BBC Chinese recently reported that, over the past month or so, Hong Kong has had several major protests against the “Extradition Bill.” More protests are expected in the coming days. The frequent protests have had an impact on the local retail industry because they introduced uncertainty into this region’s traditional “shopping haven.” According to a data report that the Hong Kong Retail Management Association (HKRMA) provided, most of its members suffered a decline in sales in the past month, with an expectation of a further downturn. The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (KFTU) also released reports showing that, since June, there has been a significant decline in tourists from the Mainland. In the meantime, the hotel occupancy rate declined by 20 percent. However, many owners of the local small businesses and restaurants polled expressed their support for the city-wide protests and even strikes because the damage from passing the Extradition Bill is considered to be much more significant than the temporary loss of retail sales. Most analysts expressed the concern that the political situation may cause the U.S. to re-evaluate Hong Kong’s special tariff status, which can heavily damage Hong Kong’s position as a financial center.
Source: BBC Chinese, July 19, 2019