42% of Hong Kong expats consider leaving

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham) released its “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” survey on June 12. According to the survey, 42% of the members surveyed are considering or planning to leave Hong Kong, with a high percentage of 62.3% answering that the implementation of the “Hong Kong National Security Law” on June 30 last year makes me uneasy. Another 36.5% were worried about the impact of the law on their children. Another 36.15% were worried that the law would affect the quality of their children’s education.

One respondent said, “In the past, I never worried about what I said or wrote in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Regional National Security Law has changed all that. The red lines are blurred and seem to be set arbitrarily. I don’t want to continue to worry about saying or writing anything that might lead to unwitting arrest.”

A total of 325 members were interviewed between May and September, accounting for 24 percent of AmCham Hong Kong. Those who intend to leave Hong Kong, three percent are prepared to do so immediately, 10 percent before the end of summer, 15 percent before the end of the year, and 48 percent will move within three to five years; in the case of work and family rehousing, another 24 percent will also leave immediately.

As for where to move, 39% will return to their home countries and 18% outside of Asia; as many as 43% will remain in Asia, with Thailand, Tokyo, Taipei, and Singapore among the considerations.

According to the survey results, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong strongly recommends that the Hong Kong government pay close attention to the mood of expatriates, deepen its understanding of these international talents, and work to alleviate their main concerns, so that Hong Kong does not lose its competitiveness as a global financial center.