Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, Mar 22, 2023

Population decline slows as financial hub reopens

Population decline slows as financial hub reopens

The pace of decline in Hong Kong’s population abated as the city moved to reopen after years of pandemic isolation.
The city’s population fell by a net 12,900 people in the second half of 2022, down from a decrease of 55,400 in the first six months, according to government data released Thursday. The previously announced population drop of 121,500 in the year ended June 30 was revised to a fall of 67,000, the data showed.

Since 2020, tens of thousands of people have left as pandemic curbs and national security laws restricted activities. Among those who departed are the bankers, lawyers and other professionals that traditionally helped to make the city a freewheeling, international entrepot. The outflow is straining an already aging Hong Kong population and pushing up prices in the city’s main rival Singapore.

While leader John Lee focused on reopening the city since he came to power in July, the slow pace hindered its return to the global stage. Unlike other international centers, Hong Kong retained many Covid curbs for most of the second half of 2022, including the obligatory use of a tracing app, limits on where visitors could go and a mask mandate. The border with mainland China remained firmly shut until January this year, and international flights were constricted.

“The population decrease in the second half of 2022 has narrowed when compared to that in the first half, reflecting that movement of the Hong Kong population has begun to resume” gradually, a government spokesperson said in a release accompanying the data.

From the end of 2019 through 2022, the city’s population fell by about 187,300 or 2.5 percent, to 7.33 million. For the full year of 2022, the decline was 68,300.

There is urgency to boosting Hong Kong’s allure. The economy has shrunk for three of the past four years. Home prices plunged about 15 percent in 2022 in the biggest drop since the global financial crisis, according to a Centaline index. Businesses are struggling to find workers to meet increased demand as visitors start to return. Local residents have been leaving in droves, along with expats.

“It’s important to keep local talent,” Eric Fong, head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Hong Kong, said before the data release. “They have been the majority in the labor market.”

Since August 2018, Hong Kong’s labor force has dropped about 5 percent to 3.8 million people, according to official figures from January.

Reviving the city’s status as a global financial center has national importance. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Lee the city needs to consolidate its role as an international hub when he visited Beijing in December, while President Xi Jinping praised Lee for reviving the local economy and safeguarding national security. Continued population outflows would threaten to undermine that goal.

Even as Hong Kong drops its pandemic curbs and reopens to the world, concern over the blurring of boundaries between the semi-autonomous city and mainland China is likely to endure.

Schools are now required to celebrate National Security Education Day every April. The government said this week television and radio broadcasters using public airwaves in Hong Kong will be required to run programming on issues such as the security law.

With countries such as the UK, Australia and Canada making it easier for Hongkongers to emigrate, pressure on the local population may continue. More than 150,000 Hong Kongers have applied for the British National (Overseas) visa program since it announced in July 2020. The program offers a path to British citizenship.

“If you say the border is open and people will naturally come back, we may have to be careful about this kind of assumption,” Fong said.

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Goldman Sachs cuts outlook for European bank debt over Credit Suisse crisis
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
The BBC problem about China
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Announcing GPT-4
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
Saudi Arabia has announced a major breakthrough in diplomacy with Iran after two years of intense talks
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
2 universities in Hong Kong embrace use of ChatGPT, other AI tools
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office
Hong Kong ditches Covid mask mandate after 945 days
Xi Jinping and His Wife Meet with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
When it comes to Tesla vs Lamborghini, an empty vessel makes more noise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
North Korea test-fires an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan west of Hokkaido
US bombed Nord Stream gas pipelines, claims investigative journalist Seymour Hersh
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History