PORI Express: Q&A


From the Editor: HKPORI recently received a media enquiry about the potential effects on its work if Basic Law Article 23 is enacted. We have collated our answers here for the purpose of public education.

Questions (simplified and sub-edited)

Q1: Has HKPORI received overseas fund or donation in the past or now for operating expenses? Will HKPORI avoid receiving overseas fund or donation after the Article 23 legislation?

Q2: Has HKPORI cooperated with foreign or international organizations in the past or now? Will HKPORI avoid cooperating with foreign or international organizations after the Article 23 legislation?

Q3: Regarding the government’s proposal on introducing a crime under external interference, will HKPORI worry that its research projects and survey items will be accused of violating relevant laws?

Replies from HKPORI

A1: HKPORI has never received any overseas political donation, so we are unlikely to be affected by the Article 23 legislation. When the research team worked in The University of Hong Kong, we strictly followed the financial and administrative regulations of the University, while keeping all operations open and transparent to the public. Whenever we work with foreign organizations, we always explain them clearly in our research reports. We will not change this practice.

A2: HKPORI has always complied with the law in the most responsible way. All our international projects have been conducted within the legal framework, and this practice will remain unchanged. We believe that Hong Kong should maintain and even strengthen its international status, because this is the best way to serve our society, our country, our race and the world. The hardship we are facing has stemmed from a variety of historical, cultural, political and societal reasons, and they will change. It we cut our connection with the world, the transition from stability to prosperity (由治及興) will be hard to come by.

A3: HKPORI will act most prudently to avoid violating the law. We will carefully review all relevant court cases and expert opinions, and avoid hitting the red lines by establishing more internal rules and management checks. We wish government departments and legal experts would establish free and credible consultation services to provide people with reliable legal advice. We are even more eager to see the government collect and collate public opinion in a scientific way, in order to under people’s real concern and truthful opinion.


From the Editor: HKPORI recently received a media enquiry about Pew Research Center running an ethnic identity survey in Hong Kong. We consider such enquiries would help people understand the development of opinion research around the world, so have collated the questions and answers here for the purpose of public education.

Questions (simplified and sub-edited)

Pew Research Center published a survey on Hong Kong people’s ethnic identity on December 4, 2023 as a part of its Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures Project, which analyses religious change and its impact on societies around the world. The Center surveyed 2,012 adults in Hong Kong over the phone from June to September 2023.

Q1: How does HKPORI feel when other organizations took over ethnic identity surveys of Hong Kong people, and how would HKPORI analyse the findings?

Q2: Has Pew Research Center collaborated with HKPORI in this survey?

Replies from HKPORI

A1: HKPORI welcomes all professional organizations, local or non-local, to conduct any opinion research in Hong Kong. The more scientific data we have, the better. HKPORI is still conducting ethnic identity surveys regularly on a half-yearly basis, only that we no longer provide free findings or data on this topic beginning this year. Any serious researcher can still download all findings (some free some at cost) from our “HKPORI Poll Data Enquiry System” to compare our findings with those of Pew Research Center. We noticed that Pew has used some different questions to measure ethnic identity, so even though their findings can contribute a lot to the study on an international level, it cannot replace our previous Hong Kong findings on this topic accumulated in a systematic way since 1997. It is a pity that Hong Kong society is moving backward in terms of free and professional opinion research. We could have been a world leader in this area. The public can access to previous ethnic identity findings before July 2023 on pori.hk. For the latest ones conducted after July 2023, they are available at cost on our “HKPORI Poll Data Enquiry System”.

A2: HKPORI did not participate in this study. Yet, both organizations know each other well. Dr Robert Chung, President and CEO of HKPORI, is the President of WAPOR (World Association for Public Opinion Research), and he is actively promoting the global development of free and professional opinion research. HKPORI sees no problem in cooperating with these organizations around the world.


From the Editor: HKPORI recently received a number of media enquiries on our tentative decision to cancel some regular survey questions and to move some to the private domain. We have collated them here for the purpose of public education.

Questions (simplified and sub-edited)

Q1: PORI mentioned “handover series, ethnic identity, cross-strait issues, global awareness, June Fourth Incident, Councillor ratings, disciplinary forces, and some social indicators”, will they be canceled or moved to private domain?

Q2: Among the remaining indicators that are not affected, will the popularity of the CE, the Secretaries of Departments and the government, the Policy Address and the Budget responses continue to be released regularly? Will there be any change in the frequency of releasing the popularity ratings of CE and the government?

Q3: What are the main reasons for PORI to cancel or no longer release some survey series?

Replies from HKPORI

A1: We intend to turn all questions mentioned into internal reference, academic research, and commissioned services, but the number of questions for each topic may also be trimmed.

A2: We tentatively decide to continue conducting the series mentioned and release them to the public but their frequencies are yet to be decided.

A3: Every year from May to July, we review and brainstorm our future development. This year is no exception. We take into consideration a variety of factors in one bundle, including the demand for opinion data, the historical development of Hong Kong society, the role of HKPORI in promoting science and democracy, as well as all other risk assessments.


From the Editor: HKPORI recently received a number of media enquiries on the cancelation of the release of our June 4th Anniversary Survey Report in response to suggestions from relevant government department(s) after their risk assessment. We have collated them here for the purpose of public education.

Questions (simplified and sub-edited)

Q1: Which government department(s) contacted HKPORI?

Q2: What suggestions have they made about the release of the survey report?

Q3: Is the “risk assessment” related to the National Security Law or the Sedition Law?

Q4: Will HKPORI consider releasing the survey report some other time? Will HKPORI continue to conduct the survey on June 4th anniversary next year?

Replies from HKPORI

A1: The department considers it sufficient to be named as a “government department”, media or the public can make their own enquiry.

A2: They advised us not to release the survey report in view of their risk assessment.

A3: We were not told, and we did not ask. We respect their assessment, although we may not necessarily agree with their assessment should we have known the details.

A4: We were already in the process of reviewing our operation after July 1 this year, when this risk assessment came. We may continue to conduct some of our tracking surveys, and/or keep some of them for academic or private reference only, and/or stop some of the surveys. We have not yet decided where to put the June 4th anniversary survey, so we have not yet decided how to handle this year’s survey report.


From the Editor: On February 2, 2023, HKPORI received a public enquiry from a researcher who has been using our free datasets. The researcher posted a number of questions which we would like to share here for the purpose of public education.

Questions (abstracted and sub-edited)

Q1: How are subsamples determined and why is it necessary?

Q2: Why are there so many cases with missing data (“NA”s) within variables? Does it mean that the respondents were not asked the question?

Q3: What is the “number of raters”, and how does this differ from the subsample?

Q4: Is there a codebook with more details available?

Reply from HKPORI

A1: For each question we used the subsampling technique, usually setting the probability (p) at p=0.5 or 0.6 to randomly select each question for each respondent to answer. We took such measures to shorten the effective length of the questionnaire for each respondent to minimise respondent fatigue and to reduce non-response bias.

A2: Lack of any data generally means the respondent was not asked the question. A value of “-99” means the question was asked but the respondent did not answer it. Generally, there are two reasons why questions are not asked. First, the use of subsampling technique as explained above. Second, the questions are not applicable to the respondent, based on his/her answers in some previous questions. For example, if a respondent was born in Hong Kong, we would not ask “How long have you been living in Hong Kong?”

A3: “Number of raters” only counts respondents who gave a “numerical” answer when we asked for a rating. In our definition, “subsample” counts all respondents who were asked the question, which includes also people who gave “non-numerical” answers such as “don’t know / hard to say”, as well as those who refused to answer.

A4: Our datasets provided in sav and csvy formats have already included descriptions and question wording for each variable, as well as the label used for all possible values of all variables.


From the Editor: On September 22, HKPORI received an email from a citizen signed “Mother of a Little Flying Fish”, expressing her concerns about compulsory vaccination of children. HKPORI hereby publishes the email and our reply. The English translation is compiled by HKPORI.

Letter from a Citizen

What is the outlook for our little athletes?

I am the mother of a young swimmer. In the past week or so, I faced a dilemma like many parents of young athletes.

The government announced that children aged 5 to 11 must receive their first dose of the vaccine by September 30, then the second dose by November 30.

Many parents felt very sad after seeing the news. I have learned that many children have never been vaccinated and most of them do not want to be vaccinated in the future....Read MoreWe’ re all in a dilemma, and I have heard that many parents can only choose to leave Hong Kong now and go to other countries that do not require mandatory vaccinations to continue their lives.

My eldest daughter is also a great swimmer. She loves swimming very much and has won many awards. Since she was a young child, she has been hoping to represent the Hong Kong swimming team when she grows up to win medals and glory for Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, I saw that many young athletes with potential and quality chose to leave Hong Kong as soon as possible within a week or so. I feel very sad, and it is a pity.

In addition, I have seen a lot of news reports, especially on the issue of economic development, and the continuous wave of poaching in our neighboring areas has led to the departure of many Hong Kong professionals, highly educated and high-income people, which has a profound impact on the long-term development of Hong Kong in various fields.

Hong Kong will always be our home port, and we do not want to leave this beautiful home.

Finally, I hope that the HKPORI can help us to conduct a comprehensive study, so that everyone can understand the concerns of parents like us, thank you.

From a mother of a little flying fish.

Reply from HKPORI

Mother of the little flying fish:

Thank you for your email, giving me so many mixed feelings.

It is very difficult for HKPORI to conduct a study on the compulsory vaccination of children. We would rather share your email with the public, after deleting your email address. Hopefully this would contribute to the public discussion on this topic.

It so happens that we will have a press conference tomorrow related to people’s livelihood issues, covering pandemic measures. We will share your email with our guest commentators, and let them discuss it freely. This may well be a better option.

IF possible, please reply to this email, and let us know your WhatsApp number. Our press conference starts at 2:30pm tomorrow, so and early reply is appreciated.
From Robert Chung.

From the Editor again:

Press conference video cut (related to the email): https://youtu.be/1Ssu8VJDkWI

All opinions expressed are that of the commentators, not HKPORI.


Q: When comparing the popularity ratings of previous chief executives and governors when they took office, why does PORI use the figures of a single survey rather than the average figures of the first month?

A: In PORI’s latest press release and social media tweets, PORI compared the first popularity rating of the Chief Executive John Lee with that of all former chief executives and Governor Chris Pattern. The intention is to create the comparison between the moment of ‘opening’ of respective leaders. Using the average score of multiple surveys may blur the concept of ‘opening’. Moreover, on the website of PORI, readers can choose freely from ratings per poll, ratings per monthly average, or ratings per half-yearly average. It should be noted that in the past, usually before the Chief Executive took office, PORI had already conducted relevant popularity surveys. ...Read MoreHowever, there was only one candidate in this year’s election, and there was no extensive interaction between the citizens and the candidate before he took office, PORI hence did not conduct any popularity surveys on the Chief- Executive-Elect. It was a loss in the field of public opinion research.

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