Hong Kong Exodus To Peak In March or April
HONG KONG – The draconian COVID-19 measures in the Chinese territory and China’s iron grip on Hong Kong is forcing tens of thousands of people to relocate to other countries, including Singapore, reported Business Insider on Friday noon (22 April, SGT).
Hong Kong is now grappling with its 5th wave of COVID-19 infections. The Chinese territory’s 7.5 million residents are facing mass testing and weeks-long quarantines, with some children being separated from their families if they test positive.
Even prior to the pandemic, many Hong Kong residents were leaving after Beijing exerted more control over the city. The two combined factors have led to an exodus, with Hong Kong recording a net outflow of 65,295 residents in February and 66,334 residents in March, based on an analysis of government immigration statistics by the Hong Kong Free Press. This is in contrast to a net inflow over the same period in 2021, noted the news outlet.
“We believe that March/April will probably see ‘peak exodus,’ with expats moved either back to their own countries or to Singapore in a collective loss of patience at Hong Kong’s anti-pandemic measures,” said property consultancy Savills in a report last week, citing “exceptionally strict” local pandemic curbs as a push factor.
Business Insider revealed the top countries Hong Kong residents are relocating to are Australia, Canada, Singapore, The UK, and Taiwan.
In particular, Singapore has become a leading destination for expats who want to get away from Hong Kong’s draconian COVID measures, but stay in the same region and time zone.
In fact, Bloomberg reported in March that multinational financial firms such as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Société Générale have transferred bankers out of their Hong Kong offices to Singapore.
“Some Hong Kong expatriates are moving to Singapore because they don’t like the COVID restrictions,” explained Nicholas Mak, Research Head at ERA Realty Network.