Since early June of this year, Hong Kong has been wracked in anti-government protests that has grown increasingly disruptive with every week that passes.
It goes without saying that many businesses in the city have suffered greatly from the chaos, especially mainland Chinese businesses in particular, who have been the target of the protesters’ ire. As the situation grows ever bleaker, the ray of optimism can be seen among the rough.
Several Singaporean companies in Hong Kong remain confident of their ability to do business there even as the situation deteriorates.
Violet Lim, chief executive officer of local firm Lunch Actually, a dating agency, told The Business Times: “We believe that our Hong Kong operations will eventually return to normalcy.”
Lunch Actually generates about a quarter of its business from Hong Kong. In the months of June and July, during the early days of protest, the company saw a slump of close to 40 per cent. However, they have reported a slight recovery in the month of August.
Homegrown fashion brand Love, Bonito opened its first pop-up store in Central in July, but had to close the store on some days for its staff’s safety during some of the protests.
Co-founder Rachel Lim confirmed that the store will remain open till October. However, the company is still exploring options to extend the pop-up store. “We’re very heartened by the response from our customers in Hong Kong, not just at the retail store, but online. We’ve received requests to be around for longer,” she said.
Ho Meng Kit, chief executive at the Singapore Business Federation, said the group has not received feedback or concerns from member companies about the situation in Hong Kong. However, companies are monitoring the situation, preferring to take a wait-and-see position instead of rashly pulling out of the city state immediately.