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Opinion

Southeast Asian companies fear China reaching beyond its borders

Treatment of Cathay Pacific highlights risks for angering Beijing

| Hong Kong, Macao
Charoen Pokphand Group's chairman Dhanin Chearavanont, pictured in March 2013, felt he needed to show that his group was in line with China's position.   © Reuters

John Slosar learned the hard way that Asian businesses should be preparing for a new era of Chinese interference. Cathay Pacific's chairman resigned on September 4, becoming the latest casualty in a campaign by China's government to punish the airline for the role some of its staff have played in Hong Kong's protest movement.

Much less attention was paid the previous week to Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group, who printed adverts in Thailand's newspapers pleading for calm in Hong Kong, echoing calls from fellow tycoons like Li Ka-shing.

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