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HK agencies close offices and release staff over extradition bill protests

A number of Hong Kong creative agencies have decided to go on strike or have announced special arrangements for employees in regards to the ongoing dispute over the controversial China extradition bill.

Following a massive 9 June protest – with an estimated attendance ranging between 250,000 and over one million –  the Hong Kong government said that it would still go forward with a controversial extradition bill that would allow apprehended criminal suspects to be delivered to authorities in mainland China. Several locally based creative agencies have issued a response by allowing staff to down tools, ostensibly to take part in upcoming follow-up protests.

In a post on his official Facebook page, Vincent Tsui, founder and CEO of Toast Communications (an agency with a recent record of taking a political stand), said nine companies under the umbrella of TKS partners will cease operating tomorrow. The company has also informed clients and partners over the arrangement.

“We offer the room for our colleagues to do what they want tomorrow. Perhaps we don’t have much to do, but we still need to stand up for justice,” Tsui said.

Rudi Leung, founder of Hungry Digital, said that he would support every decision made by his colleagues. He hoped his colleagues would think about “what we need in future”, and thought it’s a personal decision to participate in the strike.  As Leung is currently in Taiwan, he said he couldn’t support the strike tomorrow (欲「罷」不能).

Kenneth Wan, co-founder and director of Bread Digital, has confirmed the company would also close the office tomorrow, allowing colleagues to proceed with their plans.

“We are just doing the right thing, and currently we don’t have negative feedback from the clients at this moment,” Wan commented.

As for other agencies, Marketing understands Edelman and Golin will make special arrangements, offering flexibility for employees to work and continue with personal plans.

We will continue to update this article as other agencies inform us of their situation. If you are based in HK and aware of any special arrangements at your agency, please get in touch.

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