“There may be good reasons for that. The action is actually quite healthy…The rumor mills will come into play, which is what you will expect, but I think we should not prejudge that this is something which is sinister. I don’t think it is sinister. I think it is part of a regulator stamping its authority in the market, particularly when some of these are supposed to be very politically well-connected (companies). This shows that there is a will at the top to get things right,” he said.

What can be improved on, Chu said, is to conduct such exercises more systematically.

“I think the anti-corruption exercise will be a fairly permanent one. I hope that there will be a more systematic approach with more transparency, (that) they will articulate what their plans are so that people know where they stand,” he added.

Now, due to the sheer number of companies in China, it’s not easy to tell if a particular investigation is methodical, a one-off or permanent, he said.

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China from the United Kingdom later this week, Chu was upbeat on what has been achieved in two decades.

“The ‘one country, two systems’ concept by and large has worked well. The rule of law is very, very much alive,” he said.

“The Chinese government has given Hong Kong a lot of support. By and large, we enjoy the same freedom day to day. Hong Kong is thriving. I think we should look ahead with renewed confidence and hope,” said Chu.

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