Go south, young man

The Hong Kong government has issued 100,000 work visas in the first nine months of this year. This goes part of the way to replace population loss owing to emigration prompted by NatSec/Covid regimes, which has seen maybe as much as a fifth of university-educated 20-40-year-olds leave (estimates vary according to exact time scale and age range and guesses on educational levels based on household income figures per district).

Will such rapidly found replacements have the same level of skills as the departed? Nearly all seem to be from the Mainland – so perhaps that is the most important qualification.

The American Chamber of Commerce is worrying not only about the vagueness of the NatSec law but the decreasingly ‘diverse and international’ character of the city’s business community. Its sizable parallel Policy Address notes

…the continuous focus and rhetoric in the name of national security and concerns on “foreign forces” have a negative knock-on effect on the overall presentation of a “welcoming image” for foreign businesses and tourism.

The Chamber would like to think that NatSec, emigration, reputation and diversity can somehow be separated. It’s all the same thing.

Asia Nikkei (probably paywalled) op-ed warns that the Internet is ‘getting smaller’ in Hong Kong. One concern is new powers quietly given to telecoms regulators last year, which came to light in the recent JPEX enforcement action…

The new language on “blocking transmission or delivery of calls or messages and suspension of service due to fraudulent use” mandates that licensees must carry out “necessary actions” upon request by the authority or “any relevant law enforcement agency.”

The vagueness of terms like “fraudulent use,” and the broad scope of power vested to any “law enforcement agency” to initiate content removal could easily lead to abuse. The public and the media have no way of knowing whether or how many times this power has actually been invoked.

Another is the authorities’ tactics in combatting the song Glory to Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s secretary for justice applied for a court injunction to ban the song from being stored, played or broadcast on the internet.

The authorities apparently wanted to avoid the negative repercussions for businesses if it indicted a global internet platform operator like YouTube under the Hong Kong National Security Law.

…Common to the authorities’ approach in both the JPEX and “Glory” cases is a strategy of bypassing normal administrative and legislative processes that might give more room for public discussion and input.

…Alleged scams like JPEX and incidents such as ransomware attacks on public bodies such as Cyberport and the city’s Consumer Council will undoubtedly be used to justify the need to give citizens “more protection” from online dangers.

Indeed, the government remains keen to enact a cybersecurity law and a misinformation law, as well as local national security legislation against treason, theft of state secrets and other offenses in the next year or two.

Which raises a broader question: how are ‘normal administrative and legislative processes that might give more room for public discussion and input’ doing anyway?

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7 Responses to Go south, young man

  1. Yasser No Sir says:

    Marvellous for HK employers to have people from the Mainland.

    They increasingly speak good English, arrive on time, don’t hang around the office needlessly enjoying the air conditioning, show initiative and interest in the job, don’t spend all their time running their own companies and don’t look bombed out in the morning.

    They also dress tastefully (apart from the big shiny belt buckles and clunky shoes) and wash their hair in the autumn and winter.

    Are the Asian Games over? Hong Kong as usual shone at its special events:

    Wheelin’ an’ Dealin’
    Swearin’ an’ Cussin’
    Moanin’ an’ Groanin’

    Facts are like rockets. The Israelis killed or maimed 3,027 Palestinians this year before Hamas taught them a lesson. It’s not an atrocity if they do it.

  2. Practical Patriot says:

    Why all the gloomy faces? Governance has improved greatly under CE John Lee. Stability & prosperity have returned. We’re doing fine now that the rioters have been jailed. Our teenage children are being educated overseas and they say they’re never coming back, but there’s a silver lining to that, too, as they’ll soon be getting permanent residency in an English-speaking country where the rule of law still exists, and then we’ll join them on a chain migration scheme. Go China!🇨🇳

  3. Judge Bao says:

    It’s funny how the regimes that use the phrase “according to the law” are those that feel least bound by the law.

  4. Wolflikeme says:


  5. True Patriot says:

    And do not forget:

    Marvellous for HK International Schools to have more and more people from the Mainland.

    They increasingly speak poor English, never arrive on time, hang around the classrooms badmouthing the teachers, waste the air conditioning, show nil initiative and zero interest in the classes, spend all their time running around boutiques and expensive restaurants, and look bombed-out in the morning.

    They dress totally tasteless and wear big shiny belt buckles and clunky shoes and buy a new Rolex watch in the autumn and a Patek Philippe in winter.

    @Judge Bao – goes for ‘Democratic’ and ‘People’ as well.
    I think they have learned that from Gobbles: “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”

  6. Rocinante says:

    In 2018 the following talent attraction schemes were up and running. About 50-60,000 people were admitted under them.

    General Employment Policy (GEP)
    Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals (ASMTP)
    Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS)
    Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG)
    Admission Scheme for the Second Generation of Chinese Hong Kong Permanent Residents (ASSG)
    Technology Talent Admission Scheme (TechTAS)

    I would imagine this year’s high numbers involves a bit of catch up after Covid, and numbers will drop back in the next few years. I also imagine a lot of those coming this year are lesser talents who may find living in HK on a lower income is not attractive in the longer term.

  7. Mary Melville says:

    Namesake Mary Ma has nailed the absurd hoo haw over the No 9 Gate saga. Judging by the common sense displayed, this editorial was written by a woman, albeit not the fictitious signatory.
    So how many no 9 or 10 signals do we have every year?
    Did we not experience record land slips and flooding recently indicating that limiting circulation during a typhoon is prudent?
    So any local who chooses to gad around when the No 8 is up should be prepared for the possible consequences and inconveniences.
    As for visitors, suck it up, its a typhoon, just sit it out at the airport for a few hours and stop whinging.
    That the airport should be better prepared is indeed a justified complaint.
    As for the proposal to box in all the MTR lines, FFS, any MTR trip of more than 5 stops is an ordeal. Allow us at least the pleasure of enjoying the scenery between tunnels.
    But of course now that discussion of so many issues is verboten, the focus on those few incidents considered ‘safe’ to zoom in on is understandable.

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