What Hong Kong Unrest Means For Asia’s Financial Hub

What Hong Kong Unrest Means For Asia’s Financial Hub


Scenes like this play out in
Hong Kong almost every weekend now. It’s been this way since June 2019. Now the unrest is getting
more and more violent. So what’s going on in Hong Kong? In April of 2019, Hong Kong’s
government attempted to amend its extradition laws. The proposed changes would allow
criminal suspects from the city to be tried in mainland China. Critics said the bill would curtail
the city’s independence as well as free speech. The extradition measure was seen as
a pro-Beijing policy and indicative of the growing influence of mainland
China over the city. In May 2019, the U.S. weighed in as a congressional commission
warned that the bill could pose risks for national security
and economic interests. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, who’s
kind of like a mayor and governor rolled into one, pushed
the bill forward anyway. So in early June of 2019, hundreds
of thousands of protesters marched in downtown Hong Kong. A few weeks later, protesters
demonstrated near the city’s government offices. The demonstrations eventually grew
violent when protesters began throwing bricks and metal
poles at police. The police responded with batons, one hundred
and fifty rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets. The government classified the event as
a riot, which meant anyone arrested there could spend up to
10 years in prison. Four days later, nearly two million
people took to the streets, according to organizers. Police, though, said that the number
was closer to three hundred and thirty eight thousand. Those protesters gave the
government five demands. The first was a total withdrawal
of the extradition legislation and a resignation from Carrie Lam. They also wanted a retraction so the
protest would not be classified as a riot. And they wanted an investigation
into the actions of the police during those violent protests. Finally, they wanted to release of
anyone who had been arrested in connection with the protests. Not long after, Lam said the bill
was dead and apologized for how she handled the situation. I have furthermore undertaken that because
this bill has caused so much anxiety and worries and differences
in opinion, I will not, as an undertaking, I will
not proceed again with this legislative exercise. But the chief executive felt short
of meeting protesters demands to withdraw the bill completely. So on July 1st of 2019, on the
22nd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese
rule, more protests broke out. And those demonstrations continued
throughout the month. Hong Kong has long been Asia’s financial
hub, but that reputation has been shaken as the city has also
become the center of Asian unrest. Protests in the former British colony are
starting to bite into Hong Kong’s economy. The number of tour groups
coming from mainland China has dropped from an average of seven thousand eight
hundred per month to five thousand six hundred forty one in June of
twenty nineteen, right as the protests approached their peak. Also in June, occupancy rates of the
city’s hotels were down 20 percent from last year. They’re expected to be down
40 percent in July. But that’s not all that’s
weighing on Hong Kong’s economy. The trade tensions between the U.S. and China have slowed economic growth,
according to the city’s financial secretary. In fact, during the first quarter
of 2019, the city had its slowest growth in a decade. For Asia operations either you put your
headquarters in Hong Kong or in Singapore. So you know, from long-term
perspective, you know, if Hong Kong does not maintain relatively
stable political conditions. I’m thinking of for M and C’s the
have to hedge, you know, from their perspective. So this definitely will have
some negative impact into Hong Kong’s status as a financial center. As the Asia operations center from
a lot of companies’ perspectives. Hong Kong also remains one of the
most expensive cities in the world. And the unrest there has
squeezed citizens even more. Hong Kong’s real estate market was rated
the most expensive in the world for the fifth consecutive year
by real estate firm CBRE. The average price of a modest one bedroom
home in the city is one point two million dollars. A one hundred and twenty one square
foot nano-apartment recently sold for a quarter of a million dollars. About two thousand forty one
dollars per square foot. Meanwhile, the average rent for a one
bedroom apartment in the city is two thousand one hundred eighteen dollars, and
the average monthly salary for a man is only about two thousand
five hundred dollars, while the average salary for a woman drops to
one thousand nine hundred fifty dollars, according to the Hong Kong
Census and Statistics Department. The housing crisis in the city has gotten
so bad there’s a plan to build an 80 billion dollar artificial island
to deal with the problem. It’s also why many experts believe protests
are about more than just the extradition bill. One of the big things behind these
protests, quite frankly, is the terrible affordability of housing in Hong Kong, which
really is upsetting a lot of young people and
middle income people. So in a way, the housing affordability
issue is part and parcel of the protest movement. Government officials, including executive Carrie
Lam, have said that the extradition bill is dead. But activists want a formal withdrawal,
so the protests are likely to continue until that happens. Fear for the city’s future has
caused many residents to consider leaving, and that could lead to a
brain drain in Asia’s financial hub. At least two migration consultancy firms
have seen a jump in inquiries since June, according to the
South China Morning Post. People looking to leave cite
concerns ever increasing unrest, dwindling freedoms and growing influence
from mainland China. And then there’s cost of living. As a result, many young people
have been exploring options in Australia, Canada and Taiwan. And while the Chinese government may have
had its feelings hurt by the city’s protesters, things could get a
lot worse of young people start leaving the city. Major companies could leave, too. After all, Singapore is another major financial
hub, and it’s not that far away.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. Every Chinese stock should have an independent certified FRAUD examiner to scrutinize every company as in America to detect accounting irregularities complicity collaborated by management

  2. a beautiful place, but fallen country.😥😥 make action with peace no need to hurt in both side cops and protesters. freedom to say those concerns by not hurting anyone. 😥

  3. I have went to mainland china more like the internet is fully controlled cant do fb or youtube or even google…. You are stuck using chinese apps like qq we chat and baidu but im sure you are monitored 💯 and hk is liberated different more like open…

  4. Mademoiselle Wang, I understand your assessment however my remarks are based on people who are powerful and influential and are natives that no longer live in China they live in numerous parts of the world ..actually and unfortunately on the cheap humiliating wages of Chinese people

  5. Mademoseille Yibo Wang, China will not yield to “ Trump “ hot air rhetoric because Xi is a life long President he has no election could care less but in few years when manufactures have outside sources such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Africa, Taiwan, South Korea the unemployment rate will soar and China government will hemorrhaging

  6. China has no business over the people of Hong Kong, invasion is illegal and anti human rights. CHINA IS NO THE MAIN LAND but a different country. This was all planned MANY YEARS AGO to enslave the world under those few elite who owns the banks!

  7. Someone please tell me what a Protest means? What do you win when one of your friends is beaten and given 10 years hard labor??

  8. who's behind the all the protest? Jimmy Lai? The demands from the protesters suit the crime that he has committed.

  9. China wants to coop them up in sardine cans, just like the rest of their sheep. Control and curtail the people’s freedom is what the dictators consider top priority.

  10. Its strange how riots and protests are very similar. So how if government were to start killing or incarcerating or disappearing people people are supposed to do peaceful protests if not they rioting and get 10 years in prison? Seems legit.

  11. I naturally tend to side with the people over unelected government but the fierceness of the protest in this case seem out of proportion to the demands. Remember HK-ers already enjoy far more freedom than their mainland brothers, including considerable freedom to protest, a free press, a fair trial and other rights mainland Chinese can only dream of. True in HK they don't have the right to choose their leaders or make all their own laws independently, but then they never did have these rights, not even under British rule.

  12. Hong Kong knock offs are elligal ,the criminals should be sent to China for trial, if Hong kong is corrupt and alows this to happen a higher authority should step in and end the corruption, you cant have your cake and eat it hong kong

  13. China is bringing Army tankers to control people. What if chinese president's son/daughter in opposite side. China is behaving like a mad man

  14. China will not use military force it would be economically catastrophic …and a colossal miscalculation of unprecedented proportions ..today markets up S& P 500 dividend yield is 1.96 value is better then treasury 30 bonds yesterday they formed a intraday reversal pattern but didn’t close down exchanging into weak hands to stupid people

  15. New considerations in the struggle of Hong Kong and China Communists. This may ramp up into a long petition for a self governing region known as Hong Kong. But, the protesters should consider new tactics, and to play cards very carefully, to seek good allies, and seek legal ways of formal petitions for self governing. Perhaps the two systems agreement can continue, or be enhanced, or a new political solution of freedom that is technically supported within the upfront language in the Constitutions of China and Hong Kong. <><> Expression can sometimes be more powerful than physical force. Ideally, the Protesters and Liberators need to change tactics and to stay safe. Just some ideas, include small flags of freedom (of various types) on higher ground, or start new dance party protests, or maybe try making friends with some police, and try formal legal petitions, and more powerful Memes. <><> Hearing feedback from much of Kekistan Nation, with strong support for Hong Kong Protesters and Liberators. Wishing you positive energy and hope. Celebrate Reeee New Freedom ! May the KEK Force be with you. Shadilay! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihKSHT7gIBY

  16. One of the ads taken out by Li Ka-shing—a 91-year-old tycoon worth $27 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index—was aimed at the Chinese government. It referenced a Tang dynasty poem that calls on an empress not to kill her own children. The other, aimed at protesters, called for an end to violence and cautioned that the best intentions can have the worst outcomes.

  17. They are mob. It is nothing to do with democracy, equality or human right. The mob do all the damage, attack those have opposite opinion. They do plenty of damages but not a singal construction.

  18. But I do disagree the protests now is because of the housing problem! Instead, the freedom of the Hongkongers are being seriously threatened by the PRC government, moreover the situation is being more worst by the brutality police force of Hong Kong!
    Message from one of the Hongkongers

  19. Chinka is doing this to Hong Kong and Taiwan and trying to takeover everything just like South Chinka SEA greed and absolute power just like their buddy Rushka also trying to takeover Ukraine, Georgia and the others like Poland , Hungary, Romania but only see America, Japan and the UK as their only obstacle .

  20. I think this report is fair. Just one thing, Singapore is better than Hongkong because they are Authoritarianism, Less liberty, No protest. that's interesting.

  21. trump as discedited democracy in china the psy-op failed period, cant hide it they will have to make major walk back on their narrative lol

  22. The violent comes from Chinese Communist infiltrated bad actors. Mainly. They use this tactic to stir up the crowds and causing chaos

  23. I don't think they have enough police officers or prisons to stop Hong Kong. Good luck to Freedom! It will come to all.

  24. I'm reading comments about the old peeps are losing a lot more than the young generation protesting. Oh trust me they're going to lose a lot more than the old peeps, all the old peeps can see is the life they've built, all their assets being destroyed. I can understand that but the young one's FUTURE is on the line here. And they're not protesting something trivial or stupid, their protest has depth, truth and danger behind it

  25. Trump is not dealing with a “ full deck of cards” he’s playing with himself ….I don’t trust his rhetoric …the markets technicals and fundamentals are explicitly clear

  26. If those terrorist keep doing this to Hong Kong. No one in Hong Kong would have future. Those terrorist do not represent we Hong Kong people. We will not compromise with terrorist try to use gas bombs to burn down police stations and their home. We will not cooperate with terrorist who would beat up police and anyone who disagree with them.

  27. These people are so dumb.disgrace..chinese are Chinese don’t matter if you in Jamaica,Guyana,Trinidad ,Cuba Hong Kong Panama Taiwan USA,Canada.forget the white man deception

  28. Honestly, I'm with Hong Kong having freedom, but ai don't think it should be brought up at the g20, considering how the US didnt want Iran to have a democracy

  29. 4:40 average** not median, what is with leftists not understanding math? The wage gap is null void of importance in the west and far east. The leftists should be talking about the middle east, but they never do.

  30. fake media, where is the protestor molotov, where is the protestor stones? cnbc lets talk about the US 22 trilion $ debt, look like US will never gonna pay a dime

  31. God Bless Hong Kongers, I fear the statanic PLA is planning to attack these innocent people,like they did in 1989, Tiananmen square masscare, The coward PLA!!!

  32. Hong Kong gathers 1million for freedom and dumb Americans burns their freedom flag and want communism and also wants to raid Area 51

  33. Aren't elderly pepole suppose to show example but to Hong Kong I guess they don't know that their homes are so small that a toilet is littaraly next to the bed

  34. A bit dishonest with the reporting on the amendment to the extradition Bill at 0:30. The highlighted part is not the amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance (FOO, cap.503) which would do the extraditing. Rather, it is the amendment to Cap.525, which with this amendment would allow you to seek legal assistance from HK if you are under Chinese legal proceedings.

    Why did they highlight this one? Allowing people to ask for HK legal assistance when in the PRC seems like a very good change, right? You can protect your rights with assistance from a more open and free court system. Well, it is the only time the amendments specifically mention the PRC, so they flash it quickly, narrate something else and play on your emotions.

    The amendment to cap.503 is a general change, which allows HK to use it on a case-by-case basis to ANY TERRITORY.

    Cap.503 is a very strong bill, following the UN Human Rights framework. Sadly, it only applies to 20 territories. It has been successfully implemented and used since its passing on the 25th April 1997 (yes, the extradition law is 22 years old – passed months before the handover of Hong Kong to China.) This year's amendment aimed to strengthen the FOO, and allow the Bill to be used for every territory in the world. People commit crimes and run to Hong Kong from all 190 territories. HK needs a system to send them back to face their respective courts.

    The amendments have been deliberately muddied, and only half the story told. A good chunk of the protesters can't even recite "the 5 demands" that they supposedly are fighting for.

  35. If only china allowed freedom of speech and stop those surveillance things then maybe hong kong people will change their minds who would want to live their life in complete surveillance browsing the internet ? Nope China's government won't make it easy want to say something about the country ? Be carefull cuz hours later you may be at a prison

  36. Agreed they have got to build an enormous island filled with high rise condos with affordable places to live!
    Everyone deserves a nice place to live that one can afford! The Mainland Chinese do & the HongKong citizens too

  37. I read somewhere, I cannot remember exactly , but I heard when HongKong changed sovereignty to Chinese, the mainlanders started buying the property raising the price of real estate.

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