1500 companies reassessing future in Hong Kong as riots continue
1500 companies reassessing future in Hong Kong as riots continue

Aussie expats in HK worried about extradition laws

MANY of the 100,000 Australian expats living in Hong Kong now fear they too could be affected by a proposed new law that would allow their extradition to the Chinese mainland. 

It comes amid concerns the 1500 multinational companies that call Hong Kong home are reassessing their futures in the international hub after weeks of violent riots and police clashes.

Anti-government demonstrations have spent the past three weeks rampaging through the city culminating in a mass protest on Monday night which saw masked rioters storm the Legislative Assembly where they graffitied the walls and hung a colonial era flag in the chamber.

Violent riots and police clashes continue in Hong Kong over the proposed extradition law. Picture: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images
Violent riots and police clashes continue in Hong Kong over the proposed extradition law. Picture: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images


Plumes of smoke billowed among gleaming skyscrapers as police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the heart of the city, home to the offices of some of the world's biggest companies, including global bank HSBC.

Australian expat Courtney Price left Neutral Bay for the cosmopolitan buzz of the city three years ago to set up her business Aussie Meat Hong Kong.

Courtney Price, who has lived in Hong Kong as an Aussie expat for the past few years, is worried it could impact her and her business. Picture: Supplied
Courtney Price, who has lived in Hong Kong as an Aussie expat for the past few years, is worried it could impact her and her business. Picture: Supplied

"Once the law is passed, we know that we could be arrested at any time and extradited to China for a court hearing," Ms Price told The Daily Telegraph.

"It will impact a lot of expats with businesses like myself. There is uncertainty, and questions like, are they going to investigate my business?"

Ms Price said that while expats despaired about the erosion of their personal freedoms, the situation was much harder for Hong Kong citizens who couldn't leave.

"The majority of people protesting are mums and dads, daughters and sons of Hong Kong and they're scared of what's going to happen."

Millions of Hong Kongers and residents have been protesting for weeks. Picture: AP Photo/Vincent Yu
Millions of Hong Kongers and residents have been protesting for weeks. Picture: AP Photo/Vincent Yu

Local finance worker Yumi Yung, 35, fears the riots would damage Hong Kong's reputation.

"Some companies may want to leave Hong Kong, or at least not have their headquarters here."

Another Australian, who only gave his first name as Edward, raised concerns about the future of human rights and the territory's judiciary.

"To me, the biggest worry is how Hong Kong is losing its independence bit by bit and is getting dangerously close to a country that doesn't value human rights and that doesn't have an independent judicial system," he said.

Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" formula that allows freedoms not enjoyed in mainland China, including freedom to protest.

For many Hong Kong residents the extradition bill is the latest step in a relentless march towards mainland control.