Expat workers and students evacuated from Hong Kong

Expat workers and students evacuated from Hong Kong

Expat workers and students evacuated from Hong Kong

Hong Kong-based international companies are now making plans to evacuate their personnel from the city.

After close on two months of protests and the massing of Chinese troops on the mainland, several multinationals are now planning to evacuate their personnel. Calls to crisis consultants were made during the protestors’ occupation of the city’s international airport, but evacuations began shortly afterwards. The first to go were non-essential expat workers in the financial sector and a group of students, totalling 180 in all. The group were held up as all airport operations had been cancelled, but were able to leave safely when normal service was reinstated.

In the city, security teams working for multinationals such as AXA are now closely monitoring the situation and reporting back to managers on a regular basis. The company has now introduced flexible working hours, with workers allowed to leave early should the risks increase, and working from home is now the order of many expat professionals’ days. Conferences have been postponed or cancelled, and major financial firms are rescheduling visits and events.

One small band of expats working in Hong Kong’s police force became public figures when their details were published online and in the media, as well as being made public by a careless UK parliamentarian. As a result, their families are now at risk, with their children being bullied at school and one wife abused in a local supermarket.

Professionals in the city’s 300,000-strong Canadian expat community are also attempting to decide whether to stay and hope for a positive ending to the ongoing crisis, or leave and attempt to find a job in another Asian destination. Many arrived in Hong Kong some 30 or more years ago, before the colony was given back to China in 1997, and are uncertain exactly where to head for next rather than simply returning to Canada and resuming their old lifestyles. Either way, the majority of expats who do decide to leave or are evacuated will find they miss their lives in this amazing city.

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