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How social media changes Hong Kong’s compliance regime? 社交媒體如何改變香港的合規制度?

As social media marketing continues to grow, companies are leveraging the power of

social media to advance their business. Not only it helps to build relationships with

customers and connect with guests and partners; it also connects the general public,

in terms of companies’ public image and how they portray themselves online.

Meanwhile, uncertainty of contemporary regulatory guidelines and requirements

are emerging which exposes companies to even greater risk. This makes policies and

internal controls on social media use the vital parts of any company’s compliance


In August 2018, Tesla’s chairman Elon Musk tweeted out that he had secured

funding to take Tesla private at US$420 per share. This later turned out to be a

marijuana-inspired joke he had made to amuse his girlfriend. Sadly, the United

States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) didn’t find this funny. It promptly

filed charges in September against Musk for securities fraud and distributing

misleading information. As we could see, the law would not tolerate any form of

false disclosure, not even a joke. If you said something that is not true about your

company or misleading, legal liabilities would come after you and that’s why we

need policies to ensure companies wouldn’t cross the line.

A social media governance policy would therefore be ideal to mitigate the risks to

use these online platforms by controlling information disclosure. By having a

complete management guidance and internal control system, one should set a well-

defined procedure with respect to who could disclose information and what

information to disclose. It is also important to educate team members not to spread

rumors about the company and update them on a regular basis about any change

in Hong Kong’s regulations.




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