Exploring creative class mobility: Hong Kong creative workers in Shanghai and Beijing

Yiu Fai Chow*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In 2008 a controversial essay was published in Hong Kong drawing attention to the increasing number of local creative workers who have allegedly responded to the limitations the city had to wrestle with and the opportunities brought forward by the “Rise of China” – they moved northwards. Taking cues from the mainland China–Hong Kong dynamics, this inquiry zooms in on 12 Hong Kong creative workers who have relocated to Shanghai and Beijing during the last 20 years. It supplements existing scholarship on creative class mobility, which is largely configured by concerns with work situations and place attractiveness and is situated in cities in Europe, the United States, and Australia. It does so in two ways. On the one hand, the empirical evidence delivered by this inquiry aligns with studies pointing to the limitation of Florida’s creative class thesis and wonders if “cool places” are indeed attracting talents. On the other hand, it is inadequate to posit that creative workers move only because of place or only because of work. It builds on the complexities of their subjective accounts to propose to include four dimensions – the geopolitical, the intersectional, the contingent, and the circuitous – to future explorations on creative class mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-385
Number of pages25
JournalEurasian Geography and Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

User-Defined Keywords

  • creative city
  • creative class
  • creative industries
  • cultural policies
  • Labor mobility
  • mainland China-Hong Kong


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