WeWork’s Singapore Branches Gain From HK Relocations
SINGAPORE – A coworking space operator has revealed that it has benefitted from the exodus of companies from Hong Kong, reported CNBC on Thursday morning (28 April, SGT).
According to WeWork, a provider of flexible office space, its outlets in Singapore recorded an almost 13 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in sales and enquiries from Hong Kong-based firms during the last three months of 2021.
Meanwhile, rival JustCo shared that while it hasn’t noticed a sharp increase from Hong Kong clients, it noted that multinational banks in the Chinese territory are looking for coworking spaces in Singapore.
Aside from that, data from Singapore’s Tourism Board showed that visitor arrivals from Hong Kong nearly doubled from January to February 2022. That figure increased further in March, surging by over 110 percent from February.
“Anecdotally, we know that perhaps there are some people based in Hong Kong looking to relocate to Singapore, and this is contributing to the increase in [residential] rents,” commented Leonard Tay, Research Head at property consultancy Knight Frank Singapore.
Moreover, Singaporeans based in Hong Kong have made extended trips back to Singapore in the past few months, drawn to the relative freedom in the city-state compared to that in Hong Kong.
“The main thing was the restrictions. There’s not much evolution in how [Hong Kong] is handling it, and therefore it doesn’t really give us much hope … that there will be any form of reform or change in the government’s strategy,” said a Singaporean who works in the banking sector who asked not to be named.
He stayed in Singapore for around a month, where he said there was “some degree of normalcy”.
Another Singaporean, who wanted to be identified only as Leung, said he purchased a one-way ticket to Singapore when Hong Kong announced in February that it planned to test its entire population for COVID 3 times.
At that point, he felt that Hong Kong’s government had “totally lost it” and he had to get out of there.