Ph.D. Candidate Anson Au discusses Hong Kong's economy and the recent protests in the South China Morning

February 14, 2020 by Jada Charles

Ph.D. Candidate Anson Au recently wrote an Opinion piece for South China Morning, entitled, "Why Hong Kong's economy is more than capable of weathering the recent protest headwinds." South China Morning is a Hong Kong English-language newspaper founded in 1903. In the article, Au uses economic data and data from his research with Professor Sida Liu to show that although the protests are harmful to civil society, the extent of economic damage that has been inflicted is an exaggeration.

Anson Au is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto. He is also currently a visiting professor in the School of Humanities, Social Science, and Law at Harbin Institute of Technology.

We have posted an excerpt of the article below. The full article can be read here. 

The protests that have gripped Hong Kong for over seven months have been credited with taking a heavy toll on the economy. The impact on the tourism sector has received particular attention – in October, for example, the number of visitors from the mainland dropped 46.9 per cent compared to the previous month. These stark figures are compounded by anecdotal accounts of students, academics, businesses and professionals considering leaving Hong Kong. Hong Kong entered a technical recession in October, with government officials and other commentators warning – some with resignation, others with delight – of darker economic times to come.

Although the damage the protests have done to the fabric of our civil society is clear, the extent of the economic damage has been exaggerated. Hong Kong’s economy is far more resilient than we have assumed and will certainly rebound in the long term. Data from the December 2019 report on the Hong Kong economy by the Census and Statistics Department and my own research with Professor Sida Liu at the University of Toronto on Chinese and foreign law firm collaborations in the Hong Kong legal sector paint a brighter picture...

Read the rest of the article here.