Shanghainese people in Hong Kong

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Shanghainese people in Hong Kong have played an important role in Hong Kong since 1949.

Migration history[edit]

The flood of emigration of Shanghainese people, from Shanghai to Hong Kong began in 1937 with the onset of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and grew as the Chinese Civil War resumed in 1946. In total, an estimated 1.4 million people from Shanghai are estimated to have fled to Hong Kong as the communist takeover of mainland China drew near, enduring a 10-day rail journey, often switching to road transport or foot where tracks were damaged. As Ming Chan of the Hoover Institution describes it, it was "nothing less than the exile of Chinese capitalism to Hong Kong", and is credited for Hong Kong's transformation from small trading outpost into a manufacturing powerhouse.[1]

Shanghainese people also came to play a significant role in commercial and financial links between mainland China and Hong Kong. The major mainland Chinese commercial presence in Hong Kong up to the 1980s comprised the state-owned banks; a high proportion of their upper management were of Shanghai origin.[2]

Notable people[edit]

Prominent Hong Kong politicians from Shanghai include former Chief Executive of Hong Kong Tung Chee-hwa, Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan, and former Chief Justice Yang Ti-liang. Other well-known Hong Kong people who have family origins in Shanghai include the film director Wong Kar-wai.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burton, Sandra (27 September 1999), "Exodus of the Business Class", Time, retrieved 6 October 2011
  2. ^ Goodstadt 2010, p. 208


  • Goodstadt, Leo F. (2010), "The Shanghainese: Colonial Allies, Colonial Heirs", Uneasy Partners: The Conflict Between Public Interest and Private Profit in Hong Kong, Hong Kong University Press, ISBN 978-988-8028-09-2