PwC draws a clear line from HK riots and protesters after public anger

By Li Xuanmin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/6 20:28:40

PwC, one of the big four accounting firms, which has been under fire for its vague statement on its Hong Kong stance, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview that the firm "wants to draw a clear line" from riots and protesters who have severely disrupted the social order of Hong Kong.

The comment comes after some Chinese netizens condemned a post, which printed logo similar to PwC's, that urged people to join the strike organized by protesters on Monday. Although PwC said the post was unauthorized and designed to mislead the public, the firm also noted that it "fully respects people's right to freedom of speech" and will protect "the safety of our people" as a priority. Some Chinese people said the statement was a fence-sitting approach in dealing with the Hong Kong riots.

"We're absolutely not supporting the riots in Hong Kong. We oppose and disagree with the violence that is happening in Hong Kong. It's against the rule of law in Hong Kong. We don't encourage anyone to take part in violent activities," Elton Yeung, spokesperson for PwC Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, told the Global Times.

Yeung said that that's the primary reason why PwC wanted to issue a statement, as the post is designed in a way that looks very similar to PwC's logo and people might think that it represents the company's stance. 

He added that of the big four accounting firms, PwC is the "first one to come out and clarify the situation."

"We don't know who [designed and spread the post in our office or to social media platforms]. These posters have all been taken down in our office. We issued an internal letter reminding our employees not to use any type of social media and posters to spread unauthorized messages," he said. 

As for why the company's top priority is the safety of their employees, Yeung explained that the firm wants their employees to stay away from any area that could be at risk, since Hong Kong has been in a very chaotic and disturbing situation in recent days. 

"We don't want to see any escalation of violence or any type of illegal activities continue. In the long term, it will impact the economic development of Hong Kong," Yeung said. 


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