Hong Kong’s fortunes are believed to rise and fall with those of China. Yet the link between “Asia’s World City” and its northern engine of growth is becoming tenuous.
香港的命运被认为与中国内地休戚相关。然而，“亚洲国际都会”(Asia’s World City)和其北方的增长引擎之间的联系正变得薄弱。
On Thursday, Burberry and Richemont said sales in China were better than expected. The glow did not extend to Hong Kong. Burberry’s sales there and in Macau were down a fifth; Richemont’s revenues in the southern city fell “significantly”. Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook had bad numbers, too. Worse, the bad news extends beyond luxury — a victim of China’s war against corruption. Also on Thursday Bossini, an apparel retailer, said second-half profits fell between 80 and 90 per cent. It blamed fewer mainland visitors to Hong Kong and weak local sentiment. November tourist arrivals from China fell 16 per cent on the year, the fastest pace in 12 months; retail sales were down 8 per cent for the month.
上周四，博柏利(Burberry)和历峰(Richemont)报告中国内地销售好于预期。这一好景象没有延伸至香港。博柏利在香港和澳门的销售下降五分之一；历峰的香港营收“显著”下降。香港珠宝商周大福(Chow Tai Fook)的业绩也不好。更糟的是，坏消息还不只限于奢侈品——中国反腐败斗争的受害者。同样在上周四，服装零售商堡狮龙(Bossini)表示，去年下半年利润下降80%至90%。该公司将糟糕业绩归咎于内地来港游客减少和本地情绪低迷。去年11月，内地来港游客人数同比下降16%，这是12个月以来的最大降幅；该月零售销售下降了8%。
Negative sentiment is likely to persist. This month’s disappearance of a seller of books about China’s Communist Party has resurrected antipathy towards the mainland. With that constituency accounting for more than three-quarters of all visitors, its alienation is significant.
Of course, Hong Kong’s economy is more than tourism and shopping. It has also benefited as the conduit for international services to China. Yet, even in these traditional strongholds, China may be pulling ahead. UBS said it would double its staff in China. Much of that headcount will be north of the border. Hong Kong’s economy has more dark days ahead.