Britons in Hong Kong
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Britons never made up more than a small portion of the population in Hong Kong, despite the fact that Hong Kong was under British rule for more than 150 years. However, they did leave their mark on institutions, culture and Architecture of Hong Kong. The British population in Hong Kong today consists largely of career expats working in banking, education, real estate, law and consultancy, as well as a large number of British-born Chinese, Chinese émigrés who have returned, and a few former British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) of non-Chinese origin, who were granted full British citizenship to prevent them from becoming stateless after the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong.
Estimating the number of Britons in Hong Kong, as with the rest of Asia, can be difficult for a variety of reasons. First, not all immigrants or visitors register with the British consulate in Hong Kong. Next, the population is largely transitory, working in the city for only a few months or years. Moreover, the British Government granted full citizenship to a significant number of ethnic Chinese people in Hong Kong under the British Nationality Selection Scheme in the 1990s and it is unclear that whether this number should be included when estimating the number of Britons in HK.
The Immigration Department of Hong Kong estimated that there were nearly 22,000 British citizens living in Hong Kong during the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. However, a large percentage of these are British-born Chinese, émigrés and ethnic Chinese who obtained full British citizenship under the British Nationality Selection Scheme in Hong Kong. Other sources give numbers from 16,000 to 28,000.
In any case, there have been noticeably fewer native Britons emigrating to Hong Kong since the handover. The drop can be attributed to several factors. When Hong Kong was a British colony, Britons did not have to go through the same immigration and visa procedures to live and work in Hong Kong, and it was quite common for young working-class Britons to go to Hong Kong to work, particularly during economic downturns in Britain. This advantage ended with the handover, and Britons must now prove they have jobs and that those jobs cannot be filled by local residents. This means blue collar jobs such as retail or construction are largely no longer an option for Britons in Hong Kong. In addition, a large proportion of British government employees left following the handover (although the localisation policy in effect in Hong Kong since 1984 had reduced these to a fraction of its total 184,000 employees).
British Nationals (Overseas) may also be considered Britons, because BN(O) is one of the six categories of British nationality. Most BN(O)s were originally BDTCs due to birth in the British Crown colony/Dependent Territory of Hong Kong, while others obtained BDTC status by naturalisation. Neither BN(O)s nor BDTCs automatically have the right of abode in the UK. Furthermore, China does not recognise ethnic Chinese Hong Kong-born BN(O)s to be British nationals.
Migration history 
The first British presence in the area was the British East India Company, which started trading in the area in 1699 and set up a trading post in Canton in 1711. The British captured Hong Kong Island in 1841 during the First Opium War and were officially ceded the territory in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking. Britons came in relatively large numbers to work in the colony's administration as well as trading houses and merchant banks, along with other Europeans and Americans. Before the transfer of the sovereignty of Hong Kong, many Britons and part-British Eurasians emigrated to United States and/or to approximate Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. This repeated after Hong Kong's transfer of sovereignty to China, aside from they returned to United Kingdom.
Between 1991 and 1996, the number of British expatriates in Hong Kong doubled to an estimated 34,000. Those years saw many underqualified, unemployed young people from the United Kingdom coming to Hong Kong to take up unskilled jobs as doorpersons or in food service. Local people did not always have a positive view of British expatriates, sometimes referring to them by the acronym "FILTH" (Failed in London, Try Hong Kong).
- Article "Gender, Households and Identity in British and Singaporean Migration to China"
- Vines, Steven (1998-04-04). "Britons drawn to post-colonial Hong Kong". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-04-25.
- Article "Hong Kong: Children, Foreign Workers"
- What’s next for Hong Kong’s Britons? - - MSNBC.com
- Stephen Vines (1996-06-02). "In Hong Kong today, it's the Brits who are the 'coolies'". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- "Stephan Phelan in Hong Kong", Herald Scotland, 2010-05-17, retrieved 2011-02-01
See also