A man checks his smartphone while Cathay Pacific Airways planes park at the Hong Kong International Airport on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. The chief executive of Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways said Monday there will be "disciplinary consequences" for employees involved in "illegal protests," as the airline joins a slate of businesses that have appeased and apologized to China in recent days over political flaps. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Airline, luxury brands follow China's lead on Hong Kong

August 12, 2019 - 7:22 am

HONG KONG (AP) — The chief executive of Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways has warned there will be "disciplinary consequences" for employees involved in "illegal protests," as the airline joins a slate of businesses that have appeased and apologized to China in recent days.

His comments in a memo to employees seen by the AP came just hours before the Hong Kong airport announced Monday it was shutting down and canceling the day's remaining flights after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators occupied the main terminal.

As more than two months of mass protests have taken over the semi-autonomous Chinese city, companies from luxury fashion brands to bubble tea shops have been under pressure to distance themselves from protesters and declare their support for the ruling Communist Party's position on Hong Kong.