Skip to navigation – Site map

HomeIssues2021/3ArticlesPolitical Consumerism in Hong Kon...

Articles

Political Consumerism in Hong Kong: China’s Economic Intervention, Identity Politics, or Political Participation?

Mathew Y. H. Wong, Ying-ho Kwong and Edward K. F. Chan
p. 61-71

Abstract

This study examines the recent emergence of political consumerism in Hong Kong. Given its potential implications, we document the origin and maturation of this development and theoretically explain political consumerism from three perspectives: as a response to China’s economic intervention, as a form of identity politics, and as a new form of political participation. Drawing on original data collected from a representative survey of the local population, supplemented by interviews with stakeholders from the pro-democracy economic circle, we found that people who opposed China-Hong Kong economic integration and expressed a strong local (as opposed to national) identity tended to support boycotting. People who engaged in political consumerism were active in both legal and radical protests, pointing to the complementary nature of these different forms of activism. Further, by adopting a mediation analysis, we find that support towards the Anti-extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement only partially mediate the effect of the factors on political consumerism, suggesting that they are distinct development despite their shared origins. This article provides a novel perspective on the political polarisation in Hong Kong among consumer markets.

Top of page

Editor's notes

Manuscript received on 30 October 2020. Accepted on 11 May 2021.

Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on September 2022.

Outline

Literature review
Development of political consumerism in Hong Kong
Potential impact and social response
Theoretical perspectives
Response to China’s economic interventions and influence
Local versus national identity
New form of political participation
Hypotheses
Methodology
Political consumerism
Political/economic ideology
Identity
Background factors
Political participation
Results
Ideology and identity
Buycotting vs. boycotting
Forms of political participation
The mediating role of the Anti-ELAB Movement on political consumerism
Conclusion

First lines

The Anti-extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement (Anti-ELAB) in 2019 was undoubtedly the most significant social movement in post-handover Hong Kong. Its unprecedented scale could be shown from the fact that around 40% of the Hong Kong population took part in the movement, with more than 9,000 people arrested from June 2019 to June 2020 (Cheng et al. forthcoming). Although the protests seemed to have lost momentum in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Anti-ELAB Movement could prove to be a watershed for the sociopolitical landscape of Hong Kong. This article focuses on a novel politico-economic aspect of the movement: the development of political consumerism. The “yellow economic circle” has received a strong reception from those who sympathise with the movement and, with no less intensity, among pro-government supporters and officials. In this study, we focus on four research questions: (1) What factors lead to the development of political consumerism? (2) What are the major pa...

Top of page

References

Bibliographical reference

Mathew Y. H. Wong, Ying-ho Kwong and Edward K. F. Chan, « Political Consumerism in Hong Kong: China’s Economic Intervention, Identity Politics, or Political Participation? », China Perspectives, 2021/3 | 2021, 61-71.

Electronic reference

Mathew Y. H. Wong, Ying-ho Kwong and Edward K. F. Chan, « Political Consumerism in Hong Kong: China’s Economic Intervention, Identity Politics, or Political Participation? », China Perspectives [Online], 2021/3 | 2021, Online since 01 September 2022, connection on 17 January 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/12330 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/chinaperspectives.12330

Top of page

About the authors

Mathew Y. H. Wong

Mathew Y. H. Wong is Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Sciences, the Education University of Hong Kong, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong SAR (myhwong@eduhk.hk).

Ying-ho Kwong

Ying-ho Kwong is Lecturer at the Division of Social Sciences, Humanities and Design, College of Professional and Continuing Education, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR (yingho.kwong@cpce-polyu.edu.hk).

By this author

Edward K. F. Chan

Edward K. F. Chan is Research Assistant at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Science, University of Hong Kong, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong SAR (edwardkf.chan@connect.hku.hk).

Top of page

Copyright

© All rights reserved

Top of page
  • Logo CEFC – Centre d’études français sur la Chine contemporaine
  • OpenEdition Journals
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search