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Opinion
Rachel Rosenthal

Does Hong Kong’s Banking Sector Need So Many Expats?

For years the territory’s financial-services industry has leaned on white-collar workers from overseas, yet there is a strong case to be made for recruiting more talent from mainland China.

Watch me go.

Watch me go.

Photographer: Bloomberg

Talk of an exodus of expatriates from Hong Kong is fueling worries that the territory’s zero-Covid strategy is threatening its status as a global financial center. But does Hong Kong really need a large class of foreign professionals to thrive?

Compulsory hospital admission for testing positive, the requirement that close contacts be sequestered in government facilities and long hotel quarantines for international arrivals  have prompted many expats to ask themselves whether they want to continue living in Hong Kong as the pandemic wears on. For some, the fear of becoming ensnared in the government’s strict Covid protocols adds to the sense that the city is moving closer into Beijing’s orbit and deepening its isolation from the rest of the world.