Karen joined Breakingviews in 2018. She previously worked as an European gas and power reporter at S&P Global Platts in London, and covered funds, stocks and economy at Morningstar UK. Karen also briefly worked at the Press Association, China Daily Europe and Bloomberg. She graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2015 with a degree in Journalism Studies, and did an Erasmus exchange programme in Barcelona, Spain. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese.
Hong Kong’s richest man is buying the Greene King pub chain for $5.6 bln including debt. Most of his empire’s sales are abroad already. But given the deal injects new capital into the UK, it’s still a boon for Brexit Britain and a minor thumbs-down for his troubled home turf.
The flow of visitors from the Middle Kingdom to Italy has jumped. That is the reward for becoming the People’s Republic’s new best European friend. The Communist party uses its $315 bln outbound tourism market to exercise soft power, helping friends and punishing foes.
Givenchy, Swarovski and Versace have made grovelling apologies to Beijing for incorrectly implying Hong Kong is a country. The humility comes easily now. Abasement would become more painful, and costly, if China turns up the heat on the special administrative region’s protests.