'Big Four' accounting firms oppose Hong Kong demonstrations

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The Independent Online

The Big Four accounting firms have taken out adverts in Hong Kong newspapers urging democracy campaigners to abandon protests that could shut down Central, the city's financial district.

Occupy Central with Love and Peace has threatened to lock down the area, home to some of Asia's biggest companies and banks, as part of its campaign to demand greater democracy in 2017 elections.

"We are worried that foreign multinationals and investors will leave their Hong Kong headquarters because of this, or even withdraw their business, and shake Hong Kong's place as an international business centre over the long term," read the advert, placed by the Hong Kong units of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG.

They appeared on the day hundreds of lawyers marched through Hong Kong to protest against a white paper released by Beijing that says "loving the country" is a basic requirement for judicial personnel.