File photo: Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Photograph:( Reuters )
Hong Kong government has entered into a contract with a UK-based PR firm worth over £5m to improve its global image amid widespread criticism.
The Hong Kong adminsitration said its contract with London-based firm Consulum will be of one-year, which would help in rebuilding "confidence in Hong Kong as a place to invest, do business, work and live", reported Independent.
The document titled as 'Relaunch Hong Kong' and first reported by industry website Provoke, acknowledged that the Hong Kong government did not effectively "defend" itself or "mobilise" the community to support law enforcement measures and condemn acts, including "vandalism and the criminal and violent behaviour of rioters".
"This had a negative impact on global perceptions about Hong Kong," the document said.
The £5.6m contract was finalised after a bid from seven PR firms across the world. Consulum was earlier criticised for working with Saudi administration.
Hong Kong administration has started defending the contract, with Brett Free, deputy director of information, saying that it would allow the region to "reconnect with global audiences".
The contract came at a time when several countries and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have slammed China's new security law that aimed to tighten control over the semi-autonomous region.
On Wednesday, police used water cannon, pepper spray and tear gas in clashes with protesters and arrested 370 people who were demonstrating against the legislation imposed by China on Tuesday.