PCCW Limited is a global telecommunications and media company, which has its with headquarters in Hong Kong. The company was established in 2000 when PCCW acquired Cable & Wireless HKT (originally the Hong Kong Telephone Company, formed in 1925). In 2020, the company’s subsidiary, HKT, provided fixed broadband and mobile services to 1.6 million and 4.6 million subscribers in Hong Kong, respectively. PCCW Media operates the leading subscription-based TV service in Hong Kong under the Now TV brand, with more than 1 million subscribers. It also operates Viu, a video streaming service with 45 million users in 16 markets across Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South Africa. PCCW Global operates a Tier 1 global internet backbone network with 127 points of presence across 81 cities worldwide.
PCCW enables affordable access to digital technologies by offering free handsets with mobile data services to nursing homes for the elderly and care homes for people with disabilities. The company also reports the number of people with disabilities it employs and discloses how it accommodates their needs in the workplace. The company discloses its community investments and provides a breakdown of its employment figures by location.
PCCW contributes to technology innovation ecosystem by supporting innovation labs and business hubs focusing on social entrepreneurship. The company discloses its emissions across all scopes and provides digital expertise to projects focusing on smart and green building development.
PCCW could calculate the amount of financial resources it contributes through its access programmes. The company also has an opportunity to address the gender digital divide through a dedicated programme. Although the company demonstrates how it applies accessibility features in its products, it could further explain how it solicits feedback from the disabled community and incorporates it into the product design process. PCCW should disclose how it distributes the economic value it generates among its stakeholders and report taxes paid in its significant markets.
PCCW has an opportunity to address digital skills and school connectivity. Apart from its support throughout the pandemic, the company could support digital skills development and school connectivity though long-term programmes. PCCW could also provide more information, such as the amount of resources it contributed or achieved impacts on programmes it delivered during the pandemic.
PCCW should disclose how it manages information security, including its approach to incident response and number of data breaches. The company discloses its commitment to data privacy. PCCW should report government requests for personal information and integrate a commitment to child online protection into group operating policies.
PCCW has an opportunity to expand its support for open, sustainable, inclusive and ethical innovation. It could support the work of international standards organisations. It could also partner with universities and non-profit organisations on technology or sustainability related research topics. PCCW should disclose the number of women its employs in its research and development (R&D) department and how it applies ethics in its R&D activities.
Core social indicators
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
PCCW commits to respect human rights, but does not provide a public policy statement committing it to respect all the ILO core labour rights, including collective bargaining and freedom of association. The company included human rights issues in its materiality assessment, but it does not disclose a process to identify, assess and take action on salient human rights risks in its own operations and with business relationships. Moreover, the company describes the various stakeholders it engages with in general, but does not specify that it engages with certain categories of stakeholders whose human rights been or maybe affected by its activities. PCCW has a grievance mechanism that is accessible to all stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints.
PCCW publicly commits to respecting the health and safety of workers, and places health and safety requirements on its business relationships and monitors their performance. The company does not disclose a policy commitment which states that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours. Furthermore, PCCW does not disclose what proportion of its global workforce is covered by collective bargaining agreements, and does not provide information in relation to paying its workers a living wage. The company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender, but it has an opportunity to disclose against other indicators of diversity per employee category. It could also publicly commit to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
PCCW has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its contracts with business relationships. The company has a global tax strategy and discloses income tax payments in two categories – Hong Kong and overseas. However, it does not disclose income tax payments for individual tax jurisdictions. PCCW does not disclose its approach to lobbying and political engagement. Specifically, the company has no public statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, and it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures.