The world’s most profitable company has gone public. Saudi Aramco listed its shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange in early December.
Towards the end of November political shockwaves rocked Hong Kong: from district council elections turning the city from blue to yellow, the emergency mask ban ruled ‘unconstitutional’ and Beijing and Washington firing shots at each other in the form of a US Bill and returning sanctions.
The major international trading hub faces a harsh recession following the announcement of an extradition bill to China and the ongoing China-US trade war. Increasingly violent protests over a 5-month period have caused chaos, hindering business and discouraging tourists. The economy has shrunk by 3.2% during the three months to September, compared to the previous quarter. Whilst the bill has since been halted by city leader Carrie Lam, many protesters claim this move is “too little, too late”.
Since early June there have been protests in Hong Kong in response to a proposed bill which would allow extradition to China for crimes such as murder and rape. Extradition is the act of sending an individual back to the country or state in which a crime was committed. This is especially controversial due to the “special status” of Hong Kong which is a result of the “One Country, Two Systems” framework; a framework which gives Hong Kong an element of autonomy from China. Whilst the bill has now been formally withdrawn, it is unlikely to quell the anger of the protesters.
In March, US Democratic Presidential hopeful, Senator Elizabeth Warren, proposed her two-pronged plan to break up Big Tech companies: unwind pre-existing mergers deemed anticompetitive, and spin out (separate into a new independent corporation) services of large platforms that are designated as “Platform Utilities”; services with over US $25bn in revenue.