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Wimbledon told to drop HSBC over its support for Hong Kong oppression

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 Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu

Wimbledon has been urged to cut ties with HSBC over its refusal to condemn Beijing's authoritarian crackdown in Hong Kong.

MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong have called on Wimbledon to drop ties with its banking partner to show the championship will not tolerate links with any entity "complicit in oppression and human rights abuses".

The call comes ahead of the start of the world's biggest tennis tournament on June 27.

In a letter seen by The Telegraph and sent to Wimbledon's chief executive Sally Bolton, MPs accused the bank of profiting "from human rights abuses" by backing a law which bans dissent in Hong Kong. 

"This year, when 1st July is the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China, we must show Hongkongers that they are not alone, that those who support their oppression will not benefit from doing so," the letter reads.

Signatories include Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh and former Green Party leader Baroness Bennett.

HSBC, which also sponsors tennis star Emma Raducanu, has repeatedly come under fire from activists and politicians for publicly backing Beijing's law, which bans anti-government activity in the former British colony.

The law came into force in 2020 and continues to attract widespread criticism. Campaigners say it has led to a rapid dismantling of Hong Kong's freedoms.

Wimbledon and other major sporting events came under pressure to drop HSBC as a sponsor last year but all continued the relationship. The bank has now unveiled a four-year partnership with US Open champion Raducanu. Hong Kong is where the London-listed bank makes most of its money. 

In the latest letter, the APPG said HSBC's support for the Hong Kong crackdown has made it "complicit in gross human rights abuses in the city". It added that the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) must distance itself.

"The AELTC encapsulates some of the very best of Wimbledon’s values of integrity and respect,” the letter said. “To receive financial support from a bank which profits from human rights abuses is a stain on that exemplary reputation."

HSBC declined to comment.

An All England Club spokesperson said: "We have recently received the APPG for Hong Kong's letter, and we appreciate them raising their concerns. We will be responding to them in due course."

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of this article mistakenly attributed quotes from the APPG letter to Sally Bolton. The article has been corrected, and we apologise for the error.

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