Where is Hong Kong after some brief years of intensified constraint from Beijing? A compilation of recent statistics shows a somber reality.

As expected, a double whammy of the National Security Law and zero-COVID policy have rapidly torn Hong Kong off its shine. 

In a list of the world’s best cities collated by the Time Out Index, Hong Kong ranked second to last and positioned at number 52. It was a dramatic drop from No.20 in 2021. Time Out Index said its ranking was shattered due to everything that the city went through during the fifth wave of the pandemic.

Ms. Li, a female employee for an overseas company in Hong Kong, said people planned to leave Hong Kong as soon as they returned to the city. Li told Da Ji Yuan when her international friends came back from trips to other countries, they said it was so good to leave Hong Kong.

Li added that her friends were examples of Hong Kong losing its attractiveness to foreigners. This will make Hong Kong less and less international, let alone maintain its status as a financial center.

A different survey released by InterNations ranked Hong Kong third to last in its list of livable cities. The city landed in 50th place, with ex-pats finding it struggling with personal finances, political stability, and environmental issues.

A survey conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong this May concluded that 42% of the expatriates were considering or planning to leave Hong Kong, of which more than 49% cited strict pandemic measures as one of the reasons for their departure.

But a greater proportion pointed to Beijing’s National Security Law (NSL). 62.31% said they are uncomfortable with the sweeping bill, and 36.15% were concerned the measure would affect their children’s education.

One respondent said, “I am fearful for foreigners in Hong Kong as the geopolitical situation becomes very tense, especially around Taiwan and the South China Sea. Also recent government actions show that we no longer have Hong Kong’s historical freedoms.”

Another put it simply, “The NSL is destroying Hong Kong’s international appeal.”

Two others said there had been an increased sentiment against foreigners, with employment opportunities becoming more favoring mainlanders.

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