Retail in Asia

In Markets

Shuttered up: As China slows, Hong Kong company closures hit record

A record number of Hong Kong firms shut up shop last year as China, the mainstay of the city’s economy, trundled to its slowest economic growth in a quarter of a century and spending by mainland visitors dried up.

Some 122,479 companies were dissolved, according to data from the city’s Companies Registry compiled by financial research platform Webb-site.com. New firms incorporated in Hong Kong also slid 17 percent, leaving the net number of new firms at a low since 2003’s SARS outbreak slammed the city’s economy.

The numbers show just how tightly Hong Kong’s business prospects remain tied to mainland China, despite its aspirations as a global financial center. Bleak as last year was, the problem for the city’s entrepreneurs – and their lenders – is that China’s growth may keep slowing, with an even more painful sting in the tail down the line.