The Chinese Communist Party and the Hong Kong government have been emphasizing that the National Security Law only targets a “small group of people” and will not affect Hong Kong’s business environment. The latest survey released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong shows that more than 40% of the surveyed members plan to leave Hong Kong, and more than 60% of the respondents who plan to leave Hong Kong are more explicitly worried about the “Hong Kong National Security Law”. Businesses have planned to “flee” Hong Kong, what will bring about the chain effect?
The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong released a survey on Wednesday (12) entitled “To stay or to go?” 325 members were interviewed anonymously between May 5 and 9 of this year, accounting for about one-quarter of the total membership. Of those surveyed, 42% plan to leave Hong Kong, while 58% said they would not. The report describes the percentage of members planning to leave as “very significant”.
Uncertainty about the National Security Law is the main reason for wanting to leave Hong Kong
As for the reasons why members chose to leave Hong Kong, the most common reason was that they felt uneasy about the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, accounting for 62%; followed by the difficulty in leaving Hong Kong and visiting relatives due to the quarantine measures of the new epidemic, accounting for 49%; and pessimism about the future of Hong Kong, accounting for 42%. And worried about the “National Security Law” after the implementation of the impact on the quality of children’s education, this reason ranked fourth, accounting for about 36%.
Hong Kong U.S. businessmen are worried about the National Security Law, nearly 40% of U.S. businessmen plan to withdraw.
The Hong Kong government has recently continued to regulate the education sector, in addition to reversing the training of high school students to think independently, the study of social issues in general studies, but also required in primary and secondary schools, and even kindergarten curriculum, including “national security education” content.
As for the members who plan to leave, 48% of them intend to leave in 3 to 5 years, 15% plan to leave at the end of this year, 10% of the respondents intend to leave before this summer, and 3% of the members intend to leave Hong Kong immediately.
Members interviewed: I do not want to be arrested for speaking or writing articles for no reason
The report quoted members as saying, “Outside the implementation of the National Security Law, Hong Kong has the rise of a kind of illiberal values, Hong Kong is slowly integrated with China,” and some members said, “Hong Kong’s ‘red line’ is vague and subject to change at any time, so I do not want to speak or write articles that make me arrested for no reason. “
The report also quoted members that the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the geopolitical tensions between the United States and China have made the future of foreigners in Hong Kong uncertain.
Economist: the group effect of leaving Hong Kong may appear
Hong Kong economist Luo Jiacong said in an interview with this station, the American Chamber of Commerce survey may bring a group effect, even if some people originally did not intend to leave, but see around one after another to leave Hong Kong, may also follow.
Hong Kong economist Law Ka-chung (video screenshot)
This kind of group effect is a bit like selling goods in the stock market, others don’t sell themselves, and when others sell, everyone leaves, there will be such a situation. So now there are not a lot of people leaving, the group driven effect is not too prominent for the time being, but when people start to leave, many people around them are saying to evacuate to eat ‘farewell meal’, so that people who did not intend to evacuate, will also plan to evacuate.”
For the report that the most interviewed members choose to leave Hong Kong in 3 to 5 years, Luo Jia Cong said that the development of Hong Kong may be bad faster than imagined, as in the 1950s to 1960s, the Chinese mainland political movement is frequent, the then leader Mao Zedong even set off criticism, prompting a large number of people immediately fled to Hong Kong. He said the current state of affairs in Hong Kong or not very bad, many people will wait and see, but the speed of social deterioration was caught off guard, 3 to 5 years may be enough to make Hong Kong “completely different”.
Singapore by leaving Hong Kong businessmen welcome
The report also pointed out that the majority of respondents who plan to leave Hong Kong, choose Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo and Bangkok. Lee Siu-por, a senior lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School, said that foreigners leaving Hong Kong choose to move to Singapore, or because Singapore and Hong Kong business environment is similar.
Li Zhaobo said: “Singapore is very much like Hong Kong, of course, itself has its certain political characteristics, but the local integrity and legal system, etc., is also clearer. Singapore is also considered to have elections, but the Chinese system, the democratic system and the business heart have distance, uncertainty is greater, Singapore’s business in the global competitiveness of the top, so that business reassured.”
Lee also said that the American Chamber of Commerce members are U.S. enterprises and business groups in Hong Kong, the report brings out the concerns of the business community on the political situation in Hong Kong, there is no excuse, because the business community attaches importance to the stability of the business environment. He believes that the Hong Kong government should pay attention to the concerns of the business community, so as to avoid the outflow of jobs, weakening Hong Kong’s competitiveness, so that Hong Kong’s status as a financial center is impacted.