© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A child poses next to the two-meter-tall “Lady Liberty”, a symbolic statue placed by pro-democracy protesters at a Chickeeduck branch in Hong Kong, China June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File Photo
HONG KONG (Reuters) – A Hong Kong clothing chain popular with democracy supporters said on Thursday it will shut its stores by the end of 2022, citing landlords’ reluctance to renew leases and complaints leading to investigations by various government departments.
Originally a children’s clothes chain, Chickeeduck became known for selling protest-themed items, including shirts that made humorous puns of pro-democracy slogans.
It gained popularity among democracy activists last year when owner Herbert Chow refused a request from his landlord to remove a statue of a protester in helmet, gas mask and goggles. The shop moved to a new location where the statue is still up.
In early May, national security police cordoned off the area of a Chickeeduck shop and searched its premises with a warrant, with police saying they responded to complains from the public. This month, authorities ordered one of the shops to remove a bronze statue of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo outside the entrance, saying it obstructed the street.
“Chickeeduck has been experiencing disturbance from evil forces in the past 18 months,” Chow said in a statement.
“We have never given up on voicing out against injustice and will never consider backing off. However, the feasibility of the business going forward is now in question and we are thinking of wiser and more sustainable strategies for the company.”
The government’s Security Bureau and the Hong Kong police did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Chow did not elaborate on the future strategy after his 32-year-old company’s “exit” from the Hong Kong market, but said the firm planned to continue as a “brand for Hong Kongers.”
Chickeeduck has sold shirts that read “Liberate Sausages, Vegetables of our time” and “Five meatballs, no sauce left” – puns echoing slogans of mass 2019 demonstrations: “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our time” and “Five demands, not one less.”
The “Liberate Hong Kong” slogan was “capable of inciting secession,” a major offence under the city’s national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020, a judge ruled earlier this year.
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Oil Russia ban news: Russia will ban the sale of its oil to countries that have imposed a price ceiling
Will Russia sell oil to Europe? The administration of President Vladimir Putin is preparing an order prohibiting Russian companies and any trader from buying Russian oil to sell raw materials to countries and companies that have imposed a price ceiling on Moscow. Bloomberg news agency wrote this, citing a report from sources.
“The Kremlin is preparing a presidential decree banning Russian companies and any traders buying national oil from selling it to anyone who participates in the price ceiling,” the publication wrote.
According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, this would prohibit any mention of the price ceiling in contracts for Russian crude, as well as transferring it to countries that have joined the price ceiling for the natural resource.
In the first half of September, the press service of the US Treasury Department said that the USA, together with its allies from G7 (Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, France and Japan) and the European Union (EU) would impose a ban on marine transportation of Russian oil on December 5 and oil products – on February 5.
Earlier we reported that EU negotiations on limiting the prices of Russian oil reached a deadlock today.
EU talks on restrictions on Russian crude oil prices today stalled
Negotiations between the European Union countries about the “ceiling” of Russian crude oil prices today reached an impasse; Bloomberg reported, according to its sources.
Representatives of the bloc cannot reach an agreement on the ceiling price of Russian oil. According to the agency, the proposed European Commission limit of $65-70 per barrel, Poland and the Baltic countries believe “too generous,” while Greece and Malta, which is actively engaged in transporting fuel, do not want the limit to fall below $ 70. Recall that the Russian response to the oil price cap was negative. The Russian government has officially said that it will only sell oil at market prices.
“We are looking for ways to make this solution work and we are trying to find a common ground to implement it in a perfectly pragmatic and efficient way, while avoiding that it may cause excessive inconvenience to the European Union,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Earlier, we reported that the SEC fined Goldman Sachs $4 million for non-compliance with ESG fund principles.
More than 50% of Germans said they had given up shopping for new clothes and electronics. Is Germany’s economy failing?
Die Welt newspaper cited a survey by the consulting company EY and said that about 56% of Germans who took part in the survey said that they had practically refused to buy new clothes.
Also, 56% of German consumers reported that they now refrain from buying televisions, smartphones, laptops and game consoles. Also, nearly one in two now uses less gasoline, and one in four said they are saving on medications.
What caused the economic crisis in Germany? The main reason is the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions by the EU. Also, every second respondent reported that at the moment he could buy only the essentials. According to EY analysts, German households plan to further reduce spending in the coming months. In particular, they plan to save money on food delivery and entertainment.
Earlier, we reported that prices for liquefied natural gas in Asia reached their highest since October.
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