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Who is leaving HK, Anecdotal Evidence - Part 2

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  1. #771

    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    For my part, not an expat per se as have lived most of my life in various East and SE Asian countries / states, but I'm mid-30s married with children and a few pets and ready to leave HK. All in all we've been in HK for over 20 years. In fact we've set a date next year after we wrap some things up, earn a bit more for the last time in a low-tax environment, spend time with family and friends, and will leave to the UK. I have a UK passport and my spouse will need a visa but she'd probably be eligible for a work visa anyway.

    We're both high earners in professional fields. We've amassed a chunky war chest that's mostly invested in index funds (RIP to the portion stuck in HSI). These are the reasons we are leaving:
    - We're both tired of the relentless workaholic culture in HK.
    - We're tired of the tiny apartments.
    - We're tired of looking at potentially buying a single storey of a remote village house for HK$5-6M just to satisfy our dreams of actually having a garden so the kids and dogs can run around, whilst still not really feeling like it's your own private property with two separate neighbours on top of you, and hemmed in on 3 sides with other village houses.
    - We're tired of reading about children storybook authors going to jail for fables.
    - We're tired about this Govts inability to actually make policy work, even though they have basically 0 opposition now.
    - We're tired of thinking about having to fork out for international schools just so our kids might have a chance of not having to receive "patriotic" education. We also did not wish for our children to be totally disconnected with local kids, and I'm not sure that's really possible if HK schools go ahead with some of this nonsense.
    - We're tired of covid policy, but more importantly how it demonstrates what sort of policy-making this Govt will have going forward.

    So many (mostly older, established) folk I speak to talk about how the people leaving HK are worthless, low-networth, non-professional types. Well, here's a f*** you to that perception. Our household monthly income is a quarter mil HKD, we're professionals, a young family with kids and have enough to buy a nice property in the UK outright with almost enough to retire on with the remaining cash. We'll likely lose the high income, we'll lose the convenience of public transport, the cleanliness of public toilets and malls, but I suspect we'll be OK without that stuff, living a much less materalistic life.

    The only thing I feel sad about is moving away from aging family, but we're in the process of convincing them to join us. I'll also honestly miss my cylcing sessions in Tai Po up to Tai Mei Tuk stopping only to get some Tofu Flower dessert.

    Tl;dr - we're tired of BS.


  2. #772

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    Jul 2022
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    94
    Quote Originally Posted by ndt:
    Its interesting many people compare current situation with pre-97 exodus without realising the big difference between percieved danger then and real danger now, there was no arrest or imminent danger of being caught for any random thing then but it is real now, imagine being parent of local teenager who has gone out doing his/her stuff with friends, knowingly/unknowingly carrying some stuff or just say/sing stuff in zest or just be at wrong place and wrong time among wrong people or suddenly not approachable till mid night for whatever reason, parent would constantly fear the worst of the situation and by sheer unfotune if that young person is charged under NSL or whatever flimsy reason, good luck with police clearance for future migration.. This is the real imminent danger in all local's mind, not even remotely comparable to pre-97 wave and more importantly its easier for us expats to think about keeping our head down and carry on making money, its not a fullproof option for locals..

    In fact i was wondering 2 days ago, what would i do if by chance i happened to be in that crowd paying respect to the queen, harmonica and song came out of nowhere, probably i would start singing with others in that momenet, police van shooting the crown with that high-tech camera from opposite side and boom!!!! My life is screwed, just like that..
    While I fully agree that the situation now is more real than pre97, the reality back then is that there was also a lot more unknown. No one knew what China was actually going to do and that can be scarier especially in the aftermath of Tiananmen. Now people are seeing exactly what is happening and are making a choice based on facts. Some of what you paint is also fiction about how bad it could get, the current reality is that from what I know, the people that have been arrested and charged are not random at all. They are prominent figures meant to serve as an example to silence the movement and those that were violent. That doesn't make it better but in my opinion, it overplays the fear people are experiencing. Point in case, this website is full of seditious talk yet I don't see much fear in the discourse. Biggest fear I have noticed from local friends is losing money, not getting arrested hence the movement of money out of HK but as pointed out, it probably depends on the circles people are in. The young people I know have great jobs and are just putting their heads down and making the most of the opportunities given to them by people leaving. Many will leave once their nest egg and career are set

    As pointed out, people have been living and thriving with oppression in Singapore. In my opinion, if there is a better living to be made in HK and people have a passport in their back pocket many will come back. Same goes for expats, many of the older ones that knew a different HK have left or will leave but IF there is money to be made, new ones will come. For me the real question is whether the brain drain currently experienced and the government policies will sink HK's financial future. That is a real possibility and this will keep people away far more than things like the NSL.
    Corrib likes this.

  3. #773

    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    38

    We left in March this year and still miss Hong Kong every day. We are living in sunny Portugal with zero restrictions and the freedom is wonderful. But I miss the buzz of HK, my friends and earning excellent money. I would love to return but we have a 2 year old and I refuse to put a mask on her and let her grow up seeing only faceless people. In 2030, when masks are finally removed outdoors in HK, hopefully we can return.

    Mcdavid, shri, jgl and 3 others like this.

  4. #774

    Tabby Kinder is leaving - she would have stayed if it "wasn’t for the unexpected opportunity to move to the FT’s San Francisco bureau"

    https://www.ft.com/content/dbcd73c5-...8-0c6f2f51cba1


  5. #775

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    Dec 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elefant&Castle:
    Tabby Kinder is leaving - she would have stayed if it "wasn’t for the unexpected opportunity to move to the FT’s San Francisco bureau"

    https://www.ft.com/content/dbcd73c5-...8-0c6f2f51cba1
    Meh.... Too focused on filling a word quota...

    Would have though then FT readers would be familiar with the shallow description of a single expat-package lifestyle...
    Cheeky Kiwi likes this.

  6. #776

    Join Date
    Oct 2020
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    98
    As pointed out, people have been living and thriving with oppression in Singapore. In my opinion, if there is a better living to be made in HK and people have a passport in their back pocket many will come back. Same goes for expats, many of the older ones that knew a different HK have left or will leave but IF there is money to be made, new ones will come. For me the real question is whether the brain drain currently experienced and the government policies will sink HK's financial future. That is a real possibility and this will keep people away far more than things like the NSL.
    I agree. HK will always attract expats as long is there is money to be made. In fact, HK's future as a financial centre may be brighter given that Shanghai etc may remain shut off for a lot longer. That's assuming that the new policies are indicative of a real trend towards re-opening.
    Crankshaft likes this.

  7. #777

    Join Date
    Jul 2022
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    94
    Quote Originally Posted by Corrib:
    I agree. HK will always attract expats as long is there is money to be made. In fact, HK's future as a financial centre may be brighter given that Shanghai etc may remain shut off for a lot longer. That's assuming that the new policies are indicative of a real trend towards re-opening.
    I think the biggest threat to HK as regional/global financial center is Singapore and perhaps Dubai in terms of attractiveness to expats and infrastructure. China's prominence on the world stage is not going away anytime soon and HK will always have proximity and access to China. Singapore has certainly seen a bump recently. It will be interesting to see whether the exodus continues or amplifies particularly with locals or if those that wanted to leave have done so already and it's going to slow or stop. It will be interesting to look at the numbers at the end of 2023 which is shaping up to be more normal. If I had to guess, I would say the numbers will remain on the high side but have already peaked.
    Corrib likes this.

  8. #778

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    Jul 2021
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    214

    a bit off topic, but as mentioned above i know there are those types of people who come to hk to scoop up money when there's blood on the streets, kind of like the people who looked for antiques on the titanic when it was sinking
    to those people, in the longshot chance you happen to read this, let me say i pity you. i hope you make lots and lots and lots of money, because you're going to need it in order to stay in your bubble which keeps the enveloping misery around you at bay


  9. #779

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothwc:
    a bit off topic, but as mentioned above i know there are those types of people who come to hk to scoop up money when there's blood on the streets, kind of like the people who looked for antiques on the titanic when it was sinking
    to those people, in the longshot chance you happen to read this, let me say i pity you. i hope you make lots and lots and lots of money, because you're going to need it in order to stay in your bubble which keeps the enveloping misery around you at bay
    I think its justifiable with an income of 1m+. Anything less, I would really reconsider other options. You can always travel out of HK to enjoy spending your bigger disposable income + stronger currency (for now).
    timothwc likes this.

  10. #780

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    Apr 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.YU:
    I think its justifiable with an income of 1m+. Anything less, I would really reconsider other options. You can always travel out of HK to enjoy spending your bigger disposable income + stronger currency (for now).
    1m+ HKD or USD?

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