Paul Chan asks Hongkongers to leave, stop cluttering up city

The Sunday Twitter featured a HK$340 bottle of soda from CitySuper. (I believe the beverage is made from hibiscus. You can buy big bags of the flowers from dried goods stores, and make the same refreshing-if-rather-diuretic cranberry-like drink for pennies.) As with the HK$588 mango, you have to wonder who is buying these items, and why.

As if on cue, South China Morning Post columnist Peter Guy tells of a financier moving his family from Hong Kong to Taipei for a better quality of life, and mentions international schools charging HK$2 million debentures while delivering mediocre education.

Meanwhile, a property website has crunched its data to weigh up the pros and cons of buying versus renting a home in different Hong Kong districts. There are a lot of variables, but it essentially reflects rental yields or value for money by neighbourhood. By ‘value for money’, we mean ‘bad value for money’.

For example: the price I am getting after selling my old apartment in Soho is equivalent to 32 years’ rent at the nearby place I am currently in. Non-permanent residents, who have to pay additional tax, would in theory be nuts to buy at these prices. Yet they seem to be doing so. The guy behind the calculations sees three sort-of explanations. In increasing order of desperation: the buyers see significant upside; they are hedging against a declining Yuan; or they will be rewarded in terms of social status.

As well as over-priced groceries, rip-off private schools and nonsensical housing, the gullible rich (or panicky Mainland money-launderers) can fritter their money away on Hong Kong’s non-perishable luxury goods, milk powder, high-end/low-quality restaurants, private hospital services, and no doubt more.

Presumably, the price tags on luxury mangos, the school fees, the housing prices and the private hospital bills will spiral upwards and upwards for ever and ever. Even when a box of strawberries, a term at the local Harrow School franchise, a 400-sq-ft apartment, or a colonoscopy at Matilda costs 10 times, 50 times, 100 times, 500 times the exact same thing in Singapore, Taipei or wherever – the suckers with their Mainland hot money will continue to pour into this city, because they know of no other way. It is written in stone that this is a sustainable model. The Communist-elite perpetual cross-border money-laundering loophole-arbitrage economy is the future.

Which just leaves the problem of where do the Hongkongers go? Financial Secretary Paul Chan comes up with the answer – you vacate your hometown, abandon it to the unceasing flood of purchasers forever bidding up the prices of fruit, pseudo-British education, micro-apartments, and non-counterfeit kids’ vaccines, and self-deport to the Mainland where you can bask in the affordable hot springs of Enju.


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8 Responses to Paul Chan asks Hongkongers to leave, stop cluttering up city

  1. Joe Blow says:

    Soon, only HK civil servants, with their inflated salaries, and Government un-worthies (the world’s highest paid) will be able to afford anything. The rest of us will eat bark.

  2. Chris Maden says:

    Let’s face it: Hong Kong may be extreme, but London, Sydney and New York are unaffordable to their own residents. The difference is that here, the people in charge seem to regard an unaffordable city as a desirable outcome.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:


  4. Lumpenprolelariat ‘raus!

    But don’t be so holier-than-thou. Your fellow Tories in Britain (and, I am told , also in these columns) are experts in economic cleansing. They call it the accommodation allowance benefits cap. Whole families of Britons, many of whom just happen to be Black, Indian or core Labour voters, are uprooted from Lomdon and sent to Clacton, Birmingham or worse.

    Charity, like villainy and, presumably, satire, begins at home. What’s your excuse? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  5. Donny Almond says:

    If HK people are all supposed to move across the border, then why is the government importing tens of thousands of immigrants from China every year ? Wouldn’t it be better if they stayed there in the first place ?

  6. Stephen says:

    Talking of a win win it looks like Sir Donald Tsang GBM has just had one ! I am not a lawyer but how do you get bail when you have been convicted by a jury of your peers and sentenced by a judge ? Some snippets in the Pro-China to get you in the mood. Tsang asked the Guards near him for an inhaler (good opening, I’m ill). At one point, his sister gave him water (reinforcing the I’m ill appeal). His hair had noticeably greyed since earlier public appearances (look how I’ve aged I’m ill for feck sake).

    If he wins his appeal and retrial I foresee a Lazarus nay Tung Chee Hwa style recovery as he reaches for the boot polish once more.

  7. Red Dragon says:


    Fuck off.

  8. Jason says:

    @Donnie Almond: valid point!

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