Around 70% of Japanese firms in Hong Kong see business affected by continued unrest: NNA survey

23, Nov. 2019

HONG KONG, NNA – Around 70 percent of Japanese companies in Hong Kong say their business operations have been affected by the Chinese territory’s continued unrest, an NNA survey found.

The latest poll between Wednesday and Thursday showed a sharp contrast with the result of the previous one in late June in which only 10 percent of the surveyed firms had been affected by the protests sparked by a controversial extradition bill, illustrating the region’s worsening business environment.

Of 115 Japanese firms and three foreign firms surveyed this week, 20.5 percent said that their businesses have been “significantly affected” and 51.7 percent said “somewhat affected.” Only one firm said “not at all.”

Influenced mostly by road blockades and disruptions to public transport across the region, their activities such as commuting, goods delivery and procurement have been impeded.

Since the eruption of the protests in early June, the retail sector has been suffering from falling sales due to temporary closing of shopping malls, with one retailer facing “devastating damage,” the survey said.

Asked about countermeasures following the turmoil, 8.5 percent of them have already sent family members back to Japan, while 51.7 percent are considering doing so or will consider it if kindergartens and schools are closed for the long term, according to the survey.

On the other hand, 69.5 percent of the firms said they will not consider evacuating expatriates from Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, 59.3 percent see the lingering strife between Hong Kong citizens and the government as a business risk in the territory, up from 34 percent in the previous poll, with some of them commenting that the situation will “damage to the role and function of the financial hub.”