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Deloitte and KPMG ask staff to use burner phones for Hong Kong trips


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United States
11/27/2023 04:41 PM

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Deloitte and KPMG ask staff to use burner phones for Hong Kong trips
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Some of the world’s biggest audit and consulting firms are asking staff to use burner phones when they visit Hong Kong, a sign of the increasing difficulties global companies are facing in a city long known as an international business hub.

Deloitte and KPMG have advised some US-based executives not to use their usual work phones in the territory, according to multiple people with knowledge of the policies. Several McKinsey consultants have also taken separate phones when travelling to the territory, the people said.

Some senior staff are reluctant to visit Hong Kong as a result of the inconvenience of leaving devices behind, according to an executive at one global consultancy. The policy applies even to people not involved with sensitive projects, the person said, adding: “People are not prepared to come here.”

Some companies in industries such as aerospace and semiconductors have for years asked employees to take separate phones and laptops to mainland China over security concerns. The application of the same approach in Hong Kong — a city that hosts the Asia-Pacific headquarters of many global companies — by a broader spectrum of businesses comes as Beijing has increased its control over the territory and people return after the end of lockdown restrictions.

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