Upcoming & recent

The Changing Landscape of Inbound and Outbound Investment to and from Hong Kong: Taxation Implications for Investors and Corporate Entities

Time: Thursday, 25 August 2022, 3:00 – 4:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Businesses continue to look to expand beyond their domestic market into new markets. This creates novel business opportunities, but navigating taxation implications can pose its own complexities. This presentation addresses current outbound and inbound entity structures, tax compliance issues, and comments on indirect tax planning and advice. Of interest to tax practitioners and accountants is the changing landscape of outbound and inbound investments concerning Hong Kong in the present economy, and ongoing strategies to better develop corporate structures for foreigner operations.

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The Future of Tax Jurisdiction

Time: Wednesday, 22 June 2022, 3:00 – 4:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This seminar discusses the future of tax jurisdiction. Tax jurisdiction is a function of state capacity, technology and politics. It reflects changing labour and capital relations and only partly depends on territorial boundaries. Tax concepts of residence and source have changed over time as the capability to tax mobile consumption, labour and capital changes. Governments extend or retract tax jurisdiction over income, entities and activities outside their territory. Tax jurisdiction is changed by cooperation between states, which has grown significantly in the last decade, although states continue to compete in some important respects. The speaker will illustrate the discussion with some examples of the evolution of tax jurisdiction, ranging from individuals as residents, workers, investors or consumers, to corporations subject to the latest global deal for taxation of multinational enterprises around the world.

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Book Talk: Hong Kong Competition Law – Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives

Time: Thursday, 28 April 2022, 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This is the first academic monograph on the Competition Ordinance in Hong Kong. It provides an overview of the historical background of the Competition Ordinance, highlighting the debate and the process that led to the adoption of the Ordinance. It offers detailed comparative and theoretical analysis of the key provisions of the Ordinance, focusing on the First Conduct Rule, the Second Conduct Rule, the exclusions and exemptions, and the procedural provisions. It draws on overseas legislation and jurisprudence that inspired the provisions in the Ordinance and incorporates a detailed examination of the latest cases decided by the Competition Tribunal. It engages in relevant academic debates and theoretical analysis of how competition law in Hong Kong should develop in light of its unique economic and political contexts. It concludes by setting forth of a set of recommendations for further reform.

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Understanding the Momentous Mainland-Hong Kong Cross-Border Insolvency Arrangement

Time: Thursday, 21 April 2022, 4:00-5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

By developing the common law on judicial assistance, the courts of Hong Kong have succeeded to some extent to meet the challenges arising from the many cases of insolvent companies from the Mainland which were listed in Hong Kong but incorporated in offshore jurisdictions. On the other hand, section 5 of the Mainland’s Enterprise Bankruptcy Law provides that, in the absence of treaties, Chinese courts may recognise foreign insolvency proceedings based on reciprocity. Unfortunately the Mainland has not entered into any treaty with another jurisdiction, and the meaning of reciprocity is heavily contested. On 14 May 2021, the Mainland signed an agreement with Hong Kong for mutual recognition and assistance in cross-border insolvencies in the two jurisdictions. This talk seeks to explain how this momentous development was achieved; in particular, how the Mainland adapted ideas and provisions from the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency (Model Law) to meet the Mainland’s conflicting objectives of development and risks control. It will also be shown that the agreement remains a work in progress, as reflected in cases decided after the coming into force of the agreement, which foreshadows further developments in practice to overcome hurdles and debates between old doctrines in private international law and the new doctrines typified by the Model Law.

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Blockchain Asset Registries-Freeing Crypto from Mania

Time: Tuesday, 12 April 2022, 4:00 – 5:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

There has been much excitement over the past decade over the technology known as the blockchain. However, few lawyers truly understand how blockchains work. Most are content to accept the mantra that blockchains are a form of decentralized, cryptographically secured, immutable ledger. Yet hacks of both exchanges and individuals have been common ever since crypto assets attained any significant value, so one must ask, “What do blockchains actually secure and how do they do so?” The answers will enable us to answer the perhaps more important question, “What don’t blockchains secure?” Technologists and financiers have little understanding of how asset registries work and the security considerations that underpin the law of property. There is a simplistic belief that an authoritative registry will solve problems of ownership without an understanding of the costs (financial and otherwise) of such registries. The underlying tension in the law of property is insoluble unless one can achieve a state of perfect security, wherein fraud becomes impossible. Yet no technology can do so, least of all blockchains, which are arguably even less secure than centralized ledgers once a proper cost-benefit analysis is undertaken. This seminar will provide participants with in-depth understanding of both the nature of blockchain security and its limits as well as a nuanced appreciation of the costs and drawbacks of asset registries.

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Protecting Policy Holders’ Interests in Health Insurance

Time: Thursday, 31 March 2022, 8:00 - 9:30 PM Hong Kong time
Duration: 1.5 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Speakers include Mr Clement Cheung, CEO, Hong Kong Insurance Authority; Professor Anita Katharina Wagner, Harvard Medical School; and Dr Andreas Reis, Co-Lead, Global Health Ethics, World Health Organization

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China’s Rising (and the United States’ Declining) Influence on Global Tax Governance? Some Observations

Time: Thursday, 3 March 2022, 7:00 – 8:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This lecture considers China’s rise as a global economic power and the implications for global tax governance, especially in light of the United States’ leadership in the international tax system.

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Book Talk: Regulating the Crypto Economy

Time: Thursday, 24 February 2022, 5:00 – 6:00 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This book focuses on the building of a crypto economy as an alternative economic space and discusses how the crypto economy should be governed. The crypto economy is examined in its productive and financialised aspects, in order to distil the need for governance in this economic space. The author argues that it is imperative for regulatory policy to develop the economic governance of the blockchain-based business model, in order to facilitate economic mobilisation and wealth creation. The regulatory framework should cater for a new and unique enterprise organisational law and the fund-raising and financing of blockchain-based development projects. Such a regulatory framework is crucially enabling in nature and consistent with the tenets of regulatory capitalism.

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Book Talk: Reforming Antitrust

Time: Thursday, 24 February 2022, 10:00 – 11:00 AM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Industrial consolidation, digital platforms, and changing political views have spurred debate about the interplay between public and private power in the United States and have created a bipartisan appetite for potential antitrust reform that would mark the most profound shift in US competition policy in the past half-century. While neo-Brandeisians call for a reawakening of antitrust in the form of a return to structuralism and a concomitant rejection of economic analysis founded on competitive effects, proponents of the status quo look on this state of affairs with alarm. Scrutinizing the latest evidence, Alan J. Devlin finds a middle ground. US antitrust laws warrant revision, he argues, but with far more nuance than current debates suggest. He offers a new vision of antitrust reform, achieved by refining our enforcement policies and jettisoning an unwarranted obsession with minimizing errors of economic analysis.

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Creating Equitable Tax Systems: Challenges Posed by Financial Markets

Time: Thursday, 17 February 2022, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Rising wealth and income inequality has led to growing social tensions in many countries and driven an increase in international frictions. One mechanism for addressing this problem is tax policy. However, not only have governments in major economies shied away from more redistributive fiscal policies, but in many cases have pursued highly regressive systems of taxation. A major underlying reason for this has been the outsized role of financial markets in the modern global economy. The relative mobility of capital versus labour has posed challenges to governments seeking to impose higher taxes on large corporations and the wealthy, particularly as global fiscal competition has heated up in recent decades. Mr. Fok’s recently published book, Financial Cold War, explores how the structure of the international financial system has contributed to growing tensions between China and America. Among other areas covered in this book, he specifically examines the role of taxation in contemporary financial markets and the risks posed by growing fiscal imbalances.

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Directors’ Duties and Disclosure Obligations under Hong Kong Law regarding Climate Change

Time: Friday, 10 December 2021, 3:00 PM Hong Kong Time via ZOOM
Duration: 2 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

The CCLI has commissioned a legal opinion by Mr Alex Stock, SC, and Ms Jennifer Fan from Temple Chambers in Hong Kong regarding directors’ duties and disclosure obligations in respect of climate change and climate change-related issues under Hong Kong law. The legal opinion will be discussed at a virtual event “Directors' Duties and Disclosure Obligations under Hong Kong Law regarding Climate Change” co-hosted by the CCLI and the HKU Asian Institute of International Financial Law (AIIFL). An accompanying white paper, expanding and complementing the legal analysis will be discussed at the event and published on the same date. The new legal analysis finds that, since Hong Kong law requires directors to act in good faith in the best interests of the company and to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, directors are legally both entitled and obliged to take into account risks and considerations arising from the effects of climate change. This event will amplify the key roles and responsibilities of Hong Kong directors to navigate their companies through the disruptions of climate change and the global net zero transition, and in doing so, assist Hong Kong in tackling these complex challenges.

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Book Talk: Consumer Theories of Harm

Time: Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 6:00-7:00 pm Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

It has long been thought that fairness in European Consumer Law would be achieved by relying on information as a remedy and expecting the average consumer to keep businesses in check by voting with their feet. This monograph argues that the way consumer law operates today promises a lot but does not deliver enough. It struggles to avoid harm being caused to consumers and it struggles to repair the harm after the event. To achieve fairness, solutions need to be found elsewhere. Consumer Theories of Harm offers an alternative model to assess where and how consumer detriment may occur and solutions to prevent it. It shows that a more confident use of economic theory will allow practitioners to demonstrate how a poor standard of professional diligence lies at the heart of consumer harm. The book provides both theoretical and practical examples of how to combine existing law with economic theory to improve case outcomes. The book shows how public enforcers can move beyond the dominant transparency paradigm to an approach where firms have a positive duty to treat consumers fairly and shape their commercial offers in a way that prevents consumers from making mistakes. Over time, this 'fairness-by-design' approach will emerge as the only acceptable way to compete. More information can be found at https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/consumer-theories-of-harm-9781509916870/

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Hong Kong and BEPS 2.0

Time: Tuesday, 30 November 2021, 3:00-4:30 pm Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hrs
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

This presentation will consider how the recent agreement reached by the OECD/G20 on the Inclusive Framework on BEPS to address the tax challenges from the digitalization of the economy may impact upon Hong Kong. With the agreement only having been recently reached and with much work to be undertaken to bring it into effect, this presentation can at best speculate on how this agreement with impact upon Hong Kong. Indeed, the presentation will be premised on the assumption that the agreement is implemented largely as intended.

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Regulators’ Perspectives on AI, Technology and Personal Data Protection

Time: Monday, 22 November 2021, 3:00 – 4:30 PM Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1.5 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Ms Ada Chung, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong will present "Ethical Development and Use of AI" and Mr Yeong Zee Kin, Deputy Commissioner, Personal Data Protection Commission, Singapore will present "Singapore’s Approach to Developing Trustworthy AI"

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A Multilateral Agreement on Carbon Pricing and Implications for Developing Countries

Time: Wednesday, 17 November 2021, 3:00-4:00 pm Hong Kong Time
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Climate change is an urgent issue facing all nations. A carbon pricing measure can be a cost-effective way to address climate change issues. However, a truly effective measure of this sort would need to be implemented on a global scale and at an appropriate price level. This presentation considers options for creating a multilateral carbon pricing framework and implications for developing countries. It analyses three options: a global carbon tax, adoption of emissions trading systems widely with progressive tightening of emissions targets, and a global minimum carbon price framework. It argues that a multilateral agreement on global minimum carbon prices can be an optimal option to the extent that the agreement applies to major carbon emitters and provides differential prices for developing countries. The global minimum carbon price framework could be supplemented with unilateral border carbon adjustments to encourage compliance, but the legality of such adjustments must be considered in light of international trade law and the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. The article concludes that the global minimum carbon price option can help scale up carbon pricing globally with effective prices for emissions reduction and at the same time take into account the interests and needs of developing countries in the implementation of reduction policies.

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PSD2 and the Regulation of Data-Based Innovation in Retail Banking: A European Perspective

Time: 6 October 2021, 4:00 - 5:00 PM, HKT
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

Directive (EU) 2015/2366 on payment services (PSD2) is the cornerstone in the EU’s regulatory framework for retail payments. Adopted in 2015, PSD2 paved the way to what is known today as open banking – provision of innovative financial services by non-banking providers using consumer data. Despite addressing the issues of uneven-playing field and consumer protection, and the aim of PSD2 to facilitate innovation, enhance trust and consumer control over their own data, a number of challenges remain. Problems of technological interoperability and obstacles to cross-border provision of services persist, and prompt a critical review of the current regulatory framework. The lecture will guide participants through the core elements of PSD2, focus on the consumer payment account data sharing and the interplay between PSD2 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), outline the main regulatory challenges and discuss the recent proposals to revise the current framework.

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AI Governance and Open Finance Initiatives

Time: 13 September 2021, 4:00 – 5:00 PM HKT
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

The lecture will have two parts. The first will talk about AI governance and the concept of ‘AI in community’. Following will be a discussion of digital self-determination as a progressive approach to responsible data access and a paradigm of data management which moves away from rights and ownership, rejects contestation and looks for mutualised interests. The second part of the lecture will take two case studies 1) fair lending, and 2) open banking. Both these areas of interest provide fertile discussion of the application of digital self-determination (DSD). For instance, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority recently announced plans to launch the Commercial Data Interchange (CDI), a new consent-based financial infrastructure which seeks to enable more secure and efficient data flows between banks and businesses to address pain points in SME financing. This is part of the four phase initiate on Open Banking. DSD has specific application in achieving these aspirations. Openness connects with DSD’s requirement that data-subjects should be informed about the nature, purpose and consequences of personal data access and usage. Fairness is reflected DSD’s commitment to autonomy in community – where data interests may be shared, responsibilised and respectfully managed in an atmosphere of mutual benefit. Speakers: Professor Mark Findlay and Nydia Remolina.

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Digital Assets in Hong Kong: What are They and How are They Taxed

Time: 31 May 2021 4:00-5:00 pm HKT
Duration: 1 hr
Location: Virtual
Link: Here
Description:

CLICK THE LINK TO WATCH | Initiated by the Taxation Law Research Programme (TLRP), Asian Institute of International Financial Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong | Join Dr. Oriol Caudevilla, Honorary Fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law, in the webinar presentation 'Digital Assets in Hong Kong' who will contrast between digital assets and #cryptocurrencies, discuss #blockchain technology and how digital assets are taxed in Hong Kong. The presentation will take place via Zoom on Monday, 31 May 2021, 4-5pm HKT. Click link for REGISTRATION and more information.

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