Hongkongers outraged after govt pays for pricey global ads to restore confidence

The ad cost almost S$19,000.

Jason Fan| September 06, 05:08 PM

The Hong Kong government started a global advertising campaign aiming to restore international confidence in Hong Kong.

According to the South China Morning Post, the advertisements will appear in selected major newspapers in North America, Europe, Australia and across Asia over the next week.

Hong Kong Government "rejects the use of violence"

The first advertisement appeared in The Australian Financial Review on Sept. 5.

It is a publication aimed at the business community.

This was a day after Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the withdrawal of the extradition bill, one of the five demands given by the protesters.

"You have read a lot, seen a lot, heard a lot about the events and protests in Hong Kong. But what you read, see, hear - or "share" on social media - is just one piece of a complex social, economic and political jigsaw puzzle," it began.

The advert also pointed out that the Hong Kong people have a long tradition of "peaceful and rational protest", but warned that the government "rejects the use of violence to resolve our current challenges".

Hong Kong is resilient

The ad also acknowledged that it will take time for the situation in Hong Kong to be resolved, but emphasised that the city is resilient in the face of challenges.

"Despite recent disruptions, the fundamentals and institutional underpinning of our economy and society are strong. We remain a safe, open, welcoming and cosmopolitan society and an an internationally connected, vibrant and dynamic economy", said the advertisement.

"We will no doubt bounce back. We always do."


However, the advertisement was not well-received by many Hongkongers, who claim that Lam was wasting taxpayer funds on the campaign.

Some took to Twitter to express their frustration:

The Hong Kong government spokesperson did not reveal how much the advertising campaign would cost, but SCMP reported that a full-page, full-colour advertisement in the AFR would cost about S$18,900.

But the organic news reporting about these advertisements by Hong Kong in the media here on out will probably be worth millions that did not have to be paid for.

Top image from Twitter.