When Ted Hui arrived in the UK last December after fleeing Hong Kong, he had a rude shock: not only was his HSBC bank account frozen, but his bank balance was at zero. The opposition lawmaker couldn’t transfer money, nor take out cash from an ATM. Accounts belonging to his wife and parents, who also left for the UK, were frozen, too.
A key figure in Hong Kong’s democracy movement who took on a visible role as a frontline mediator during the protests in 2019, Hui had feared something like this would happen. “I didn’t expect that they would do it so quickly, and I didn’t foresee that they would do the same to my family,” he said.
Soon after, his account was inexplicably partially unfrozen, and he quickly transferred funds out of HSBC. Then the account was frozen once more.