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Thousands of people are leaving Hong Kong — and now it’s clear where they’re going

Leishangthem

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i have first hand seen a chinese mom helping her kid relieve itself in Singapore's universal studios , right next to a ride.
Money to travel but no class.
you have seen japan,hongkong , singapore and what not you have eyes all across the globe such an all-seeing Indian .
 

REhorror

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Han people comes from the Han dynasty when after Liu Bang/Lưu Bang re-unites all kingdoms, all people under Liu Bang start to call themselves as Han people, to separate from the man di (like us việt or the horse nomads).
 

fatman17

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Thousands of people are leaving Hong Kong — and now it’s clear where they’re going​

PUBLISHED FRI, MAY 27 20221:26 AM EDTUPDATED FRI, MAY 27 20228:46 PM EDT
Monica Buchanan Pitrelli@MONICAPITRELLI

KEY POINTS
  • Hong Kong lost 93,000 residents in 2020, followed by another 23,000 in 2021. But early estimates show this year will see far more people go.
  • Many people and companies are moving to Singapore, though some expatriates are returning home and Hong Kongers are applying for residency under new visa programs launched in Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • There’s also an increase in moves from Hong Kong to Dubai, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, according to insiders.
They stuck it out during the political protests of 2019.
Then they lasted through nearly two years of pandemic.

But this year, they say they’ve had enough.

Residents of Hong Kong are leaving the city in droves in 2022 — not because they want to, several told CNBC, but because Covid restrictions and what they see as an erosion of democratic norms are pushing them to leave.

A surge in departures is accelerating a “brain drain” of professional talent — a situation which hit fever pitch around March, as omicron-driven Covid cases skyrocketed across the city.
Now Hong Kong’s ever-chipper lifestyle websites, once dominated by articles about the city’s best dim sum and foot massages parlors, are focusing on moving to-do lists and farewell gift guides.

‘Absolute mass exodus’

The office of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Lam said on April 26 that the government’s Covid rules balance health and economic interests with public tolerance levels.

Hong Kong continues to safeguard “human rights and freedoms” but that “one has to observe the law in exercising freedom,” she said.
On the subject of people leaving Hong Kong, Lam said it’s their “individual freedom to enter and to exit.”

For the past 60 years, Hong Kong’s population has grown nearly every year, from some 3.2 million people in 1961 to 7.5 million in 2019, according to Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department.

From 2015 to 2019, the city gained an average of 53,000 new residents per year. Yet that is roughly the same number of people who departed Hong Kong during the first two weeks of March alone, according to the city’s Immigration Department.

Hong Kong lost some 93,000 residents in 2020, followed by another 23,000 in 2021. But early estimates show this year will see far more people go.

“In the last couple of years people have thought about leaving, but in the last six months there’s been an absolute mass exodus,” said Pei C., who has lived in Hong Kong for 17 years. She asked to be identified with her last initial because of sensitivities surrounding the topic in Hong Kong.

The trigger, she said — one echoed by numerous people who spoke to CNBC for this story — was the highly-publicized policy that separated Covid-positive children from their parents earlier this year.

“A lot of parents, understandably, freaked out, so they booked themselves on the first flights out,” she said.

Pei estimates that 60-70% of her friends have left in the past six to 12 months, which includes people with businesses and family in Hong Kong as well as those who were once deeply committed to staying.

Moving to Singapore

Most people leaving, said Pei, are headed to same place: Singapore.
“Everyone’s going to Singapore,” said Pei, especially those working in finance, law and recruitment, she said.

Kay Kutt, CEO of the Hong-Kong based relocation company Silk Relo, agreed, saying people are attracted to the ease of business, family friendliness, tax incentives and open borders of Singapore.
In its 40-year existence, the past three years have been the busiest years on record for Silk Relo’s sister moving company, Asian Tigers, she said.

“We cannot keep up with the capacity,” she said. “We don’t have enough people to serve what’s going on in the marketplace.”

Families are transferring to Singapore, she said, but small- and medium-sized businesses are also on the move. Whereas one company executive might have left in the past, now “they’re all going,” she said. Small companies are “taking the entire team and putting them into Singapore.”

Large companies are also relocating to Singapore, said Cynthia Ang, an executive director at the recruitment firm Kerry Consulting. She cited L’Oreal, Moet Hennessy and VF Corporation — the latter which owns brands such as Timberland and North Face — as examples, while noting there are more who haven’t made their decisions public yet.

“We get more calls from our clients who are … sharing with us that they’re going to move the entire Asia Pacific office into Singapore,” she said.
Other companies are staying in Hong Kong, but downsizing their offices, and moving regional headquarters to Singapore, said Ang.

Australian Krystle Edwards said she’s lived in Hong Kong for 12 years and wants to stay, but she and her husband are going to decide whether to leave by September.
“If the situation looks like 2023 is going to be more of the same in Hong Kong — hotel quarantine restrictions, all that sort of stuff — we’re moving to Singapore,” she said.
“It gets to a point where it’s just too much.”

When temporary become permanent

Some people are riding out Hong Kong’s tight Covid restrictions by taking extended vacations, said Edwards.

“A lot of families that I know have gone away for like three or four months,” said Edwards. “Heaps are in Thailand — they just packed up and went to Phuket or [Koh] Samui. … They all got villas, some have even put their kids in school there, and they said they’ll come back to Hong Kong in August or September.”

Many expatriates went home for a few months this year. Now Pei said she’s noticing a lot of these people are not coming back.

Kutt said this is “absolutely” happening, as evidenced by the number of moves occurring without clients present. Before Covid, “absent shippers” were rare, she said, but due to the number of requests, Silk Relo created a service whereby an on-site team member acts on behalf of a client who can’t be present for a move.

Leaving for good

Lockdown and quarantine policies coupled with a merry-go-round of school closures caused many expatriates to return home — to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and other countries — for good, said Kutt.

But deeply entrenched locals are leaving too, she said.

Hong Kong-born Kam Lun Yeung said his family is moving to Sydney, where he lived as a child.

“We do consider [Hong Kong] home, and it is difficult leaving especially considering how much we have invested emotionally in the city,” he said. However, “the 2019 protests to the current pandemic situation and seeing friends leaving already … made our decision a little bit easier.”

Lisa Terauchi grew up in Hong Kong, but left just shy of her 45th birthday, after her husband lost his job as a captain with Cathay Dragon, a Hong Kong-based airline that shuttered operations in late 2020. She and her family moved to the Netherlands, where her husband is from.

Hong Kong “was no longer the country I had grown up in, it was no longer the country I remembered,” she said.


Terauchi said she has friends who are leaving, some who have lived there longer than she did. Though her oldest son is completing his master’s degree in Hong Kong, she said she and her husband likely won’t return, even to maintain their permanent residency status.

“I mean, is it even worth it anymore?” she said.
Others have moved to the United Kingdom and Canada, said Kutt. During the pandemic, both countries launched visa programs granting eligible Hong Kong residents the right to reside within their jurisdictions.

Immigration from Hong Kong to Canada is “booming,” according to the Canadian immigration website, CIC News. Yet even more are relocating to the United Kingdom, with more than 100,000 applying to move as of March.

“I noticed, especially I think it was March, the number of calls [from] … long-standing old Hong Kong families … they have high net worth, might have multiple homes, they’re choosing to pack up and go,” said Kutt.
“Those were the ones that I would say rocked me to the core,” said Kutt, who has lived in Hong Kong for more than 30 years.

Where else?

Silk Relo and Asian Tigers are also seeing an “uptick” in moves from Hong Kong to Japan, South Korea and Thailand, said Kutt.

“We’re seeing companies choosing Tokyo,” she said, which she indicated was surprising given that Tokyo has historically been a place for companies solely looking to access the Japanese market.
Dubai is also absorbing talent from Hong Kong, said Kerry Consulting’s Ang. She said that is especially true for American and European employers that already have a presence there.
Pepsi, Unilever and P&G moved people out of Hong Kong into Dubai, she said.

“Saudi Arabia is trying to fight for a slice of the pie” too, said Ang. “I’ve not physically seen anyone who’s that excited about moving to Saudi Arabia yet …” but places in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, are “trying to mirror what Dubai has done over the last couple of years.”

Very sad 😔. HK is one of my favourite cities.
 

Chat SAMOSA

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No surprise here. Once China took over ppl from HK who are able to leave will leave. Don't know about now but till when the Wuhan virus started, even mainland chinese were transferring whatever assets they can to London, LA, NyC ...in fact to pretty much anywhere in the freeworld
 

Catalystic

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how can you just move to another country just like that ?? It takes yrs to get PR(immigration) of anywhere……r they just going there as visitors and then overstaying??
If I’m a Canadian and I can freely travel without requiring visas, it doesn’t mean i can just go anywhere and “settle” and start living there permanently…….something is missing here if 93000 can just get up and be gone…..which country these days wants more people with covid still affecting economies? Who’s guving them residency like candy upon arrival ????
 

jhungary

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We have had loads come here and settle in greater London. They like the green areas open spaces and good schools. They have plenty of money and go straight into jobs. Dare I say one of the best waves of migration we have had in many years.
I'm not surprised Singapore is the top destination. They mention ease of business, great living standards, security etc but they fail to mention it is majority Chinese which would probably be a draw as well. No doubt Singapore would welcome this boost their population which is struggling a little with birth rates.
The others are all headed to Asian nations i.e. Thailand, Japan etc.
My mother youngest brother recently just settled in Manchester. He moved there with her kids and wife. (His wife was a mainlander)

The reason why they move is because he is afraid of the government is going to take his money (which is already limited) He is the rich type in Hong Kong, having over hundred of millions of Hong Kong Dollar in the bank with 4 properties in Hong Kong. But when he move he can only move around 1 million Hong Kong dollar and can't even buy a home in Manchester.

Many people leave Hong Kong because of the same reason, not too many are for "freedom of right or vote" or whatever the Mainland Chinese want people to believe as "Troublemaker"

His original destination was Canada tho, but he can't get the visa to work and took up the BNO thing the UK offered.
 

jhungary

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how can you just move to another country just like that ?? It takes yrs to get PR(immigration) of anywhere……r they just going there as visitors and then overstaying??
If I’m a Canadian and I can freely travel without requiring visas, it doesn’t mean i can just go anywhere and “settle” and start living there permanently…….something is missing here if 93000 can just get up and be gone…..which country these days wants more people with covid still affecting economies? Who’s guving them residency like candy upon arrival ????
Most country have pathway to permanent residence for Hong Kong people in term of migration after the National Security Law has passed, most western country see these people as refugee.

In the UK, the visa scheme is basically just 3400 pound to applies, you don't need to do anything and simply live in the UK for 4 years then you get ILR (Permanent Residence) and one more year you can change your BNO to Full British Citizenship. The only requirement is that the principal applicant must have a British National Oversea status.

In Australia, Australian government automatically extended every Hong Kong Visitor (Work, Studied and Tourist) visa for 5 years, at the end of the 5 years if you can demonstrate that you can support yourself (which mean either you work or you open a shop and earn $45000 a year), you are allow to bridge that visa to permanent residence, another 2 years for Australian Citizenship.

As for US and Canada, both country offered low level business/express entry migration. US EB-5 Visa (business visa) require 500,000 USD investment in US city outside metro, and 1 million USD for metro area. Most Hong Konger have that amount of money (considering if you own a home in Hong that would worth anywhere upward between 1 to 1.5 million USD) So most people go to US with EB-5 visa scheme.

Canada have a similar scheme called "Express Entry" I don't really remember the actual requirement for it, but it's more or less like the US EB-5 visa if I recall correctly.

Technically, any Hong Konger who have means to establish themselves can choose to move to any one of those place. I physically know someone from Hong Kong who move to UK and then to the US taking both visa out.........
 

jhungary

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I don't see how the members here could be so eager to cheer for their countrymen to move to a foreign land. While it is hard to make everybody happy it is sad that people find the situation so incredibly bad they just get up and leave their native land forever...and it isn't even due to economic reasons (which likely drives most immigration)...just disgust with the government.

After every US Presidential election you hear about a list of insanely angry people saying they give up and want to move to Canada. In the end very few actually do. With 10's of thousands of HKers actually doing it says a lot.
Not 10s of thousand, hundred of thousands........

lower end estimate suggested that over 300,000 already left. UK alone saw upward to 150,000 visa granted to Hong Konger, UK home office reported that up until Dec 31 2021, there are 103,900 application British National (Overseas) visa, and we are in June 2022

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nationality-and-borders-bill-british-national-overseas-factsheet/british-national-overseas

According to the Quarterly Migration Statistics published on 24 February as of 31 December 2021 103,900 BN(O) status holders and their family members have chosen to take the UK up on this offer and applied for the BN(O) route since 31 January

Then then that is not the most frequent destination, most people went to Singapore and Taiwan. With a few going to Canada, US and Australia.....

I read it somewhere a while back that they expect 2 million Hong Konger to leave Hong Kong in the next 5 years........
 

satyamev

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you have seen japan,hongkong , singapore and what not you have eyes all across the globe such an all-seeing Indian .
whats your point ?
I have traveled to a few countries for work and pleasure.
Does that hurt your han sensibilities ?
 

Dalit

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Thousands of people are leaving Hong Kong — and now it’s clear where they’re going​

PUBLISHED FRI, MAY 27 20221:26 AM EDTUPDATED FRI, MAY 27 20228:46 PM EDT
Monica Buchanan Pitrelli@MONICAPITRELLI

KEY POINTS
  • Hong Kong lost 93,000 residents in 2020, followed by another 23,000 in 2021. But early estimates show this year will see far more people go.
  • Many people and companies are moving to Singapore, though some expatriates are returning home and Hong Kongers are applying for residency under new visa programs launched in Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • There’s also an increase in moves from Hong Kong to Dubai, Japan, South Korea and Thailand, according to insiders.
They stuck it out during the political protests of 2019.
Then they lasted through nearly two years of pandemic.

But this year, they say they’ve had enough.

Residents of Hong Kong are leaving the city in droves in 2022 — not because they want to, several told CNBC, but because Covid restrictions and what they see as an erosion of democratic norms are pushing them to leave.

A surge in departures is accelerating a “brain drain” of professional talent — a situation which hit fever pitch around March, as omicron-driven Covid cases skyrocketed across the city.
Now Hong Kong’s ever-chipper lifestyle websites, once dominated by articles about the city’s best dim sum and foot massages parlors, are focusing on moving to-do lists and farewell gift guides.

‘Absolute mass exodus’

The office of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Lam said on April 26 that the government’s Covid rules balance health and economic interests with public tolerance levels.

Hong Kong continues to safeguard “human rights and freedoms” but that “one has to observe the law in exercising freedom,” she said.
On the subject of people leaving Hong Kong, Lam said it’s their “individual freedom to enter and to exit.”

For the past 60 years, Hong Kong’s population has grown nearly every year, from some 3.2 million people in 1961 to 7.5 million in 2019, according to Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department.

From 2015 to 2019, the city gained an average of 53,000 new residents per year. Yet that is roughly the same number of people who departed Hong Kong during the first two weeks of March alone, according to the city’s Immigration Department.

Hong Kong lost some 93,000 residents in 2020, followed by another 23,000 in 2021. But early estimates show this year will see far more people go.

“In the last couple of years people have thought about leaving, but in the last six months there’s been an absolute mass exodus,” said Pei C., who has lived in Hong Kong for 17 years. She asked to be identified with her last initial because of sensitivities surrounding the topic in Hong Kong.

The trigger, she said — one echoed by numerous people who spoke to CNBC for this story — was the highly-publicized policy that separated Covid-positive children from their parents earlier this year.

“A lot of parents, understandably, freaked out, so they booked themselves on the first flights out,” she said.

Pei estimates that 60-70% of her friends have left in the past six to 12 months, which includes people with businesses and family in Hong Kong as well as those who were once deeply committed to staying.

Moving to Singapore

Most people leaving, said Pei, are headed to same place: Singapore.
“Everyone’s going to Singapore,” said Pei, especially those working in finance, law and recruitment, she said.

Kay Kutt, CEO of the Hong-Kong based relocation company Silk Relo, agreed, saying people are attracted to the ease of business, family friendliness, tax incentives and open borders of Singapore.
In its 40-year existence, the past three years have been the busiest years on record for Silk Relo’s sister moving company, Asian Tigers, she said.

“We cannot keep up with the capacity,” she said. “We don’t have enough people to serve what’s going on in the marketplace.”

Families are transferring to Singapore, she said, but small- and medium-sized businesses are also on the move. Whereas one company executive might have left in the past, now “they’re all going,” she said. Small companies are “taking the entire team and putting them into Singapore.”

Large companies are also relocating to Singapore, said Cynthia Ang, an executive director at the recruitment firm Kerry Consulting. She cited L’Oreal, Moet Hennessy and VF Corporation — the latter which owns brands such as Timberland and North Face — as examples, while noting there are more who haven’t made their decisions public yet.

“We get more calls from our clients who are … sharing with us that they’re going to move the entire Asia Pacific office into Singapore,” she said.
Other companies are staying in Hong Kong, but downsizing their offices, and moving regional headquarters to Singapore, said Ang.

Australian Krystle Edwards said she’s lived in Hong Kong for 12 years and wants to stay, but she and her husband are going to decide whether to leave by September.
“If the situation looks like 2023 is going to be more of the same in Hong Kong — hotel quarantine restrictions, all that sort of stuff — we’re moving to Singapore,” she said.
“It gets to a point where it’s just too much.”

When temporary become permanent

Some people are riding out Hong Kong’s tight Covid restrictions by taking extended vacations, said Edwards.

“A lot of families that I know have gone away for like three or four months,” said Edwards. “Heaps are in Thailand — they just packed up and went to Phuket or [Koh] Samui. … They all got villas, some have even put their kids in school there, and they said they’ll come back to Hong Kong in August or September.”

Many expatriates went home for a few months this year. Now Pei said she’s noticing a lot of these people are not coming back.

Kutt said this is “absolutely” happening, as evidenced by the number of moves occurring without clients present. Before Covid, “absent shippers” were rare, she said, but due to the number of requests, Silk Relo created a service whereby an on-site team member acts on behalf of a client who can’t be present for a move.

Leaving for good

Lockdown and quarantine policies coupled with a merry-go-round of school closures caused many expatriates to return home — to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and other countries — for good, said Kutt.

But deeply entrenched locals are leaving too, she said.

Hong Kong-born Kam Lun Yeung said his family is moving to Sydney, where he lived as a child.

“We do consider [Hong Kong] home, and it is difficult leaving especially considering how much we have invested emotionally in the city,” he said. However, “the 2019 protests to the current pandemic situation and seeing friends leaving already … made our decision a little bit easier.”

Lisa Terauchi grew up in Hong Kong, but left just shy of her 45th birthday, after her husband lost his job as a captain with Cathay Dragon, a Hong Kong-based airline that shuttered operations in late 2020. She and her family moved to the Netherlands, where her husband is from.

Hong Kong “was no longer the country I had grown up in, it was no longer the country I remembered,” she said.


Terauchi said she has friends who are leaving, some who have lived there longer than she did. Though her oldest son is completing his master’s degree in Hong Kong, she said she and her husband likely won’t return, even to maintain their permanent residency status.

“I mean, is it even worth it anymore?” she said.
Others have moved to the United Kingdom and Canada, said Kutt. During the pandemic, both countries launched visa programs granting eligible Hong Kong residents the right to reside within their jurisdictions.

Immigration from Hong Kong to Canada is “booming,” according to the Canadian immigration website, CIC News. Yet even more are relocating to the United Kingdom, with more than 100,000 applying to move as of March.

“I noticed, especially I think it was March, the number of calls [from] … long-standing old Hong Kong families … they have high net worth, might have multiple homes, they’re choosing to pack up and go,” said Kutt.
“Those were the ones that I would say rocked me to the core,” said Kutt, who has lived in Hong Kong for more than 30 years.

Where else?

Silk Relo and Asian Tigers are also seeing an “uptick” in moves from Hong Kong to Japan, South Korea and Thailand, said Kutt.

“We’re seeing companies choosing Tokyo,” she said, which she indicated was surprising given that Tokyo has historically been a place for companies solely looking to access the Japanese market.
Dubai is also absorbing talent from Hong Kong, said Kerry Consulting’s Ang. She said that is especially true for American and European employers that already have a presence there.
Pepsi, Unilever and P&G moved people out of Hong Kong into Dubai, she said.

“Saudi Arabia is trying to fight for a slice of the pie” too, said Ang. “I’ve not physically seen anyone who’s that excited about moving to Saudi Arabia yet …” but places in the Middle East, including the United Arab Emirates, are “trying to mirror what Dubai has done over the last couple of years.”


I just visited Turkey and met people from Hong Kong. Young adults looking for appartments in Izmir. Kids belonging to rich families. They had left Hong Kong because they are "worried" about the future.
 

beijingwalker

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I just visited Turkey and met people from Hong Kong. Young adults looking for appartments in Izmir. Kids belonging to rich families. They had left Hong Kong because they are "worried" about the future.
Hopefully they don't come back, we don't need them.
 

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