onsdag 3. november 2021

As Hong Kong sinks deeper into isolation, foreign firms despair

Before the pandemic, Basil Hwang enjoyed a globe-trotting lifestyle synonymous with high-flying expat executives in Hong Kong, travelling to visit his family in Singapore two or three times each month. These days, Hwang, who holds management positions at several Hong Kong-based firms, only manages to see his children twice a year – a result of the city adhering to some of the toughest quarantine rules on earth.

“They ask me every time I call, ‘Daddy when are you coming back?’” Hwang, who has three children aged between 12 and 16, said. “If you are not seeing them for six months, you are missing out on a big part of their growth. I think my son has grown 3 or 4 inches just in the time I haven’t seen him.”

For Hwang, the prolonged separation has prompted soul-searching about his future in a city long renowned as Asia’s most cosmopolitan and connected business hub. “Now I get to see my kids once every six months, and I do seriously wonder if that’s an acceptable compromise,” said Hwang, who also serves as vice chairperson of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.