HONG KONG – When Singaporean Low Lee Kiang decided last year to uproot his life in the Lion City and give up his 20-year career in the finance industry to try something different in Hong Kong, the people around him were sceptical about his big move.

“This was already in mid-2020, but the social unrest in Hong Kong was still the topmost concern of my family and friends,” said Mr Low, referring to the massive pro-democracy protests in 2019 that often brought parts of the city to a standstill.