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Hong Kong localism and independence

Amid localism fears, Hongkongers' interest in world affairs grows

Survey for BBC World News finds 70 per cent in Hong Kong agree news from other parts of the world is more relevant to them than ever

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 June, 2015, 1:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 April, 2016, 12:13pm

Talk of localism may be all the rage in Hong Kong, but an international survey suggests Hongkongers are not as inward-looking as their critics think.

A survey conducted for BBC World News shows there has been an increase in Hong Kong people’s interest in international current affairs, with seven out of 10 surveyed agreeing that “news stories from other parts of the world are more relevant to them now than ever before”.

Hongkongers are most interested in news about health issues, which they rank ahead of news about the global economy and terrorism, the survey found. Those questioned elsewhere in the world are most interested in terrorism, war/conflict, health and the environment in that order.

Close to 70 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong say international events play an important role in their feeling informed, as well as in helping them to understand the world. However, the study finds only 51 per cent Hongkongers (8 percentage points  less than the global average) talk to family and friends about news events happening outside the city.

Thirty-eight per cent of the Hongkongers polled said they find global news useful in helping them make financial decisions.

Commenting on the results of the study, which was conducted in March 2015, chief executive of BBC Global News Jim Egan said: “At a time when many news providers are cutting their international coverage and opinion and propaganda are being touted as fact, audiences want to cut through the noise in search of information they can use to inform their understanding and decisions.”

A total of 7,691 respondents aged over 18 from the United States, Germany, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and India took part in the BBC World News online survey; 994 were from this city.