Rich Mainlanders Are Deserting China and Flooding Into Hong Kong

Over the past decade, investment immigration has brought into Hong Kong HK$150 billion (US$19.3 billion). (vishalsoniji/Flickr)
Over the past decade, investment immigration has brought into Hong Kong HK$150 billion (US$19.3 billion). (vishalsoniji/Flickr)

Over the past decade, investment immigration has brought into Hong Kong $150 billion (US$19.3 billion). The Capital Investment Entrant Scheme allows people to live in Hong Kong and work toward permanent residence if they invest a certain amount of capital.

About 90 percent of the applicants are rich Mainland Chinese. One netizen predicts: “Only two kinds of people will remain in the country in the end—the arrogant rulers and the poor.”

Hong Kong immigrants include Ma Huateng, founder of Tencent Holdings Limited, which was recently valued at US$101 billion, and Jack Ma (Ma Yun), the founder of online retail service Alibaba, with an estimated value of between US$55 billion and over US$120 billion in March, doing more business in 2012 than Amazon.com and eBay combined.

There are rumors that the government will once again raise the investment threshold for admission to Hong Kong, causing the number of applicants this year to hit a record high.

The investment threshold was last raised in 2010 from the initial HK$6.5 million (US$838,400) to HK$10 million (US$1.29 million). The government will make further amendments later this year to adjust the scheme. It is speculated that the threshold might increase to between HK$13 million (US$1.68 million) and HK$15 million (US$1.93 million), and that a quota system might be adopted.

Jack Ma jumps ship

Jack Ma used to say: “I love China so much,” but his actions say otherwise. The founder of Alibaba recently told the media that he was likely to obtain permanent resident status in Hong Kong in two years, and that he hoped to spend his retirement there.

In the past, Ma has on many occasions expressed his support for the Chinese government, and even for the suppression of the “June 4” student movement. His decision to leave Mainland China has surprised many netizens. One netizen commented:

Another netizen commented:

Another netizen remarked:

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