Explaining attitudes toward immigrants from Mainland China in Hong Kong

Siu Yau Lee*, Kee Lee Chou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The tension between immigrants from Mainland China and Hong Kong locals has intensified in recent years. Using an original telephone survey that interviewed a representative sample of the Hong Kong population, this article evaluates three major explanations—economic self-interest, sociotropic concerns and psychological dispositions—for anti-immigrant sentiments. The findings suggest that negative attitudes toward immigrants are significantly related to sociotropic concerns. More importantly, such concerns are more prevalent among respondents who have a strong “Hong Konger” identity. Overall, this article presents new evidence for evaluating the relative influence of different factors in the formation of immigration attitudes in the Greater China region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-298
Number of pages26
JournalAsian and Pacific Migration Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development

User-Defined Keywords

  • attitudes toward immigrants
  • economic self-interest
  • Hong Kong
  • identity
  • sociotropic concerns


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