Even before protests over a controversial extradition bill sparked the tumultuous pro-democracy movement that swept across Hong Kong last year, the notion that the city’s freedoms were under threat, and that China would soon move to curtail them, had been gestating since the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Last Spring, before the movement began in earnest, Kyle Bass published a paper entitled “the Quiet Panic” about how Hong Kong was a ticking time bomb. A few months later, it exploded.
Over the past 16 months, expats haven’t been the only ones fleeing Hong Kong. Virtually everyone who can afford to move has at least considered the possibility of selling their once extremely valuable Hong Kong real estate and fleeing elsewhere, perhaps to New Zealand, or Australia, or Malaysia – or Taiwan, which is currently drawing up plans to welcome expats.
As we reported on Friday, as more prepare to move before China tightens its grip, Sing Tao, Hong Kong’s second-largest Chinese-language newspaper observed that Hong Kong residents have been exchanging more of their HKD holdings into foreign currencies at banks and money exchange counters on Thursday. more