Controversial debate among Mainland and local netizens over a Chinese man’s list of Hong Kong’s “9 peculiar” unspoken rules


18th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) A mainland Chinese man shared his observations on the “9 peculiarities” of Hong Kong locals in a post on Xiaohongshu. The post titled “Unveiling 9 Hong Kong Lifestyle Unspoken Rules You Never Knew,” sparked a heated debate among netizens from both sides.

The author highlighted the following “peculiarities” of Hong Kong residents: strong time consciousness, efficiency, time and energy-saving habits, health consciousness, environmental awareness, politeness and respect, carrying cash, carrying a long-sleeved jacket, and carrying a water bottle.

Firstly, the author noted that Hong Kong people place great emphasis on punctuality, considering it a fundamental courtesy. Being on time is seen as crucial in various aspects such as appointments and work.

Secondly, the author described Hong Kong as a city known for its efficiency, where people are accustomed to swiftly completing tasks and achieving goals. Efficiency and quick responsiveness are highly valued in both work and personal life.

Thirdly, Hong Kong residents are known for their fast-paced lifestyle, where time and energy-saving are essential. The author mentioned that they utilize various convenient services such as self-service options, online shopping, and food delivery.

Furthermore, the author highlighted the health consciousness prevalent among Hong Kong people. They prioritize balanced diets, regular exercise, and maintaining overall physical well-being. Fitness activities like going to the gym, jogging, and practising yoga are highly popular in Hong Kong.

Additionally, as a highly developed city, Hong Kong residents demonstrate a strong commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development. They engage in activities such as waste sorting, energy conservation, and reducing carbon emissions. The use of eco-friendly shopping bags is also common.

Hong Kong people are recognized for their profound politeness and respect for others’ habits. They adhere to practices such as queuing in public places, maintaining silence, and respecting personal space.

While Hong Kong has embraced digital payment methods in many areas, the author noted that carrying cash is still necessary in certain street markets and restaurants.

The author also mentioned that Hong Kong’s indoor spaces, despite the hot weather outside, are often kept significantly cooler due to strong air conditioning. Consequently, it is common for residents to carry a long-sleeved jacket even during scorching summers.

Lastly, the author pointed out that carrying a water bottle is convenient in Hong Kong, especially considering the availability of drinking fountains. It is also seen as a money-saving hack, given the relatively high prices of bottled water in the city.

The post sparked controversy among mainland and Hong Kong netizens. Some argued that the so-called “peculiarities” were actually positive attributes of Hong Kong people. They viewed these traits as rooted in Confucian values, emphasizing punctuality, courtesy, and respect for others. Others acknowledged the cultural differences between the two regions and considered the observations as part of Hong Kong’s distinct identity. However, some netizens speculated that the author may have used the attention-grabbing title to generate online traffic.