HK protests lead to cancellation of global tech conference RISE

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Amidst rampant security concerns and social unrest, the company behind global tech conference RISE cancels their flagship summit, slated for March 2020.

“Our number one priority is the well-being, safety, and security of attendees at our events,” the company said in a statement. “Given the uncertainty of the situation by early 2020, and after consulting with experts and advisers, we have decided to postpone RISE until March 2021.”

With the cancellation of RISE, Hong Kong adds yet another major event to a growing list of business losses now plaguing the city. According to the South China Morning Post, the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council found a 20 percent drop in visitors to exhibitions held in October. This amounted to roughly HK$300 million in lost tourism-related revenues.

RISE is the first event on the city’s 2020 calendar to be cancelled due to security concerns, signalling that the protests may now be affecting long-term business planning. Experts have confirmed that Hong Kong is currently in a technical recession, and is expected to experience continued negative growth well into next year.