POP releases findings on Hong Kong people’s feelings towards different peoples and governments

Press Release on September 1, 2020

POP releases findings on Hong Kong people’s feelings
towards different peoples and governments

Special Announcement

The predecessor of Hong Kong Public Opinion Program (HKPOP) was The Public Opinion Programme at The University of Hong Kong (HKUPOP). “POP” in this release can refer to HKPOP or its predecessor HKUPOP.

Abstract

POP successfully interviewed 1,001 and 1,020 Hong Kong residents in a two-stage random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers in August. Our survey shows that in terms of net affinity, Hong Kong people feel more positively about all other peoples than their governments. Among them, the net affinity for the governments of the United States, China and Hong Kong registered negative values, at negative 13, negative 26, and negative 39 respectively. Compared to half a year ago, the net affinity of Hong Kong people towards the governments of Macau, Hong Kong and China have increased significantly, while that towards the peoples of Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States and France, as well as the governments of the United States, Japan and France have all decreased significantly. Meanwhile, the net affinity of Hong Kong people towards the government of the United Kingdom is at its historical low since the survey series began in 1997, while that towards the government of Australia is at the lowest since 2000, and that towards the people of Australia is at its lowest since the survey series began in 2007. The effective response rate of the evaluation stage survey is 60.9%. The maximum sampling error of percentages is +/-4% and that of net values is +/-7% at 95% confidence level.

Contact Information

Naming stage Evaluation stage
Date of survey : 3-6/8/2020 17-20/8/2020
Sample size[1] : 1,001 (including 500 landline and
501 mobile samples)
1,020 (including 498 landline and
522 mobile samples)
Effective response rate : 64.4% 60.9%
Survey method : Random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers
Target population : Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above
Sampling error[2] : Sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% and that of net values not more than +/-7% at 95% conf. level
Weighting method : Rim-weighted according to figures provided by the Census and Statistics Department. The gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population came from “Mid-year population for 2019”, while the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution came from “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2019 Edition)”.

[1]     This figure is the total sample size of the survey. Some questions may only involve a subsample, the size of which can be found in the tables below.

[2]     All error figures in this release are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times with different random samples, we would expect 95 times having the population parameter within the respective error margins calculated. Because of sampling errors, when quoting percentages, journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, whereas one decimal place can be used when quoting rating figures.

Latest Figures

In the naming survey, respondents could name, unprompted, up to 10 governments of countries or regions that they knew best apart from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan and Macau. The top 5 nominees then entered the evaluation survey. In the evaluation survey, respondents were asked to rate their feeling towards the governments and peoples of Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Macau and the five countries or regions respectively. Hong Kong people’s feelings towards different governments and peoples are summarized as follows:

Date of survey 18-19/7/18 17-19/7/19 20-21/1/20 17-20/8/20
Sample size[3] 502 592-633 505 655-672
Response rate 47.4% 59.8% 71.2% 60.9%
Latest findings[4] Findings Findings Findings Finding & error Latest change
Hong Kong People Positive 50% 63%[5] 57% 55+/-4% -3%
People Negative 14% 12% 13% 6+/-2% -7%[5]
Net value 36% 51%[5] 44% 49+/-5% +5%
Government Positive 38% 26%[5] 13%[5] 23+/-3% +9%[5]
Government Negative 34% 58%[5] 74%[5] 61+/-4% -13%[5]
Net value 4% -32%[5] -61%[5] -39+/-6% +22%[5]
China People Positive 31% 30% 30% 32+/-4% +3%
People Negative 29% 34% 37% 32+/-4% -5%
Net value 2% -4% -7% <1+/-6% +8%
Government Positive 31% 25%[5] 23% 27+/-3% +4%
Government Negative 39% 51%[5] 59%[5] 52+/-4% -7%[5]
Net value -8% -26%[5] -36%[5] -26+/-7% +11%[5]
Taiwan People Positive 67%[5] [6] 76%[5] 74% 68+/-4% -6%[5]
People Negative 5% 2%[5] 4%[5] 4+/-1% -1%
Net value 62% 75%[5] 69% 64+/-4% -5%
Government Positive 34%[5] 52%[5] 55% 51+/-4% -4%
Government Negative 25% 19%[5] 18% 21+/-3% +2%
Net value 9% 33%[5] 37% 31+/-6% -6%
Macau People Positive 51%[5] 62%[5] 51%[5] 50+/-4% -1%
People Negative 4% 3% 9%[5] 5+/-2% -4%[5]
Net value 47%[5] 60%[5] 42%[5] 45+/-5% +3%
Government Positive 37% 43%[5] 31%[5] 45+/-4% +13%[5]
Government Negative 22%[5] [6] 23% 35%[5] 20+/-3% -15%[5]
Net value 15% 20% -4%[5] 25+/-6% +28%[5]

[3]     Before March 2020, weighted count was used to report subsample size. Starting from March 2020, raw count was used instead.

[4]     Collapsed from a 5-point scale.

[5]     The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

[6]     The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level because of a change in the weighting method. If the previous weighting method was used, the difference would not have gone beyond the sampling error.

Hong Kong people’s feelings towards some other governments and peoples are summarized as follows, in descending order of net values towards the peoples:

Date of survey 18-19/7/18 17-19/7/19 20-21/1/20 17-20/8/20
Sample size[7] 502 598-616 505 667-700
Response rate 47.4% 59.8% 71.2% 60.9%
Latest findings[8] Findings Findings Findings Finding & error Latest change
Japan People Positive 68%[9] 76%[9] 71% 59+/-4% -12%[9]
People Negative 6% 3%[9] 7%[9] 6+/-2% -1%
Net value 63%[9] 73%[9] 64%[9] 53+/-5% -12%[9]
Government Positive 33%[9] 39%[9] 46%[9] 35+/-4% -10%[9]
Government Negative 31%[9] 27% 17%[9] 17+/-3%
Net value 2%[9] 12%[9] 29%[9] 18+/-5% -11%[9]
Australia People Positive 60%[9] 54% 43+/-4% -11%[9]
People Negative 3% 4% 6+/-2% +2%
Net value 57%[9] 50% 37+/-5% -13%[9]
Government Positive 50%[9] 38% 38+/-4%
Government Negative 6%[9] 12% 15+/-3% +4%
Net value 43%[9] [10] 26% 22+/-5% -3%
United Kingdom People Positive 54%[9] 63%[9] 51%[9] 42+/-4% -9%[9]
People Negative 6% 5% 6% 10+/-2% +3%[9]
Net value 48% 58%[9] 44%[9] 32+/-5% -12%[9]
Government Positive 46%[9] 51% 40%[9] 37+/-4% -4%
Government Negative 14% 17% 21% 25+/-3% +4%
Net value 32% 34% 19%[9] 12+/-6% -8%
France People Positive 41%[9] 42% 43% 33+/-4% -10%[9]
People Negative 5% 6% 6% 5+/-2% -1%
Net value 35%[9] 36% 37% 28+/-4% -9%[9]
Government Positive 34%[9] 33% 32% 22+/-3% -10%[9]
Government Negative 5% 10%[9] 13% 11+/-2% -2%
Net value 29%[9] 23% 18% 11+/-4% -7%[9]
United States People Positive 39% 48%[9] 47% 38+/-4% -9%[9]
People Negative 15%[9] 9%[9] 12% 14+/-3% +2%
Net value 24% 39%[9] 35% 24+/-5% -11%[9]
Government Positive 15% 24%[9] 33%[9] 28+/-3% -5%
Government Negative 56%[9] 48%[9] 36%[9] 41+/-4% +6%[9]
Net value -41% -24%[9] -2%[9] -13+/-6% -11%[9]

[7]     Before March 2020, weighted count was used to report subsample size. Starting from March 2020, raw count was used instead.

[8]     Collapsed from a 5-point scale.

[9]     The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level, meaning that the change is statistically significant prima facie. However, whether the difference is statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.

[10]  The difference between the figure and the result from the previous survey has gone beyond the sampling error at 95% confidence level because of a change in the weighting method. If the previous weighting method was used, the difference would not have gone beyond the sampling error.

Our latest survey shows that, in terms of net affinity, Hong Kong people feel more positively about all other peoples than their governments. As regards people’s feeling towards different peoples, from high to low net affinity, the order goes: Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, the United States and China. Among them, only the net affinity for Chinese people came near zero. Regarding people’s feeling towards different governments, from high to low net affinity, the order goes: Taiwan, Macau, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, China and Hong Kong. Among them, the net affinity for the governments of the United States, China and Hong Kong were negative.

Compared to half a year ago, the net affinity of Hong Kong people towards the governments of Macau, Hong Kong and China have increased significantly, while that towards the peoples of Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States and France, as well as the governments of the United States, Japan and France have all decreased significantly.

Looking back at past records, the net affinity of Hong Kong people towards the government of the United Kingdom is at its historical low since the survey series began in 1997, while that towards the government of Australia is at the lowest since 2000, and that towards the people of Australia is at its lowest since the survey series began in 2007.

It should be noted, however, that our survey only covers regions and countries best known to Hong Kong people. Hong Kong people may well like or dislike other places much more, but because they are not the most well-known places, they do not appear on the list by design.

Opinion Daily

In 2007, POP started collaborating with Wisers Information Limited whereby Wisers supplies to POP a record of significant events of that day according to the research method designed by POP. These daily entries would then become “Opinion Daily” after they are verified by POP.

For the polling items covered in this press release, the previous survey was conducted from 20 to 21 January, 2020 while this survey was conducted from 17 to 20 August, 2020. During this period, herewith the significant events selected from counting newspaper headlines and commentaries on a daily basis and covered by at least 25% of the local newspaper articles. Readers can make their own judgment if these significant events have any impacts to different polling figures.

18/8/20 The government announces the second round of Employment Support Scheme.
11/8/20 The NPCSC decides that the current Legislative Council shall continue to discharge duties for no less than one year.
10/8/20 Police searches Next Media and arrests Jimmy Lai, Agnes Chow and other people under national security law.
8/8/20 The Hong Kong government issues statement condemning US sanction on 11 Chinese or Hong Kong government officials.
7/8/20 The government announces mass voluntary coronavirus testing scheme.
6/8/20 The US expands the “Clean Network” to further limit Chinese technology firms.
1/8/20 The first team from the National Health Commission arrives in Hong Kong.
31/7/20 The government postpones the Legislative Council election for a year.
30/7/20 Nominations of 12 democrats for Legislative Council election are invalidated.
29/7/20 All-day dine-in ban takes effect, forcing people to eat in the streets.
28/7/20 HKU Council decides to dismiss Benny Tai with immediate effect.
27/7/20 The government tightens restrictions of group gatherings to 2 people and imposes all-day dine-in ban.
25/7/20 Hong Kong confirms 126 local infections with coronavirus disease, while over 100 patients are waiting to be admitted to hospital.
24/7/20 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers a speech on China policy, while China orders the US to close its consulate in Chengdu.
22/7/20 The US orders China to close its consulate in Houston within 72 hours.
19/7/20 The government announces that some civil servants will work from home and makes wearing of masks mandatory in indoor public places.
15/7/20 US President Donald Trump signs the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
13/7/20 The government tightens restrictions of group gatherings to 4 people and imposes dine-in ban during nighttime.
6/7/20 The implementation rules for the national security law are gazetted by the government.
4/7/20 Nine books related to politics are taken off shelf in public libraries and put under review.
3/7/20 The Central Government and the SAR Government announce multiple personnel appointments concerning the national security law.
1/7/20 Ten people are arrested for allegedly violating the national security law in the July 1 protest.
30/6/20 The national security law is passed and comes into effect.
26/6/20 The US Senate passes the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
16/6/20 The government relaxes restrictions and allows group gatherings of up to 50 people.
12/6/20 The Central Government criticizes groups for organizing referendum for class boycott.
9/6/20 The government announces investment of $27.3 billion in Cathay Pacific Airways to avoid its collapse.
8/6/20 The government announces the arrangements for $10,000 cash payout.
8/6/20 Zhang Xiaoming delivers speech at a webinar to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Basic Law’s promulgation.
6/6/20 Kaohsiung residents voted to recall mayor Han Kuo-yu.
4/6/20 June 4 vigils are held in various districts.
3/6/20 Vice-Premier of the State Council Han Zheng meets Carrie Lam.
2/6/20 Local infections with coronavirus appear in Hong Kong again. Prohibition on group gathering is extended for 14 days.
29/5/20 Donald Trump announces new measures toward China and Hong Kong and says China has replaced one country, two systems with one country, one system.
28/5/20 National People’s Congress passes resolution to enact national security law in Hong Kong.
27/5/20 Over 360 people are arrested in protests against the National Anthem Bill and the national security law.
24/5/20 People rally against the national security law on Hong Kong Island. Over 180 people are arrested.
21/5/20 National People’s Congress will deliberate on national security law in Hong Kong.
20/5/20 Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen is sworn into office.
16/5/20 Two managers of liberal studies resign from the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority.
15/5/20 Independent Police Complaints Council releases a report saying there is no evidence of casualties in the Prince Edward MTR incident on August 31.
11/5/20 Ocean Park seeks $5.4 billion government bailout to avoid shut down.
8/5/20 Eleven democrats get thrown out after conflicts occur in a meeting of the House Committee of the Legislative Council.
3/5/20 The government will distribute reusable masks.
28/4/20 The government announces that cross-boundary students and certain business travelers can be exempted from quarantine.
21/4/20 The government announces the appointment of five Directors of Bureaux.
21/4/20 The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office issues multiple statements to criticize Dennis Kwok.
18/4/20 15 pan-democrats including Martin Lee and Jimmy Lai are arrested.
15/4/20 Director of the Liaison Office Luo Huining says Hong Kong needs to safeguard national security.
14/4/20 Carrie Lam claims the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the Liaison Office did not interfere in Hong Kong affairs.
13/4/20 The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the Liaison Office criticize Legislative Councillor Dennis Kwok.
9/4/20 The government launches a subsidy scheme involving $80 billion to keep workers in employment.
8/4/20 The government announces relief measures involving over $130 billion to combat the pandemic.
1/4/20 The government orders karaoke lounges, mahjong parlors and nightclubs to close.
27/3/20 The government announces the ban on gathering with more than 4 people.
23/3/20 The government bans bars and restaurants from selling alcohol.
23/3/20 The government announces ban on non-residents arrivals at the airport from entering Hong Kong.
17/3/20 The government announces people entering Hong Kong from any foreign country will be put in a 14-day quarantine.
15/3/20 The government announces people entering Hong Kong from the UK and the US will be put in a 14-day quarantine.
10/3/20 Xi Jinping visits Wuhan.
8/3/20 Police arrests during midnight 17 people who are suspected of making explosives.
4/3/20 The first batch of government-chartered flights bring back Hong Kong people in Hubei.
29/2/20 US Department of State and some councillors express concern over the arrest of Jimmy Lai, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum.
28/2/20 Police arrests Jimmy Lai, Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum.
26/2/20 Financial Secretary Paul Chan delivers the Budget.
19/2/20 The first batch of Hong Kong people on the cruise Diamond Princess return to Hong Kong by a charter flight.
14/2/20 The government announces the setting up of the Anti-epidemic Fund.
13/2/20 Xia Baolong is appointed the Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office.
5/2/20 The government announces people entering Hong Kong from mainland China will be put in a 14-day quarantine.
3/2/20 The government announces further closure of borders.
1/2/20 Hospital Authority Employees Alliance members vote to go on strike.
31/1/20 The government refuses full border closure.
28/1/20 The government announces partial border closure.
27/1/20 The government imposes immigration restrictions on Hubei residents and people who visited Hubei.
23/1/20 A lockdown of Wuhan is announced.

Data Analysis

Our latest survey shows that, in terms of net affinity, Hong Kong people feel more positively about all other peoples than their governments. Among them, the net affinity for the governments of the United States, China and Hong Kong registered negative values, at negative 13, negative 26, and negative 39 respectively. Compared to half a year ago, the net affinity of Hong Kong people towards the governments of Macau, Hong Kong and China have increased significantly, while that towards the peoples of Australia, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States and France, as well as the governments of the United States, Japan and France have all decreased significantly.

Meanwhile, the net affinity of Hong Kong people towards the government of the United Kingdom is at its historical low since the survey series began in 1997, while that towards the government of Australia is at the lowest since 2000, and that towards the people of Australia is at its lowest since the survey series began in 2007.

Detailed Findings

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