— Cheng Fang and Fenghua Pan —
The recent social unrest in Hong Kong, which began in 2019, has reignited debates about Hong Kong’s future as a financial brokerage between a transitional China and the volatile global economy. Some claim that Hong Kong will inevitably lose its bridging role with mainland China as a financial center, while dissenters take a clear-cut stand that Hong Kong’s status will remain irreplaceable.
From a financial geography perspective, it is key to firstly have a comprehensive understanding of Hong Kong’s bridging role in global financial activities. Applying the framework of the global financial network, this paper aims to propose some novel shreds of evidence for understanding Hong Kong’s bridging role with the perspectives of Chinese firms’ overseas listings on the US stock market. According to our results, Hong Kong’s status as a brokerage city for overseas listings of Chinese firms is twofold. First, it is a successful financial center with well-developed global networks of financial and business services (FABS), which are mainly forged by the historical legacy of the British colonial era and the economic globalization driven by multinational corporations since the 1980s. Second, Hong Kong’s role as offshore jurisdiction makes it a strategic gateway for mainland China to raise capital globally. With the evolving dynamic of global financial networks, Hong Kong will continue to be of vital importance as a brokerage city that smooths China’s integration into global financial networks.
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