into effect in 2017. In a recent disciplinary action, the SFC has reprimanded and fined a licensed corporation HKD 1.75 million and banned its former MIC for Compliance for two months. The Subject LC is licensed under the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Ordinance to carry on Type 9 (Asset management) regulated activity.

Phase 2 of the new inspection regime of the register of the Companies Registry will come into effect from 24 October 2022, allowing Hong Kong companies to, among others, limit disclosure to the public certain personal information of their directors and secretaries. Under Phase 2 of the New Inspection Regime, the usual residential address and full identification number of directors and company secretaries will be replaced with the correspondence address and partial IDNs. Protected Information contained in documents filed for registration on or after 24 October 2022 will not be available for public inspection although Specified Persons may apply to access the Protected Information.

While Hong Kong has yet to enact specific legislation on cybercrime or cybersecurity, this will soon change with the announcement of the proposal to enact a new cybersecurity law during the Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address and the issuance of a consultation paper on “Cyber-dependent crimes and jurisdictional issues” by the Hong Kong Law Reform Commission.

Please join us for a weekly series, hosted by Baker McKenzie’s North America Government Enforcement partners Jeffrey Martino and Jerome Tomas. This week’s discussion will cover the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Statement of Protocol Agreement with the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and the China Ministry of Finance regarding oversight of PCAOB-registered public accounting firms in China and Hong Kong.

While Hong Kong and mainland China have had anti-discrimination laws in place that protect employees from various types of discrimination at the workplace, recent developments and increasing employee awareness of their rights have led to increased focus on this area. Whilst Singapore does not currently have any workplace discrimination laws per se, there have been some recent developments.
Join us for this webinar where our employment team from Baker McKenzie Hong Kong & China, and Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow will explore the discrimination laws and regulations in China, Hong Kong and Singapore, consequences for non-compliance, and what employers need to bear in mind regarding their human resources policies.

In one of the first cases in Hong Kong in which the court has granted freezing injunctions over bitcoins, the Court of First Instance has now handed down judgment in the trial of Nico Constantijn v Stive Jean-Paul Dan [2022] HKCFI 1254. The court held that the defendant acted as the plaintiff’s sales agent in respect of the plaintiff’s bitcoins. The court found the defendant had breached his fiduciary duties in failing to account to the plaintiff for the bitcoins and the relevant sales proceeds. Consequently, the court held that the defendant held on trust for the plaintiff the unsold bitcoins, the proceeds from the sale of the bitcoins and the fruits thereof.