So this is another show that’s tricky and I try to get certain people on the show. Today, we have Chris Thomas from The Australian Seller Show. He’s been a longtime supporter of Global From Asia and is here to talk about the future of Hong Kong business. We talk a little bit about the tariffs, some strategies and how it affects people doing business.
Topics Covered in this Episode
The current events in HK, HK airport, Shenzhen
Can’t get too political, but how has it been for you personally?
Filing Taxes during Protests
There have been times our staff can’t even reach the government building due to protests! Protestors’ tactics seem diversified. They now target to interrupt the financial stability of the government. They are urging people to not pay tax and withdraw USD in order to break the current fiscal and financial system. However, no significant effect was seen at the moment.
Definitely is hurting tourist market. I also have a friend Lucian who has a sublet business that is under pressure. It does hit tourism badly. People at the moment are very scared because they see the violence video or pictures on the internet. They are afraid of themselves being affected if they come to HK. However, I would say it’s still safe to come. The violence is happening in just limited location with limited occurrences. In most place and in most time, order is still maintained.
Listeners who have HK companies but are remote, how are they?
They are a bit nervous at the moment, I don’t think people having companies here need to be too much worried of any changes. Even the government has been changed to led by military leaders, which is in extreme case, we don’t see the points to change the company ordinance or other laws relating to businesses, finances, commercial sector. It would just create even more choas and harm the China government itself as they have a lot of commercial and financial interest here in HK too. They still have very much reliance on the international financing function from HK for international money.
Separate Personal and Business
People living in Hong Kong are those who should worry the most. If you are running a business – your bank and company is safe. China and the rest of the world both don’t want to risk the HK business stability.
It is about trusting your bank
When it comes down to it – company, government, banks – it really is about is your money safe. If the system collapses – you need to ask yourself -do you think the bank will not let you claim your assets (money)? I cannot imagine that happening personally, but that is a decision you need to make.
Exchange all HKD to USD?
Should we get out of the Hong Kong dollar, will it be risked to unpeg from the USD and drop in value? it’s possible for HKD depreciation, but if it happen, it’s also even cheaper to run a HK company right?
And hey if it collapses - maybe no need to pay taxes?!
If the system fails, what would happen about our taxes and filing fees?
Seems Singapore is winning from all of this?
People going to Singapore, always the top alternative to Hong Kong company structure. Bigger difference there is need for a local Singaporean director, where in Hong kong only need a local secretary.
Should someone open a HK company now?
What do you think? I think people still don’t need to feel too worried about the company, commercial and financial system. It’s still running safe even protestors are trying to ruin it.
What does the future hold?
Any predictions in the crystal ball? There’s no clear sign on the trend yet, but if it turns out positively, more democracy would be here in HK.
How people can connect to our corporate services
Stay safe everyone, and also stay logical.
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ Chris Thomas’ VIP Expert Page
√ Michael Michelini’s VIP Expert Page
√ Chris Thomas podcast – The Australian Seller
√ Offshore in Hong Kong
√ Global From Asia HK Services
√ Estonia e-residency
√ Andrew Henderson’s Nomad Capitalist
√ USA Fatca
Episode Length 49:18
Thank you so much Chris for the insights, hope you guys enjoyed it.
Are you gonna be out in Guangzhou for the Canton Fair? I hope you’re not too scared to come to China. It’s gonna be an amazing fourth annual cross-border Summit October 22nd and 23rd with an additional Mastermind on the 21st if you’d like to make it out for that additional part.
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Episode 269 of Global From Asia. What’s the current and future state of doing business in Hong Kong? 2019. Are we, is this the end? Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight-up actionable advice. And now, your host Michael Michelini. Thank you everybody for choosing to download and listen or stream or hopefully you have open and free internet to download this and it’s not blocked somewhere, but it’s MP3 file.
[00:00:38] So hopefully can be hosted all over the place. We try to get this in as many earbuds as possible and just keeping it real. Elena says bold Mike. You know the last few episodes. I’ve been I don’t know maybe because I live in Thailand now, maybe because we moved the server to Singapore or maybe I just don’t care anymore.
[00:00:56] I mean gotta live enough to make make the bread make the dough for the kids, but for me, I don’t need much. I’m a minimalist and life is simple. It’s more than material things,I mean. Right? So this is a another show that’s was tricky and I try to get certain people on the show and. Got Chris Thomas to share which is awesome.
[00:01:22] He’s a longtime supporter of Global From Asia. Really appreciate Chris from the Australian seller.com. And while he’s more normally talk about Amazon and e-commerce. He’s talking with me about the future of Hong Kong business. Is 2019 the end of Hong Kong as we know it as far as business and life and freedom and
[00:01:46] Do whatever we want to call this. What Hong Kong is. Will it be ever the same? I mean, this is how this podcast even started. I mean it was welcome to the glorification of podcasts were running international business from Hong Kong is broken down into straight up actionable advice. If you notice there’s no more from Hong Kong. I cut that out about two years ago. The banking crackdown kind of destroyed me.
[00:02:09] I mean My Little Agency. I’ll, I’ll see you there for the blah blah blah section. This is a longer episode about an hour long. Chris and I are going through quite a bit talk a little bit about the tariffs you get some strategies and what he’s seeing people do for tariffs. Also how it affects people not just doing business in America.
[00:02:28] This is affecting everybody and but most of the time we’ll be talking about Hong Kong business future mean. Why do people do it there while I have people done it there. What are people doing now? And what do we think is going to be the future. And then, after the interview, I will talk for about my five to 10-minute blah blah blah session that some of y’all like, or at least if you stick until all the way to the end.
[00:02:48] You can hear mine and I’m going to talk about Global From Asia from 2013. How is, how we made money and, we still make some money. I’m a, we are, are strategic partner shareholder in Unipro which is a Hong Kong-based CPA firm. Ray Ng is an amazing business partner, amazing person. And so that is something we still do here.
[00:03:13] But I’ve Diversified quite a bit. Some would say lost Focus. But we will go through some of the milestones. The Global From Asia and the Hong Kong agency and maybe I’ll shoot myself in the foot with some of the stuff. I say on the show, but you know what? That’s why I like shooting myself in the foot.
[00:03:32] Well, I like sharing things as they are and I’m trying to promise to be maybe share stuff that is scary and sharing stuff that people aren’t talking about or. You know we are we are a non-funded. There is no there’s no evil Corporation funding this. We have sponsors. I have Goremit. And we also have Neat sponsoring some of this. And we have other sponsors Insight Quality and other sponsors – Forest Shipping and others that support the show.
[00:03:59] So hopefully they don’t pull the plug because it will some of the stuff we said, but I think people are enjoying what we’re talking about more and I’m going to keep it real and even though it might not help me with my CPA business. It might not help me with what I’ve even talked about, I keep things real.
[00:04:14] I always try my best to be straight-up actionable advice. So without further ado. And Alvin, maybe you can play that intro straight up from Hong Kong. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business from Hong Kong is broken down into straight-up actionable advice.
[00:04:35] And now your host Michael Michelini. Hong Kong. Is this running international business from Hong Kong. What is the future of running an issue of international business from Hong Kong? The banks have been trying to crush us for a while. So we’re going to talk about it today. I hope you enjoy and.
[00:04:54] Afterwards, I’ll talk about some of the Milestones of how I’ve tried it in one of the Global From Asia. Are you looking for a fast way to get your money out of Hong Kong? It’s days, go to show, scaring you so much. You can consider using our sponsor goremit.hk, a cross border payment company from Hong Kong. Send money from your Hong Kong bank to their cross-border payments solution hold the balance are as long as you’d like and when needed in U.S.
[00:05:21] Dollar or Hong Kong dollar send it to other countries within Asia into mainland China Philippines, Vietnam Thailand and more and more locations. I’ve known them since the early stages and they’ve been a help, to sponsor this show for many years. If you’re looking for a cross-border payments solution for your Hong Kong bank, definitely check them out and tell them GFA sent you. So, thank you everybody for tuning in to Global From Asia podcasts.
[00:05:48] We’re getting up in the numbers here. We had Chris on the show. Wow, it’s been a while. It’s been a while. I could quote it in the intro what number we’re linking in the show notes. But a lot has changed and Chris Thomas, I appreciate you jumping on this controversial or this Hot Topic I think too. But you’re all host of the Australian seller podcasts.
[00:06:11] That’s exactly right, which is awesome. I’ve been watching you, you know get it going and it’s picking up steam and you’re doing great things of course with Australian Sellers and people doing business in the Australian Market with meet-ups and of course the podcast and other other community type endeavors, so it’s great to have you back on the show. Great to be back Mike.
[00:06:37] Thanks so much for inviting me on today, really excited to talk about this topic. It’s really cool. Yeah, so still working on a title. I don’t know about you for your shows. Sometimes. I think he’ll title as I do it or afterwards but it’s kind of like Hong Kong business is it still viable? Say for, what you know where we at now is the future, you know try to get others to come on and you’re brave enough to join me on this topic and to, we don’t get, they don’t get so political. I’m feeling maybe I have become more political lately in the show. But it seems politics and business are really getting overlapped right now.
[00:07:11] Usually, I like to stick just on the business stuff, but it’s kind of hard to avoid politics and business at least in this in this space of cross-border trade between Asia and the West right? Yeah. Well, I mean look, you’re absolutely right and I think that sums up right at the very top of the trade in terms of what’s going on globally at the moment.
[00:07:32] I mean, we got Brexit in Europe and that is having a massive impact on business confidence and then we’ve course, we’ve got the trade Wars that are going on between President Trump and China and then you’re throwing sprinkle on top of that little cherries, which is what’s happening in Hong Kong sort of more regionally.
[00:07:52] Yeah. It’s a really interesting time of life. Yeah, so it does seem to I know some people say oh, you know, well, you’re in Australia, so maybe that’s a good topic like it affects the Australian market right? I know I’ve seen people in your group talking about that. I mean you guys even if you’re not dealing with the US market, which I think still, sellers in Australia or everybody access something else. People don’t realize like I talked to some journalists and some other people that aren’t everybody thinks only Chinese sells to America now, you know, so all this trade war’s going to hurt the Chinese and everybody else is going to benefit. But it hurts everybody and I don’t know if you feel, if you want, give us some impact of how it’s affected.
[00:08:35] Maybe people in your in your world or with. Yeah, sure. Well look obviously a lot of sellers in Australia or just like anywhere else in the world where they’re sourcing their products mainly from China, myself included. So even though we live a long way away from both China and United States in the Marketplaces, that we operate in yeah, these these trade Wars is tariff the impacts of the tower certainly having material impact on potential future profitability.
[00:09:03] And it also the value of the companies that were building. You know, I think there’s there’s a huge sort of right at the very end of this is where you might be looking to exit your business and you know buyers are a little bit nervous about paying too much or business because I know I really sure what their cost of goods are going to look like.
[00:09:20] Where tariff’s on top. Yeah, and yeah, and then and sellers are sort of well, maybe maybe I want some business at the moment till there’s more certainty but you know just a day-to-day running of an e-commerce bit of an e-commerce business. Yeah. I mean, you know, there’s I’m just trying to figure out.
[00:09:37] Which of the products that you sell in terms of, you know having to look up there harmonization codes to find out where they belong in light list one and list, two three or four, you know, there’s different lists are all coming in at different times and all been affected by the different levels of the percentage increases.
[00:09:55] And as increases it changing it every time Donald does it tight, you know, it’s just it’s chaos. It’s chaotic actually. Yeah, trying to figure out you know, and and have any certainty about planning for your business and planning for profitability. And how do we how do we pass that those extra costs on or do we absorb them or do we spread them out with you know with a supplier, you know, I think Liran hirschkorn talks about his model.
[00:10:20] It might which is to to sort of you know, the guy shot with the supply to say look, you know, I’ve got a tariff coming of 30%, So if you reduce your price to me by 10% and then I’ll absorb 10% and then I’ll raise my price by 10%. I think that’s quite a nice way to spread out the the impact of the substantial 30 percent tariff. True. So yeah really from an operational perspective right through to sort of the end of life of an Amazon business when you’re looking to sell it.
[00:10:48] Yes. It’s having a huge impact. Yeah, I know both sigh. So how about somebody say selling just in Australia or Manchester, you know a small Market but it’s still in effect them. I mean if you’re not selling to the US or they’re just you know buying from the state Chinese Factory. Would you think that if I think if does impact even people importing to Australia?
[00:11:13] Little bit. The biggest loser. I think from our perspective here in Australia has been our currency. So I currencies actually drop quite significantly. So if we’re buying things Australian dollars are not buying as many US dollars as they did maybe a few months back. So so that’s having an impact on you know, sort of input costs and having to buy goods from China.
[00:11:35] We’re having to spend a lot more Australian dollars to buy those goods which are all you know valued in US Dollars typically so so that is definitely yeah. It is having a classic. Any point, the currency here. I think that’s the point even here in Thailand. I think listeners know I’m in Thailand now and we just sent some money from China here and.
[00:11:58] Wendy was commenting last year that was a lot more bought than this year because you know schools and everything. So the RMB has dropped a lot. I think to a lot of mark a lot of different currencies globally during this maybe which some say is manipulating. I don’t know. I’m not getting reasons why but all I know is this going to be less.
[00:12:21] Powerful when you’re buying, you know sending it out, so it’s actually going to buy from China, but they’re doing it with the currency to try to offset the tariffs, I think. Yeah, that’s right. And then actually just just on that point that I raised earlier about negotiating with suppliers. I think a lot of people talking about this but you can actually talk to your supplier in China about the fact that the currency you can show them a graph of how the currency because you’re paying these suppliers in US
[00:12:48] Dollars typically and of course, they’re paying their staff and their electricity costs and only other on cost that they have within their business in RMB. And so, you know, there’s there’s been quite a a change in the exchange rate between the US dollar in there and the RMB or to Yuan. True. So so yeah.
[00:13:05] Yeah. This is negotiating pattern as well. That’s a good point. So, you know, Chris knows I’m a part actually I’ll talk about the maybe the end of the show, or maybe we can integrate in the show, but it’s a this Hong Kong business stuff is really been impacting me. I think since I’d say since the 2016 banking
[00:13:25] I don’t want to say any crisis or Crackdown or whatever. But you know, I used to be more focused on purely like Hong Kong business agency here with the blog and the podcast. But the banking got really tough tough for me and the You know, it was hard for me to be confident on my service provided if I can’t help people get bank accounts open.
[00:13:46] So I kind of diversified and hedged my bets and I partner with with a CPA a really nice guy. Ray which he’s, doesn’t get involved in this podcast. So but I know we have which we help people with, you know, tax filings and such and there was this has been about three months of these protests and it was days, we-
[00:14:11] Our staff have to sometimes go to the offices in the tax department to file some of this archaic stuff has to be done in person and you literally the offices were either closed or they were shut down or Subways empty or they call late or just sick, shut down, had to like walk, had to go to next day and there’s just been this real chaos of getting there.
[00:14:32] But of course it’s not. It’s not a long long term, but sometimes like a date would be government certain government offices were shut down or there are certain days, things were not able to be done and it seems like protesters are almost doing that on purpose to try to hit the business sector to try to get more attention or Empower them more to kind of get changes that they wanted to have happen and happens.
[00:14:55] So, you know, that’s a I guess kind of what we talked about with the show today is you know is that’s kind of had clients that CPA firm asking us and just of course blog, you know this podcast started. I don’t know if Chris knows is the intro used to be welcome to Global From Asia podcast. We’re running international business from Hong Kong Hong Kong.
[00:15:17] If you notice that was cut I don’t know whether I have you seen her 17 listeners and told me maybe Alvin or. Alvin if you can really stick that in, or even now. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business from Hong Kong is broken down into straight-up actionable advice and now your host Michael Michelini.
[00:15:42] I cut that out a couple of years ago because of the challenges and but you know, I don’t I mean. I don’t know if you want to say but I think you operate at least some of your business through through Hong-. I mean you lived in Hong Kong for quite some time. Maybe you can also share Chris about. You’re in Australia now, but you’ve got quite some experience with Hong Kong and China over the years.
[00:16:07] Yeah, that’s right. So, I mean I was lucky enough to live in Hong Kong for few years, was beginning of 2014 through until the end of 2016. So almost two years. And it was during that time actually that I met you. I started listening to your podcast about. Really good. I’m coming to Hong Kong. Within a few months of arriving there, actually finished a Kickstarter campaign and I was going into a full-on e-commerce mode.
[00:16:28] So it made sense to sort of learn more about you know doing business in China and Hong Kong and ended up setting up a company in Hong Kong and then because we live there as a lot easier to get a bank account and it was also before the bank account kind of crack down before HSBC really got itself or got itself in a lot of trouble with the US government particularly around their money laundering and you know where there’s a lot of drug money allegedly that was being laundered through HSBC branches in the United States.
[00:16:59] So that money could be sent back to the cartels wherever they were cartels. So so, you know the American government actually threatened to suspend or indeed revokeHSBC banking license in the United States which would have been catastrophic for their business. So they really started cracking down on who is opening up these bank accounts and that made it you know, that’s the crisis that we went through in 2016 and certainly a lot of your clients.
[00:17:27] I suppose other folks wanted wanted to set up in Hong Kong. So there’s still a lot of benefits is setting up in Hong Kong obviously. You know that the rule of law or I think is still in some way. You know still working but you know that the taxes vary a lot. So some years, you know, maybe around the sort of sixteen and a half percent and I think last 12 months, it’s only been about eight point two five.
[00:17:52] I suspect next with everything that’s going on and companies threatening to potentially leave Hong Kong that maybe the taxes next year might be zero. Is this is I’m not I wouldn’t surprise me crystal ball gazing already in that in this episode. But yeah, I mean, maybe that’s. So far, it’s been an incredible place to do business and it’s been great to have a multi currency account and you know just to be set up there.
[00:18:18] Yeah, and so close to China. So yeah, it’s so that’s really my background there and and of course back in 2016, we moved back to Australia and but I’ve still got the account and the business will still set up in Hong Kong. Sure. I’m. Some listeners have you know, they keep your ears perked up for me, but I’ve been mentioning.
[00:18:38] I got the letter. I caught the letter of death, but the HSBC is threatening close my even my little Consulting agents. I have a few different businesses in Hong Kong, you know, but for Global From Asia is like a consulting company and I I get the letter of death where they’re asking for all this KYC stuff.
[00:18:56] And I mean some people pass and some people don’t pass and I don’t want to calling people out. But lately some people have not been passing. So I’m a I’m nervous I even they called me literally yesterday and asked me so many more questions of all the more documents had to provide but yeah. The benefits of Hong Kong like for so many years and still is valid is you know low, even low to no tax.
[00:19:24] I mean, there’s this offshore, option too, which is tricky and we have some blog posts. Maybe we can link to but even with the normal tax that 16 and a half and then like yeah like a year or two ago. They did down to eight point. I think it’s eight, I think it’s half of 16 and a half. So I think it’s 8.75 technically something around 8:00.
[00:19:44] I think it’s somewhere around the 8. But then it is and yeah, maybe they’ll drop into the more. I kind of have a joke in my show notes, maybe we will maybe we won’t be taxed as the whole system collapses. Maybe you could get out of our text debts, you know reset to zero or something. But but but of course the bank, well, a lot of listeners are people.
[00:20:02] I’ve actually I’ve learned since I started this podcast that there’s business owners Banks. There’s a company registration and then there’s the bank account and they’re completely almost. They’re not totally separate but they’re honestly to me separate. Honestly, all people really care about is a bank account.
[00:20:19] I mean the company is only is what else is of course, you can write a contract you sign a contract between an invoice from a factory or you know, but really all you really need is a bank account. You need something customers to put money in and you to send money out and the reason I have a business is to separate your personal.
[00:20:42] self from your business self so that you can have you know, profit and loss and you can have partners and maybe hopefully sell it one day and have clean books and that’s the the purpose but yeah, I mean in Hong Kong was great because is I say I’m somewhat speaking a past tense, but it is great.
[00:21:00] If you can get a multi-currency english-language secure bank account where you can hopefully you have a credit card which seems like an easy thing. But that’s also a huge hurdle and you could you know payload even though tax right? I mean that’s the dream of Internet entrepreneur is they could.
[00:21:19] Live anywhere like me. I’m in Thailand and I can have a decently good bank account credit card, you know connects to PayPal connects to stripe connects to Amazon, etc. Etc. They can then take out money as dividends or salary and they can then report their taxes. But yeah, I mean the real challenge is the bank account.
[00:21:40] So I tell people when they’re freaking out about these protests and all this news of the, you know, tear gas and water, water things. I mean, I guess there’s probably more concerned about two things. I think your bank, banking and your currency, right? I mean, I think the government is not going to like void your company your company’s going to be like reset which actually wouldn’t even really matter.
[00:22:02] As long as you have your bank account. I think it’s really just your bank account right like your money up there and safe. So, how do you feel about that? I mean you have some probably have some money in Hong Kong. You still have your, Your Hong Kong bank. I mean, are you losing sleep right now?
[00:22:17] Thinking you’re going to get it’s going to get Frozen and you’re not going to get your money out or something. I mean, that’s I guess what, that’s private biggest risk. I think business owners should think about right is is my money safe. Yeah, look, I think it’s it’s a really good question. I haven’t really been losing too much sleep over it.
[00:22:34] I’ll probably lose more sleep when the KYC Rocks around in other words Hong Kong HSBC will once a year in my annual sort of KYC dates are usually around January February each year. Where I just have to kind of reconfirm all of my details my personal details and hand over all of my copies of my passport.
[00:22:55] And basically I am who I say I am in terms of the owner of the account. So so that side of it is probably a little bit more scary. The only thing that really probably keeps me up awake awake at night is just around whether China will intervene in any meaningful way within the territory itself.
[00:23:14] Yes, I and I think that could create a huge flight of capital that sort of mind-feeling sort of on the outside looking in where people just go. Oh my God, like, you know, we’re about to about to go communist. Yeah and stay don’t and then that that for me is probably the thing that would probably tip it for me and I’d go right I’m getting cash back out.
[00:23:36] So but yeah, look at sort of between the banks and the political situation. You know, it’s I think probably the more, more frightened of the bank will shut them. I counted two like you actually I was just on a phone call with WeChat on with my supplier in Guangzhou and she was saying that couple of her friends have actually had this one friend in particular has got five Hangsang bank accounts businessman counseling with, rather than be shut down last 12 months.
[00:24:02] Yeah. She’s scrambling to create some additional backup. Business bank accounts. Yeah, so it’s sort of banks need to be really cracking down at probably the worst possible time and says that they know that if we don’t have enough stress, you know, we’re getting nailed by the tariffs. I have to check.
[00:24:22] Donald Trump’s tweets to see how much to my tax bill is going to be or my import Bills going to be in after back track how many tweets and when he said which tweet and then there’s September and there’s December and then there’s phone calls over the weekend and we don’t know what happened or didn’t happen.
[00:24:37] You know, it’s like I know and then on top of the tariffs. The banks want to shut you down for no reason and in in the other Army might raid Hong Kong and then collapse the currency. And banks everyone runs on the bank. How crazier can our life plus you’re like, you know trying to make sure you don’t get hijackers on your listing.
[00:24:59] You don’t care. You don’t get somebody like negative review bombing your list. Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, yeah, I mean is it I know we’re getting spread pretty thin try to try to take into consideration all these different aspects of prevent business life. Yeah interesting, but I think that yeah listeners freaking out.
[00:25:18] Yeah, I guess if the PLA which is the People’s Liberation Army, which they’ve been showing demonstrations on the border if they were to invade. Yeah, I guess. It seems like the US has said if that happened they would no longer recognize SAR or they would no longer recognize Hong Kong as like independent region, and I guess I don’t know that might then unpeg the dollar to the I don’t that would be what would do it, but then.
[00:25:44] I don’t think they can I don’t think they can because hey works, but now the peg the peg is actually really interesting Hong Kong is one of the few currencies that actually looked this up on Wikipedia about a year ago. So I might be really works. But I know that the Hong Kong monetary fund the IMF.
[00:26:00] Whatever it takes anyway internal monetary fund whatever the Hong Kong monetary fund is called. They send out contracts to the three main Banks. I think it’s Standard Chartered, HSBC and Hang Seng to when they want money printed or extra currency to be to be created and those Banks actually need to go and buy US Dollars physical notes and they’re stored in vaults in Hong Kong.
[00:26:23] So they’re not going dollars actually backed by I think Hong Kong actually has the largest reserve of you of actual physical US dollar currency outside of the United States that that’s is what I remember reading. So the Hong Kong dollar can’t really collapse unless the US dollar goes with it, but takes it down.
[00:26:42] Basically. I mean there has been it has been little bit weaker. If I remember I mean that was it’s weakening a little bit because I guess what has to happen is banks have to keep buying or selling to balance it at 7.8 or 7.78 number. So I think if but yeah, I mean I can’t imagine protesters having enough money to which drops or you know withdraw to drop it or break it but I think what’s happening is if people keep pulling out Hong Kong dollar enough
[00:27:12] Then the banks but yeah, it’s true it have to have I don’t know how much we don’t have the exact number. I don’t expect you or may not have the numbers but in basically there’s a ton of cash that these banks have but of course if enough of it was pulled out at all the same time, I guess that could.
[00:27:31] Really test the amount of money that those Banks and of them. I think it’s Hong Kong monetary. HKMA Hong Kong monetary Authority would have to like somehow run out of enough to be able to balance enough people taking out Hong Kong dollar but I think people listening that might be freaking out they have I think you have to just ask yourself two questions one is the currency but then you can still have multi-currency accounts.
[00:27:55] So you can even still hold the US Dollars or any other currency, even I think physical gold at least agency I could convert to Gold but so one is the currency in a second is do you really think I think These Guys these banks are if it’s a International Bank, I think if you have a local bank might be more nervous, but if you’re dealing with like a HSBC or these big banks that are
[00:28:16] Like globally I think it would be pretty hard to imagine them being insolvent enough to not be able to let you take out your money that you have. I mean, I think all banks are supposed to keep enough money so that people can take out their deposits, you know, so I think those are the two main main questions.
[00:28:36] I think if the end of the same part, you know, mainland China isn’t doesn’t want the Hong Kong System to totally collapse. They might want to integrate it into like Shenzhen or you know, they’re trying to make this whole Greater Bay or trying to kind of integrate Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau, Zhuhai into some huge Metropolis, but I don’t like. There’s been a lot of money spent on the bridge.
[00:29:04] I mean, it was almost 19 billion US Dollars spent just building the 55 kilometers bridge between Hong Kong and Zhuhai I think is that it’s close to Macau. Yep, that was actually about last October by President Xi. So, you know, it’s pretty surprising that we’ve got ourselves in this situation where Hong Kong all of a sudden because I think that it seems to be happening to is that the Chinese government is encouraging businesses now to kind of set up at least branches or indeed head office is in Shenzhen and yeah, you know the big topic that we should be talking about which is the fact that China seems to
[00:29:40] Be encouraging companies to basically kind of pull up stumps from Hong Kong itself and sideline Hong Kong so that they can yeah, you know sort of bring bring all of that money all of that sort of activity that corporate activity and headquarters and everything else into you know under its under its wing in Shenzhen.
[00:30:01] where it’s a lot safer. I think I think it’s probably why they’re saying it but it look frankly Shenzhen also had its GDP actually beat Hong Kong s GDP last year for the first time. So, Shenzhen actually now bigger to you know. Hong Kong is almost you know it might be starting to become irrelevant. Yeah. I mean, that’s not a point.[00:30:21] Thus we should talk about is when I don’t know the exact dates, but definitely over more and more more and more time to whether Shenzhen but also Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, these major cities in China have gotten more and more Rich over I don’t last 10 20, maybe 30 years. I’m sure if we looked at a chart you’d see.
[00:30:43] It’s of course just the size and volume but not just that the percentage of the economy of China if you include Hong Kong percentage of the significance of the percent of the total of Hong Kong compared to all of mainland China is continually going down. So now it’s become less and less of a risk for China to kind of let Hong Kong not be as powerful.
[00:31:09] So yeah, they’ve been announcing. Yeah, especially with all these protests and all this unrest and Hong Kong, they’re trying to encourage more people to do business in Shenzhen. I spent 10 years there. I mean I even still have a Hong Kong company and a Shenzhen company, but the big difference is, well, no multi-currency banking. I got a, actually.
[00:31:28] I got a guy will probably get on the show to talk about Hainan, which is a city near in the south of China. It’s a nice beautiful island that they have tourists. I haven’t been down there but they’re trying to pick that up. There’s like multi-currency banking, but I don’t think Shenzhen still has multi-currency.
[00:31:46] So you’re still locked in RMB. So anything you do in and out has to be converted to RMBs and might be wrong. I mean, I think you can’t really operate with US Dollars in all Shenzhen Bank or Chinese any Chinese Bank except Hainan. But, and then you know, they still haven’t opened up Shenzhen enough to be at least for me to say Global From Asia in the podcast for all these years, is they don’t have the international Banking and they don’t have like kind of like the low restrictions on the trading.
[00:32:15] It’s still a higher restricted currency single currency. So and higher tax, I mean they have been lowering taxes in Shenzhen. I don’t know where it’s at now and they’ve been always test. It’s always been a breeding ground or a test ground for the rest of China with policies. Yeah, it’s definitely true.
[00:32:33] I mean, it’s totally clear the last couple of months. They’ve been saying hey, let’s like let’s keep pushing people to Shenzhen or into making people do business more and also I would say it’s also going to be the Greater Bay, you know, like we said they’re going to try to kind of merge all this into one massive metropolis and.
[00:32:53] I even think may be asking why in 2016 the banking crack crack down it was there was probably also HSBC but is also the Panama papers panama, don’t know if you heard about that Chris, but there is a Panama where they a lot of people had Hong Kong Banks and HSBC, but they had Panama companies because the like I said throughout the show.
[00:33:13] A lot of people have Hong Kong Banks, but maybe an offshore companies to be a BVI or used to be a seashell and then they would get HSBC and then like I said, if you have a good bank account doesn’t really matter where your company’s registered, but now it’s got more strict any kind of have to have a Hong Kong company to get a Hong Kong bank.
[00:33:28] Even when I have a Hong Kong office now with an address. I think that’s why they’re really cracking down. They want us to be there. Like you said it would be easier if you were living in Hong Kong and had a physical address, but but yeah, in Shenzhen yeah and I. I still will mostly use my Hong Kong company, even though I had a Shenzhen and I would do that.
[00:33:47] Like I tell listeners sometimes it’s good to have a company certain country to sell there to hire there to maybe employ yourself there for immigration purposes. Usually to my top three reasons to really register a company anywhere. But but yeah this true is a good point that they’re definitely trying to pick up the.
[00:34:11] Pick up the people to go to like mainland China or Shenzhen directly, but I like because so many years people with I even, you know my clients to have they They moved to Shanghai when I moved to Beijing they opened up a Hong Kong company and then under the Hong Kong company there was Shenzhen, Shanghai or Beijing.
[00:34:31] Subsidiaries might very very common is south of China for factories trading companies Etc to do that as it’s called like a wholly foreign-owned entity. I think I think even these massive multinationals do that. We’ve had a lot of really old show with Mike Bellamy about triangular trading or 3-way trades where you’re.
[00:34:54] Kind of keeping most your profits offshore or at least outside of mainland China so they would purposely have a Hong Kong company where the main money would go in and they would just send a smaller amount of the money to the China for the operations to minimize tax. So I think they’re trying to it just seems like the trend of the.
[00:35:15] Mainland China has been just cracking down like closing down red light districts closing down all these different tax Havens closing down the internet. They crack down the internet the East, you know, I mean even back in 2008, they started locking down Facebook and everything, but. With the new new presidents and everything, I think 2012 or 13.
[00:35:40] I started really just turning up the volume of the needing vpns are just cracking down on vpns cracking down on foreign websites foreign media. It’s just been getting more and more strict. So yeah. Literally a friend that they do a Facebook group and there’s I mean we chat group and they’re moving out to Facebook now because it’s getting harder harder for foreigners to get WeChat accounts to even open now because they’re just making the policy so much more difficult.
[00:36:10] It’s just unbelievable. So I just think it’s just his overall trend. Yeah, I mean. Well, I mean we consider moving everybody’s business to Shenzhen and it’s I think it’s gonna be a little harder to run it off by international business there. I mean, you’re just gonna have to like you have to run it locally from China you would just enter tons of Chinese sellers.
[00:36:32] Right? What the Chinese seller does is sell in America, they get their payoneer or their other cross-border payments, OFX or whatever one’s you want to choose and then the money goes directly to Chinese bank account as RMB. Then they just totally operate in RMB right? They pay their selves and RMB they pay their staff and RMB.
[00:36:51] They pay their Chinese suppliers in RMB, but for for you Chris and for me most of us are outside of China want to stay into Hong Kong because we live outside of China. So we want to have our money and other operational money, maybe Philippines staff maybe other people. So that’s the other difference if you can operate purely like Shenzhen or in.
[00:37:13] Mainland China you’re going to be running basically purely out of RMB and then you can be you know, dealing with getting paying yourself paying, that’s why it’s hard to pay us. You know, that’s why it’s hard for Chinese sellers to work with foreigners because how do they send us money? Because all are RMB, you know, they’d have to go to the bank and get it sent out, you know did it’s kind of like a one-way system which is one way why I kind of agree with.
[00:37:37] Some of Trump’s policies. I do believe we do foreigners do need a better deal with China honestly. I mean, I’ll say it on a record. I think everybody would agree with me. But of course, he’s been a little bit too aggressive and just, it’s made our lives. Yeah, crazy. Sure has right now. Yeah coming up at just on the ground in Hong Kong.
[00:38:02] Yeah, just sort of writing through the SM the SCMP today. So trying to post is just around just the impact that it seems to be having on companies there. I wanted to maybe to throw that around Cathay Pacific I believe is it’ll cost a for you know, or reducing hours for staff and so far. They’ve been massively impacted by by the unrest
[00:38:24] What are you hearing on the ground? There’s well, gee you must mean I I was literally in Hong Kong last week. I was going to record this. This show’s actually going to be last week, but we got Howard on and kind of rearrange the order honestly, but I’m going to do this from the Hong Kong airport, you know, like with the background of the.
[00:38:44] I was a little bit nervous to go there. I mean, I’m in Thailand now about a year, but it’s calm down Miss AI think the height was when the Hong Kong airport was shut down. I think that was the peak of the protest so far. There’s still tear gas and there’s still water, this new water cannon thing but.
[00:39:02] It’s not as I think it was the craziest about or when was that mid-august whenever the Hong Kong airport was shut down, but it has been coming down and it usually is on the weekends. If you look it’s the weekends. Most of the riot protests were only call riots protests are on a weekend. So some people predict.
[00:39:23] there’s a couple predictions. There’s October 1st national holiday, which is about a month from now, so it’ll be I think that should have my facts completely correct, but it’s just some Monumental amount of years thinking might be 30 years. I don’t want to say the number but certain amount of years is like one of the round numbers.
[00:39:41] So it’s like a big deal for the Chinese certain amount of years. They’ve been formed how they’re formed. So they just want to make sure that this is not a problem. So I love, you’ll see it’s got to get cleaned up in the next month and they but has been coming down. I’ve talked to other friends that do like different kind of tourist type businesses in Hong Kong that are very reliant on tourists, you know, and they said it’s been starting to get a little bit better.
[00:40:18] They think when the airport was getting shut down that was really kind of I think the worst it’s gotten but it started to get more calm and others. The other prediction is a lot of these are students right and they’re on summer holiday. So what are they going to do when you go back to school? I mean, are they going to knock study or not going to do their homework?
[00:40:36] Are they going to drop out of college or university? I mean school starting now. So some people think that these are all just kids with nothing to do that. Just want to hang out and protest on the summer. So the other idea is maybe this will calm down when people go back to school. So that’s some of the predictions but it’s definitely been common down the last week or two for sure.
[00:40:58] Yeah. I was kind of raising about some full-size some recruitment companies in Hong Kong, there’s a lot of talent recruiting companies that try and attract foreign labor, you know, sort of Executives Western Executives and things to work in the banks and the insurance and that sort of thing and a lot of those guys are actually saying that it’s almost impossible to attract Talent right now.
[00:41:17] Don’t go. A lot of because often a lot of people are actually traveling, you know, wanting to relocate their families like I guess like what I did and what we did as a family, you know, I would be if this had to happen four five years ago and we’re in Hong Kong I would have definitely been in got to that going so. I know I mean we didn’t bring it up yet.
[00:41:38] I feel like Singapore, you brought up Shenzhen as a as a potential alternative. I’m actually gonna make an infographic Chris. I’m already working on now with our graphic designer, but. I’m going to have like a vote. I’m trying to make, I’m always trying to try more interactive content and to create infographic and then I’ll even have people vote with a poll on the site.
[00:41:58] But I think Singapore probably is the big winner. I think you know, I think you know, of course you would consider Shenzhen and people can consider I even think I’m even put US on there. I mean, you know, I think US is another actually for non-americans is pretty good for at least as of recording.
[00:42:16] This is a good privacy seems like America doesn’t it’s such a hypocrite but it doesn’t give data back to other countries of those countries citizens. So you can hide your money in America. Yeah, it’s crazy. Isn’t it? So US Is a good one and popular, like Estonia I’ve seen in groups. I mean I’ve researched it.
[00:42:35] I don’t know if I found on a podcast I’ve had some blogs and some videos about Estonia, but. But it seems like there’s a lot of South American to like Panama and and and stuff like that. There’s a lot of know that Andrew Henderson, I think from what he called the Global Nomad podcast always been interested as well.
[00:42:57] But just to get him to talk about, you know, the sort of the various options that you might have in terms of cat way to set up a company and I think it obviously the various a by nationality. It’s a lot more difficult as you explained many times on your show about being an American and having to deal with FATCA.
[00:43:12] You know that if yeah nightmare, okay, …Yeah, we’ve got a report your foreign earnings again to the to the to the IRS every year, right? Yeah. It’s a nightmare you there’s a few different policies but one is you got to just report you have any kind of foreign businesses or foreign bank accounts and what they are and what was the maximum balance and then.
[00:43:36] There’s other forms if you have a company and there’s other you know, there’s foreign exclusion of course and. There’s just a lot of stuff. You’re supposed to you’re supposed to pay tax on assert after certain level. So that’s why it’s makes a big problem for Americans and then, you know, my he can five like my family back home to think.
[00:43:57] I’m like some tax on horrible tax evader because I don’t want to give back to my home country because I left and I’m night. I used in education system and I should pay taxes to America for the rest of my life on all, everything because I owe America for everything I have and I do appreciate it. I do appreciate you know, the education I received and the people I met but I mean if you have to pay everywhere to everybody, you know, like it’s a have nothing left.
[00:44:29] That means you don’t pay tax where you live and you don’t pay tax where you do this. But I pay taxes, I pay taxes in Hong Kong and I paid taxes in Australia. Yeah, it’s if I got a company somewhere and I’ve gone living somewhere else and I’m taking money out of my Hong Kong business and using it to live on here as drawings and I pay taxes on that.
[00:44:48] Well, that’s business and personal I think right there’s mmm, I think at least I hope you’re not paying double on a business side. I think you’re paying, I some people pay, you know on the corporate side and on the personal side and then there’s. There’s trickier. This is one reason I like to be in the CPA side of the business because it’s just tax stuff gets complicated.
[00:45:08] But I think there’s there’s the business profits and there’s a personal profits so mmm. But yeah, yeah, that’s that’s it. So, yeah, it’s going to be really interesting but I think yeah as you said earlier, I think Singapore is definitely the winner here. Although it’s not as quite as easy to get set up there from what I understand.
[00:45:32] There are some it’s funny, huh? We know my partner Ray. He’s working hard on offering that but the big big difference is you need a company, a local director on the company. Whereas with Hong Kong. You just need a Hong Kong secretary, which is very little liability. Look very very low, you know involvement and there’s unlimited amount of company secretary.
[00:45:58] There’s no there’s no limit but in Singapore they limit the amount of. Directorships a local Hong Kong Singaporean can be on. Right Yeah, so it makes it more valuable and there’s more liability. They don’t own the company, but they have their like a director which means they have certain risks that they’re assuming and so that’s just an extra cost and it people say how much does it cost for local director.
[00:46:23] It’s just kind of a variable cost is like if you were all Singaporean person Chris you can make some extra money and be a director and a certain amount of people’s. Isn’t get paid you get paid for that. Right? So I think is around a thousand bucks a year thousand Euros a year. I think the going rate.
[00:46:38] I’m not so much an expert on Singapore, but that’s just like an extra cost and there’s some extra I think is a little bit more expensive to maintain that’s why some certain people have opted for Hong Kong or Singapore is the director is the big change from all my experience and I. Too many blog posts.
[00:46:57] I’m just taking notes to make sure I linked to all these posts. Yeah, so many years of content here. So yeah. Chris is going a little bit longer than my normal length. I appreciate you hanging on with me and some of this. I hope you and listeners have been it’s been great to have you. I’m glad you had to you know.
[00:47:20] Willingness to come on to share. So do you think what’s your crystal ball Chris? You think what do you think’s the future of Hong Kong business? I actually think it’s probably kind of settled down. I really I mean that’s my wish so my crystal ball at the moment is always hoping for the best and planning for the worst.
[00:47:39] So I think I think things will settle down but I think that the there’s going to be a slow, I wouldn’t call it demise but I think just as a sort of slow decline. I think in, in Hong Kong’s, you know, sort of prestigious place to to sit down and you know, if we look even further afield to our country what the data’s I think it’s 2048, which I think I might be long gone by then.
[00:48:08] But you know when Hong Kong finally is seceded completely across the Chinese. I think they’ve been interesting time but. We have for the in the short term. I don’t know mate. I just I hope that things settle down and things kind of get back to normal. And yeah, I agree. I mean, I’m on your side actually one last point.
[00:48:26] I want to bring up about it. I think it’s ticket 2047. So it’s like 50 years from 1997 to 2047 is this hand over part from UK to China and I guess nobody really knows what’s supposed to happen in 2047 and one perspective, you know, I’d some trying to give a balanced perspective here. But on China’s side is what it is supposed to do just keep it like on stage in New Year’s, you know, January 1st, 24/7 the whole system changes.
[00:48:58] So it’s some people argued to me is like why are these people complaining is already China? There’s this 50 years, you know and China’s just practicing or transitioning or exhibiting or moving towards what it wants to do and honestly, I didn’t think it would happen this soon and but they’re not changing everything what this is all started because.
[00:49:24] It’s difficult. But basically the the protesters freaked out mostly because the extradition law which there’s other parts of this law. But the main thing they didn’t like was mainland China could arrest people in Hong Kong and take them to Chinese court for breaking Chinese law. So that’s what freaked everybody out.
[00:49:45] Because they felt like then people are going to get picked up off the street and taken to China. So that’s the main thing they didn’t like and it’s kind of spiraled little bit out of control is that far as I think you and I would agree but what these people would tell me is like what it was. This is China, right?
[00:50:01] And this is going to be a transition. They’re not going to wait till 20 47 and flip the switch. So some people would argue to me and you this is not forever. This is a 50-year thing. And yeah, they’re starting to switch things over you know, even though I feel like it’s a little bit you can wait a little bit longer to start switching things over but they’re even doing other things to besides this and I think Hong Kong people have just gotten sick and tired of it because they said give us our two systems, you know.
[00:50:30] Policy that you promised us. So I think that’s that’s it and nobody knows what can happen 24/7 and it seems like things are already happening now and I think the writing’s on the wall, unfortunately for for all of us that I guess this won’t last forever, but. You know as far as businesses. The you know the worst I guess.
[00:50:56] What I would say is the worst is, you know, people have more than one company, right? I mean, it’s not the best thing to say, but you could start to have maybe a Singapore company or a US company or you can have but more of these massive corporations, what they do is they have like they have their you know, a lot of them have offshore companies like BVI, like we mentioned or these Island companies and they don’t have a bank account there.
[00:51:23] Really? Or they have a bank account? You know, there may be a very illiquid bank account that can’t accept PayPal or stripe and then they have their Hong Kong or US or all these other countries companies set up and then the main money goes back to this offshore company at the top but they’re operating through Hong Kong or operating through so you can maybe have another layer on top or you can have a sister company.
[00:51:46] That’s maybe you’re back up and then you could. Flip the switch to your stripe your PayPal your Amazon of course has to be a process, but you could have another company setup. Of course. This is more making all of our Lives more complicated. That’s the problem. This is the problem right? Then you got to maintain accompany, you know, etc etc.
[00:52:06] But Like I think you would agree the main value when you’re selling your business is not where your companies registered. Right? Like if you want to sell your company to a buyer they don’t really care so much where your company is registered most of the value that our listeners and all should be building is is brand. Building IP, building which still has to be owned by a company that you should have the rights to be able to transfer to the new buyer.
[00:52:32] But I think what people got really realize is of course, there’s money in those companies, but the mean value. Selling your business or your owning your business even for your whole life. You can always if you keep it. You can switch it, right. You still are the owner of this brand of this.
[00:52:48] Business, right so we can all repair from this hopefully. But at the end of the day you just I mean look with business people we want to run a business and you know, if you want to restructure your business and do a lot of counties trickery and set up with all these different islands and bank accounts all over the world and structure yourself in such a way to minimize tax.
[00:53:12] You know, I think the end of the day I’m happy to pay taxes it means I’ve made some money. I said I want to pay more than I need to but at the same time I don’t want to sit around trying to figure out how to avoid the attacks. It’s much rather grow my business and pay my fair share and you know, we drive on roads and we go we send our kids to schools and you know, there’s all these things that governments do using our tax money sometimes I.
[00:53:38] Do it as well as we’d like but you know, we have infrastructure and things like that letter and a rule, you know laws and police and. And hospitals and all those things that you know typically built by governments and contribute to to so that you can enjoy that stuff and have those those freedoms.
[00:53:57] Yeah. So pay your taxes people and stop trying to figure out how to get out of it or just become really really rich and then pay some really smart people to take care of them for you. I mean, I tried yeah, I tell people that like does is I just tell people to Google or did Steve Jobs in his garage thinking about maximizing his tax savings?
[00:54:21] I don’t think so. But I think when they got really when it got really rich then he, they had his lawyers and accountants spending the time doing that so you can always do that later, too. Yeah, I think what we all might be freaking out about all of this. We’re all dealing with the same options. So.
[00:54:36] Try not to freak out too much. This is still focus. Don’t lose focus on the business right operate the business, you know, grow your sales, you know, try your best with your suppliers renegotiate look for other suppliers, that’s business anyway, Mmm, not upset. Yep. And yeah, if you’ve got a bank account in Hong Kong, I think at the moment things look reasonably stable.
[00:55:01] So, you know, I haven’t you know. I haven’t I mean as long as you can keep it like they don’t shut you down, but I don’t think if there’s a huge run on a Banks. I still don’tknow see that happening for a while. While it’s happening, There’s no way that the Hong Kong population will probably. Yeah, look the only way that it could happen is where we’ve got some massive corporates that are just pulling massive amounts of capital out of the country electronically, and I’m pretty early.
[00:55:31] All right. This has been one my longer shows and it’s also a little bit. Of course we plugged at the beginning but the Australian seller.com. Is that the best place how could be tune iTunes subscribe? I mean you’re giving them easily Australia you’re giving amazing knowledge by Amazon and marketing.
[00:55:47] So yeah definitely recommend to guys hit that subscribe on Chris’s show and also you are going to India and omegas on the show and you’re working with the India sourcing trip. And there’s some things coming up with that and see anything else you want to share for people. I’m happy about to get to the cross-border summit as well.[00:56:16] Yeah Guangzhou with my supplier and I’m hoping to maybe do another Kickstarter campaign later this year or early next year. So there’s a lot there’s a lot going on for me right now, which is really fun. So, yeah, but feel free to connect if you want to send an email to Chris @ChrisThomas.com that I you you can reach me that way.
[00:56:31] All right to have Chris. Great. Thanks again Chris for coming on. Thanks for having me Mike. Cheers. Are you gonna be out in Guangzhou for the Canton Fair? I hope you’re not too scared to come to China. It’s gonna be an amazing fourth annual cross-border Summit October 22nd and 23rd with an additional Mastermind on the 21st if you’d like to make it out for that additional.
[00:57:01] Part of it. Bring together great experts in Amazon eCommerce cross border trade all Under One Roof for to action-packed jam-packed days making deals Making Connections learning about the latest strategies. And of course having fun. I love to see you there w-w-w dot crossbordersummit.com. We got both border B O R D E R.
[00:57:26] Or B O A R D E R check it out. Hope to see you there. Thank you, Chris. Check them out at www.Australianseller.com. He’s been doing some great branding and he’s a really nice guy and I hope you guys enjoyed his he’s a really helpful sharing and insights. I was almost a dude. I won by myself to be honest because.
[00:57:49] I couldn’t get Ray and I couldn’t go there’s to do that and touchy topic and hopefully I can enter Hong Kong call next time at the airport. Hopefully I can enter China. Hopefully I can enter America. I don’t know man. I hope I can stay in Thailand. I don’t know what’s going even happen, immigration and borders driving me crazy, but time for the blah blah blah session where I get to talk about anything.
[00:58:12] I want and rant for about 7 to 10 minutes trying to give my perspectives about what we just talked about. So I will do that Global from Asia was registered at the DCBKK in 2013. I’m a regular attendee. Danny and I are doing amazing things in tropical MBA podcast changing lives and I took Dan’s advice to everybody in the room should start a podcast and is slide afterwards was the Hong Kong Skyline and he says somebody should start a podcast about Hong Kong business.
[00:58:48] They will be making a good living good business income within a year of starting it and I’m sitting in the audience. Fanboy, Dan the man. I’m like, all right, I guess I’ll do that seems like I’m in Shenzhen is not too far from Hong Kong. I remember talking to him afterwards and he’s like you don’t got to be in Hong Kong to do it.
[00:59:07] So reg, registered a domain of sitting in like the executive Lounge of the Conrad hotel in Bangkok and somehow I thought of globalfromasia.com. I don’t I don’t want to be Hong Kong. Thank goodness. I didn’t pick Hong Kong podcast.com or something like that. But I picked Global From Asia. I didn’t want to be but China either even back in 2013.
[00:59:33] I was thinking of Thailand I maybe not Thailand but southeast Asia. At the end, and many other told me get out of China get out of China get out of China, you know, I was reading my personal blogs and everything, but I stuck in there almost 11 years. Well since Shenzhen but started podcasting about Hong Kong because if you listen to first, I don’t know 50 episodes it’s mostly about Hong Kong business banking PayPal credit cards, all that kind of good boring corporate stuff and I even admitted some of it was boring.
[01:00:04] But listeners seem to really like it. Honestly, that was really loving it early stages was much more clear to me and then I was like, I got to make money with this like Dad said it’s about a year or so, you know you I try that book, you know where you build your audience and then build your email list.
[01:00:20] So it’s gonna lead magnets and stuff. And then I made a book Hong Kong Supercharged book all about Hong Kong business. I didn’t really want to do the services. I was still doing social agent my start-up my first born, Miles had just been born and I wrote a book Hong Kong supercharged one of those ebooks $47 people still buy it now, honestly, thank you for those that buy the book and we also had the video course and we always try and do some kind of a membership.
[01:00:52] But what the biggest feedback was people said I don’t really want to read a book about it can’t just do it for me. So I refer to another agencies and I got some commissions and sometimes the commission’s will get forgotten and admin stuff and you know emails and I was like, you know what I could just do this myself.
[01:01:09] So I started offering the service myself in 2015 Hong Kong company registration Bank helped build up my contacts in Banks. Actually, some of you guys still read my blog post about two days as an American trying to open a bank account in Hong Kong in 2015, which is before the banking crisis. It was hard.
[01:01:27] Even then, Blood Sweat and Tears blood. Well, it’s definitely sweat. It was like July to everyone to Rise Conference to that time 2015 and try to figure out which banks most of our content our top content on the site is banking. So anyway, the service worked people were like, oh, I like your podcast Mike your seem like a really nice guy.
[01:01:53] I want to do business in Hong Kong. I like I want to come when it come to her into can Town Fair. I’m going to come out for the trade shows or DCBKK. Hey, let’s meet up. We can do the bank account do lunch, man. I had a good life. I was really happy. It was 2015 2016 a little bit and registered people’s companies taking them to HSBC sitting in a waiting room.
[01:02:15] Getting up sold insurance policies. I got three life-insurance policies from HSBC Hong Kong and I still get the letter of death that they want to shut me down. I’ll probably still have to pay my insurance premiums if we even if I don’t have a bank account did. Bring bags of cash to their bank teller for my insurance of if I die my wife I wouldn’t get the money anyway, but I’m paying for the stupid Insurance because I was bringing all these clients there and all these clients, you know, we’re getting bank accounts and we’re making business plans and I had a little office at opening party Chris Thomas was there man, Chris came.
[01:02:49] It was like 15 people cramped in a little Kowloon side office. But Andre Martin is awesome. He said he’s got my books too and did some live streaming there and content creation podcast interviews I was living a dream man is like it’s pretty awesome, you know recording podcasts be a media, press investHK got investhk on the show Once or maybe twice.
[01:03:16] And you know getting paid pretty well from people like you guys liking the show want to do run international business from Hong Kong and then they were happy. You guys are happy. Meet me. We’d have some lunch get the banking set up give you some documents. And you know, I’d hop across that border Hong Kong Shenzhen border and you know hold my one year old kid.
[01:03:42] Working on the second that came a little bit quicker. Working on the second and life was good and then all sudden 2016 dun-dun-dun. For some reason I guess it was the Panama leaks and then government officials all around the world that are like not paying taxes in her home country getting bribes paid into their Hong Kong HSBC Bank accounts with their Panama offshore companies and it screws people like me.
[01:04:07] There’s also another scammer Israeli guy cheating European multinationals getting them to wire money to a Hong Kong bank saying how easy it is for him to walk into Hong Kong bank in shorts and a t-shirt. And get a bank account in a couple of days and then scheme people multinationals in Europe to pay him. I talked about in a newsletter 2016 that happened to and it like Chris said drug cartels getting bank accounts for drugs and then it hit little guys like you and me nailing me nailing you.
[01:04:39] Because we don’t make them so much money, you know, so we are the small guys and there’s tons of this cold KYC. We had Edmund John from Flag Theory show to we have had no my capitalists also on the show in the past and are Henderson and you know, the little guys get squished right? We we don’t make the bank so much money, even though I got three life-insurance policies, I’m paying like $12,000 a year between three policies one hits me almost nine grand.
[01:05:08] Every March I get another one hit me every month another way. I’m like every year few thousand bucks here. They’re still not enough still not enough. So, you know, most of us don’t make enough money for the banks. And like I said the show is all about the bank’s doesn’t matter about the company. I you got the stupid audit.
[01:05:24] You got the stupid employer return where you say how many employees you have which most of us have zero. But anyway, Yeah it crushed me in 2016. You know, I I love working with you guys and some of these some of the clients. I took in 2016 didn’t get the bank account and you know, what’s a company?
[01:05:48] Good for if you don’t have a bank account and it crushed me I couldn’t get so I couldn’t sleep, you know, and some of some of some of the clients are pretty persistently calling me for the bank on the bank. I’m not the bank, you know, I mean I’m working my magic here changing addresses change the secretary’s putting in my friends offices pulling every string I could possibly pull but the bank’s just didn’t care and didn’t open a lot of accounts 2016.
[01:06:15] That’s when I started meeting Neat HK. Those guys which have supported the show and we’ve talked about a lot and they they are doing what they can to help people with the banking crisis in Hong Kong and globally but there’s not many other places to go. No worries still going to go but I just didn’t like the deal of not being able to get people easy bank accounts or it was just really stressful and it’s still stressful still.
[01:06:41] I just pushing as hard as we can. And the blah blah blah is almost over. So that’s the quick milestones, you know Hong Kong business podcast e-book service banking explosion cross-border Summit memberships affiliates. And then to the point where I don’t even care about making money with this I am a partner Alpha Rock capital.
[01:07:07] I sold Amazon business. We started on e-commerce Gladiator and I’m just doing this because I like to do this and I can just say what I want on this damn show and I could just stop if I wanted to but I don’t want to stop and I hope you guys liked listening and I hope I don’t get arrested somewhere for speaking.
[01:07:24] I think how it is. So. If takes plow into the Hong Kong border, yeah, I think it’ll be a huge collapse but I can’t imagine our bank accounts being frozen. They might shut us down because they want to get rid of us, but they’re not going to take our money. So we’ll just see how it goes and I will share it as I come as it comes.
[01:07:45] Peace to get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at www.GlobalfromAsia.com that’s www.GlobalfromAsia.com. Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.