Tencent Music Entertainment Group has announced that it will hold its annual general meeting next month in Hong Kong, in spite of all the unrest there due to political protests.
The annual meeting will take place December 19 at the Ritz-Carlton in Kowloon, Hong Kong between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. While the location may be outside the epicenter of the protests, it may seem an odd choice considering all the disturbances there.
At the same time, though, locating the meeting in Hong Kong could be seen as an effort by the Chinese government to show that it is still in control of the situation. For a long time, Tencent has been accused of having ties to the communist government. Some in the U.S. State Department have even claimed that the company is a “tool” of the Chinese government.
Still, it is possible that the ties between Tencent and the Chinese government are being exaggerated by the U.S. government, due to the continuing trade disputes. But today’s announcement will likely only add weight to those who have been critical of the company.
A number of music events scheduled to take place in Hong Kong have been canceled because of the political unrest.
First, Rolling Loud Hong Kong was canceled in October, with organizers citing safety concerns for attendees due to the protests. Then, earlier this month, Clockenflap Hong Kong was canceled. Organizers of this festival were even more concerned about the safety of its attendees, as violence in the city had increased over the course of the month.
Also canceling events in Hong Kong have been conferences, trade shows, and the Hong Kong Tennis Open.
While Hong Kong is now part of mainland China, its history is quite different. From 1842 to 1997, the enclave was a British colony, so it bypassed the civil war on the mainland in the 1940s and the ensuing communist takeover.
This has helped drive the confrontations between the Chinese government and the protesters seeking democratic reforms.