What’s next for Hong Kong
after COVID-19?

With the threat of COVID-19 diminishing, many in Hong Kong are now wondering if the protests will return. They will!

The big question is “what’s next for Hong Kong?”

June 2019

  • Pro-democratic protests endangered Hong Kong’s long-standing reputation as one of the world’s most stable, robust financial centers and dynamic international business hubs
  • Tourist activity, a mainstay of the Hong Kong economy, saw significant reductions; retail sales at all levels were substantially impacted
  • Businesses have suffered direct attacks and destruction for being the wrong color or in the wrong political camp, or making an unforeseeable mistake and drawing the ire of the protest movement deeming them to be un-supportive of the protest movement
  • The environment for businesses has become unpredictable, fragile and a politically charged minefield to navigate

November 2019

  • MTR Corporation, Hong Kong’s rail service, was forced to shut its entire network for the first time in its 40-year history after sustaining extensive damage to 85 of its 94 stations.As 5 million users rely on the train service for their daily work commute, businesses were paralyzed as employees were not able to get to work
  • The severity of the protests has caused multinational and local companies to evaluate their business strategies and presence in Hong Kong. During this turbulent period, many local and multinational companies reviewed and updated their business continuity plans, and established work-from-home policies in Hong Kong to safeguard the safety and well-being of their employees

Access to real-time information and intelligence will be a necessity in the Covid-19 environment as the politically charged situation in Hong Kong spills over again into street protests, radical actions, and counter actions once again.Although protest activity largely halted with the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-January, it never quite dissipated.  Having experienced the trauma of SARS in 2003, the HKSAR government implemented swift measures to suppress local transmissions including closing schools and borders, encouraging employers to establish work-from-home policies, implementing strict quarantine, and social-distancing measures.

While the outbreak has forced half of the world into complete lockdowns, Hong Kong, one of the world’s densest cities, has managed to maintain low infection rates. HKSAR government are now looking to ease social -distancing measures in May and lift restrictions on certain categories of cross-border travel.

What’s next?

With the threat of COVID diminishing, many in Hong Kong are now wondering if the protests will return. They will!

In April, 15 pro-democracy figures were arrested and charged for organizing and participating in unlawful assemblies. While only small protests have occurred in recent days throughout the city, there are well-founded concerns that protests will increase within weeks and exponentially increase as it nears its first-year anniversary.

The political battle lines are drawn for a possible major confrontation and showdown between the protest movement and the HKSAR and Beijing governments over control of the Legislative Council. The prospects for the Pan-Dem and Anti-government elements to control LEGCO are becoming an increasingly realistic probability. Something that Beijing will likely to respond to.

More information

Duty of care for employees during the protests has been a key concern for many companies in Hong Kong. In order to help companies better assess the situation in Hong Kong during this uncertain time, AIRINC is collaborating with Asia Intelligence Ltd., a risk & intelligence business solutions consultancy based in Hong Kong. Through this collaboration, Asia Intelligence help clients mitigate their risk exposure by having access to unparalleled, high-quality, and real-time information through reports from professionals with solid on-the-ground experience and local knowledge. Sample intelligence reports are available upon request.

If you are interested in finding out more about the services provided by Asia Intelligence please contact:

Download a Sample Report

Download the Synopsis of Strategic Orientation/Tactics/2020 LegCo Election Strategy of HK Protest Movement for the next 4 months. This document is an update on emerging developments within the Hong Kong Protest Movement

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