Hong Kongers’ love for money but dislike for flaunting wealth analysed by mainland Chinese netizen

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12th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) A mainland Chinese user ignited a debate on XiaoHungShu by asserting that despite their fondness for money, Hong Kong residents do not engage in ostentatious displays of affluence. The post presented an analysis outlining four reasons why Hong Kongers choose not to flaunt their wealth. The viewpoints expressed in the post elicited mixed reactions from netizens in both Hong Kong and mainland China, with some agreeing with the analysis while others argued that the user failed to grasp how Hong Kongers exhibit their love for extravagance.

According to the Xiaohongshu post, the mainland Chinese user contended that although Hong Kong people possess a strong inclination towards acquiring wealth and dedicate their lives to its pursuit, they do not conform to the stereotypical portrayal of flaunting riches often depicted in Hong Kong movies or seen on social media platforms. The user identified four primary factors contributing to this behaviour:

Reason One: Modesty in Exhibiting Wealth
The post drew a parallel between this characteristic and the traditional culture of Guangdong, where understating one’s wealth is regarded as a virtue.

Reason Two: Mitigating Resentment
The post argued that even if Hong Kongers enjoy affluence, they comprehend the significance of concealing their success to maintain harmonious relationships with friends and family, recognizing that envy can strain these bonds.

Reason Three: Esteeming Privacy
According to the post, Hong Kongers’ understated approach does not stem from humility but rather a strong emphasis on privacy. They believe that truly influential individuals do not need to flaunt their wealth.

Reason Four: Avoiding Trouble
The user posited that Hong Kongers possess a keen awareness that showcasing their wealth can attract unwanted attention and potential harm. They advised against underestimating individuals who appear unremarkable or ordinary on the streets of Hong Kong, as looks can be deceiving, and many of them may be affluent.

One netizen challenged the assertion that Hong Kongers avoid flaunting their wealth, pointing out that many of them proudly display luxury brands, questioning the generalisation. Another netizen emphasised that it’s common for Hong Kongers to carry Chanel and Hermès, highlighting that sporting designer bags on the subway is not an issue. However, a different perspective emerged, with a netizen stating that most Hong Kongers don’t perceive themselves as wealthy.

The mainland Chinese user’s analysis of why Hong Kongers refrain from flaunting their wealth sparked lively discussions among netizens from both mainland China and Hong Kong. Some mainland netizens concurred, stating, “This is the mark of a tolerant city. Your wealth is your concern, and it does not matter to me,” and “They possess a strong self-awareness. Being rich or not is inconsequential to others, so there is no need to flaunt it.” However, some netizens argued that the user’s perspective was biased, asserting, “Considering the prevalence of luxury brands among Hong Kongers, how can you claim they do not flaunt their wealth?” and “While they may be modest, Hong Kong men and women adore wearing Rolex watches and carrying designer bags.” Others suggested that the user simply misunderstood how Hong Kongers display their wealth, stating, “You are unaware of how they boast about the homes they live in.” Perhaps only Hong Kongers truly comprehend the reasons behind their reluctance to flaunt their wealth, as one netizen remarked, “Most people cannot even compete with elderly cardboard collectors on the streets. How can they flaunt their wealth?” and “Given the exorbitant housing prices in Hong Kong, the majority of their money is allocated to purchasing homes. Where would they find additional funds to flaunt?”