Anson Au

Anson Au

Anson Au is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Toronto. Award-winning author of over 30 academic research articles, he is an expert in professions, organisations, and social and economic networks, particularly in East Asia. He has previously held visiting appointments at the National Sun Yat-Sen University in Taiwan, Seoul National University and Yonsei University in South Korea, Harbin Institute of Technology in China, and University of Malaya in Malaysia.

Latest from Anson Au

The View | Three reasons not to fear China’s regulatory crackdown

Beijing cannot afford to jeopardise its international capital flows nor domestic market stability, and besides, its privacy regulations mirror Europe’s data protection rules.

Beijing cannot afford to jeopardise its international capital flows nor domestic market stability, and besides, its privacy regulations mirror Europe’s data protection rules.

26 Aug 2021 - 6:45AM
Opinion | Global cryptocurrency crackdown looms as governments enter digital currency race

Cryptocurrencies, which threaten state control over currency circulation, have gained traction only because governments were slow to act. With China pushing the US and Europe into action, a digital currency battle is shaping up, and cryptocurrencies will be the losers.

Cryptocurrencies, which threaten state control over currency circulation, have gained traction only because governments were slow to act. With China pushing the US and Europe into action, a digital currency battle is shaping up, and cryptocurrencies will be the losers.

21 Jun 2021 - 12:30AM
Opinion | How US Fed monetary policy is putting Hong Kong’s economy at risk

Hong Kong risks its currency being dragged down by the dollar and inflation contagion while its own policy is held back by the peg. The solution is tighter financial regulation and perhaps a new currency peg.

Hong Kong risks its currency being dragged down by the dollar and inflation contagion while its own policy is held back by the peg. The solution is tighter financial regulation and perhaps a new currency peg.

22 May 2021 - 6:58AM
The View | WallStreetBets and GameStop saga reveals the cultural power of social media

The self-reinforcing nature of discussions within Reddit groups and other platforms leads users to eventually tune out dissident opinions and throw their weight behind conformist ones in search of acceptance from their online community.

The self-reinforcing nature of discussions within Reddit groups and other platforms leads users to eventually tune out dissident opinions and throw their weight behind conformist ones in search of acceptance from their online community.

11 Feb 2021 - 7:20AM
Opinion | Hong Kong’s government must wrest back control of the housing market – or risk the city’s breakdown

All-too-powerful private developers are at the heart of the housing crisis and drastic measures are called for, such as land expropriation or a Hong Kong sovereign wealth fund to compete in the market.

All-too-powerful private developers are at the heart of the housing crisis and drastic measures are called for, such as land expropriation or a Hong Kong sovereign wealth fund to compete in the market.

10 Oct 2020 - 6:58AM
Opinion | Why the US footprint in Asia looks set to shrink

The blow to globalisation dealt by the coronavirus will be exacerbated by US presidential candidates running on protectionist platforms. The result may be a reduction of American influence in Asia, with China gaining ground.

The blow to globalisation dealt by the coronavirus will be exacerbated by US presidential candidates running on protectionist platforms. The result may be a reduction of American influence in Asia, with China gaining ground.

1 Sep 2020 - 7:12AM
Opinion | How the coronavirus will humble America and Donald Trump, and strengthen China’s position on the world stage

A few good things will come out of the pandemic. A Democrat may well be the next US president and end the trade war with China, which will be in a better position to bargain, having had a lead in tackling the virus and a head start in economic recovery.

A few good things will come out of the pandemic. A Democrat may well be the next US president and end the trade war with China, which will be in a better position to bargain, having had a lead in tackling the virus and a head start in economic recovery.

19 Mar 2020 - 3:37PM
Opinion | What the world learned from Sars stands us in good stead to curb Covid-19

Far from a gloomy observation, the fact Covid-19 behaves like Sars should give us hope. After all, we now know about how coronavirus infections cluster, where the hotspots are, and what public health measures are likely to prove effective.

Far from a gloomy observation, the fact Covid-19 behaves like Sars should give us hope. After all, we now know about how coronavirus infections cluster, where the hotspots are, and what public health measures are likely to prove effective.

27 Feb 2020 - 6:37AM
Opinion | Why Hong Kong’s economy is more than capable of weathering the recent protest headwinds

Tourist arrivals are not a good barometer of the state of the economy given that inbound tourism accounts for only 3.7 per cent of GDP. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has been growing in strength and attracting senior personnel in some areas, such as the legal sector.

Tourist arrivals are not a good barometer of the state of the economy given that inbound tourism accounts for only 3.7 per cent of GDP. Meanwhile, Hong Kong has been growing in strength and attracting senior personnel in some areas, such as the legal sector.

23 Jan 2020 - 9:53AM
Opinion | K-pop deaths show East Asia must end the stigma, and the solitude, that surrounds mental health

The deaths of Sulli and Goo Hara are signs of a deep mental health crisis in East Asia that isn’t talked about enough. To combat it requires more community outreach and specialised resources for reaching specific groups.

The deaths of Sulli and Goo Hara are signs of a deep mental health crisis in East Asia that isn’t talked about enough. To combat it requires more community outreach and specialised resources for reaching specific groups.

30 Nov 2019 - 10:57AM
7 Jul 2019 - 8:37AM
Opinion | Pushing forward the fight for LGBT equality in Hong Kong

LGBT minorities must create their own movement in the city, where conservative opposition is strong

LGBT minorities must create their own movement in the city, where conservative opposition is strong

1 Jun 2019 - 8:54PM
Opinion | How Hong Kong public hospitals can ease overcrowding without turning to the private sector

More medical residencies, services such as telemedicine and streamlining administrative procedures would reduce the stress on Hong Kong’s public hospitals.

More medical residencies, services such as telemedicine and streamlining administrative procedures would reduce the stress on Hong Kong’s public hospitals.

8 Feb 2019 - 5:25PM
Opinion | To beat air pollution, Hong Kong must turn to science and technology

Aside from the current measures, Hong Kong needs scientifically tested ideas that have worked elsewhere, such as green rooftops and energy-generating pavements. Pollution is a public health crisis that requires urgent attention.

Aside from the current measures, Hong Kong needs scientifically tested ideas that have worked elsewhere, such as green rooftops and energy-generating pavements. Pollution is a public health crisis that requires urgent attention.

27 Jan 2019 - 11:58AM
Opinion | Stress facing Hong Kong teachers and students is a collective problem we cannot ignore

Though stress is often dismissed as an individual problem, studies on its characteristics show it is a huge public health danger. Stress builds up silently, induces destructive emotions and behaviour, and can even change genes.

Though stress is often dismissed as an individual problem, studies on its characteristics show it is a huge public health danger. Stress builds up silently, induces destructive emotions and behaviour, and can even change genes.

6 Jan 2019 - 10:37AM
Opinion | Three reasons why same-sex marriage is still a no go in Taiwan and Hong Kong

Demographic and political barriers, like Taiwan’s low fertility rate and voter unhappiness, are blocking the legalisation of same-sex marriage. There are lessons for Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia: more has to be done to lay the groundwork for progress.

Demographic and political barriers, like Taiwan’s low fertility rate and voter unhappiness, are blocking the legalisation of same-sex marriage. There are lessons for Hong Kong, and the rest of Asia: more has to be done to lay the groundwork for progress.

30 Nov 2018 - 5:23PM
Opinion | Hong Kong should not fear change under China, because even the mainland is changing, too

Hongkongers’ worry of losing their separate identity is misplaced, as no culture can be frozen in time, particularly in a globalised world.

Hongkongers’ worry of losing their separate identity is misplaced, as no culture can be frozen in time, particularly in a globalised world.

7 Nov 2018 - 6:39AM
Opinion | US political realities mean Donald Trump’s trade war with China won’t last – and maybe neither will he

Donald Trump and the Republican Party are likely to be given a rebuke in the midterm elections, and the trade war fallout may doom his reelection.

Donald Trump and the Republican Party are likely to be given a rebuke in the midterm elections, and the trade war fallout may doom his reelection.

26 Oct 2018 - 2:21PM
Opinion | Crazy Rich Asians is just a movie. Let’s not confuse Hollywood with reality

Asians need to stop quibbling over whether the representation of Asians in the film is fair. The real problem is we believe the myth that Hollywood is the arbiter of cultural representation.

Asians need to stop quibbling over whether the representation of Asians in the film is fair. The real problem is we believe the myth that Hollywood is the arbiter of cultural representation.

13 Sep 2018 - 12:09PM
Hong Kong is different from the rest of China, but that’s no justification for advocating separatism

Separatist movements have historically exacted a high price and there are far less drastic ways to ensure that Hong Kong preserves its identity and culture.

Separatist movements have historically exacted a high price and there are far less drastic ways to ensure that Hong Kong preserves its identity and culture.

22 Aug 2018 - 7:10AM
The moral decay of China has been greatly exaggerated

While the bout of Chinese soul-searching in the wake of the recent vaccine scandal is understandable, social science research actually shows a China with a healthy respect for modern cosmopolitan values.

While the bout of Chinese soul-searching in the wake of the recent vaccine scandal is understandable, social science research actually shows a China with a healthy respect for modern cosmopolitan values.

12 Aug 2018 - 2:55PM
Why giving up your plastic straw won’t save the planet

People should focus on collectively holding governments and large corporations responsible for environmental degradation, rather than on lifestyle changes at the individual level that have a tiny impact.

People should focus on collectively holding governments and large corporations responsible for environmental degradation, rather than on lifestyle changes at the individual level that have a tiny impact.

13 Jul 2018 - 6:12PM
Opinion | How China is winning the war with the US for scientific hearts and minds

The Trump administration’s anti-Chinese and anti-science biases are producing policies and a working environment that are pushing away talent in research and development, and it is China that will benefit.

The Trump administration’s anti-Chinese and anti-science biases are producing policies and a working environment that are pushing away talent in research and development, and it is China that will benefit.

24 Jun 2018 - 4:35PM
Hong Kong’s HIV problem: prejudice is the real malady in a society where intolerance is still prevalent - and accepted

The cutbacks in government funding for HIV prevention and treatment in the face of rising infection rates among gay men point to an unpalatable truth: discrimination against sexual minorities is tolerated in Hong Kong.

The cutbacks in government funding for HIV prevention and treatment in the face of rising infection rates among gay men point to an unpalatable truth: discrimination against sexual minorities is tolerated in Hong Kong.

31 May 2018 - 8:51PM
Any attack on the Cantonese language will only strengthen Hong Kong identity – just look at Taiwan’s experience

Taiwan’s experience with the ‘re-Sinicisation’ policies of Chiang Kai-shek’s time shows how such cultural oppression will only lead to hatred, and an awakening of local identity.

Taiwan’s experience with the ‘re-Sinicisation’ policies of Chiang Kai-shek’s time shows how such cultural oppression will only lead to hatred, and an awakening of local identity.

25 Jun 2018 - 5:44PM
Hong Kong universities should look beyond the DSE if they want to be world leaders and cultivate innovators

The world’s best universities don’t admit students based on their grades alone. So why does Hong Kong persist with the fallacy?

The world’s best universities don’t admit students based on their grades alone. So why does Hong Kong persist with the fallacy?

27 Apr 2018 - 9:05PM
Hong Kong needs a strong feminist movement, and not just for its women

It’s important to give more opportunities for women to speak out about the abuse they’ve encountered and to resist sexist expectations, but men should also know it’s OK to be caring, and to reveal their own stories of abuse.

It’s important to give more opportunities for women to speak out about the abuse they’ve encountered and to resist sexist expectations, but men should also know it’s OK to be caring, and to reveal their own stories of abuse.

25 Apr 2018 - 11:44AM
Hong Kong must stop clinging to the fiction of racial superiority and treat foreign domestic helpers with respect

Hong Kong people’s racial prejudice against Filipino and Indonesian workers must give way, especially in the face of evidence that race is essentially a fiction.

Hong Kong people’s racial prejudice against Filipino and Indonesian workers must give way, especially in the face of evidence that race is essentially a fiction.

16 Mar 2018 - 10:00AM
Universities are places for education, not political protests that ultimately fail to change anything

The university’s primary role is the delivery of education. While free speech is an integral part of learning, it should not hinder the provision of education itself.

The university’s primary role is the delivery of education. While free speech is an integral part of learning, it should not hinder the provision of education itself.

7 Feb 2018 - 7:08PM
7 Jan 2018 - 6:52PM