Hong Kong has once again been beaten by Shanghai and remains second in terms of integrated competitiveness, according to The China Institute of City Competitiveness (CICC)’s 2015 report released on Wednesday.

The research institute ranks China’s provincial divisions, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The other cities that made the top ten on the China Urban Competitiveness Ranking are Shenzhen, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Suzhou, Chongqing, Hangzhou and Wuhan, in places four to ten in order of descending competitiveness.

sheung wan hong kong
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Photo: Wikicommons.

On the scale of growth competitiveness, Shenzhen topped the list and Hong Kong fell to 15th. The institute cited internal political conflicts as a reason for the drop in rankings, and predicts that Hong Kong’s GDP will be overtaken by Shenzhen.

“If Hong Kong does not work harder on innovation and adjust its strategies, it will also lose out to Shenzhen in integrated competitiveness,” CCIC director Gui Qiangfang said.

Shenzhen. Photo: Wikicommons.

CICC Vice-chairperson Yi Dazhi said that if Hong Kong could work with Shenzhen, they could expand their financial services and “share prosperity” together, but he slammed Hongkongers as being “cold, numb and ignorant of where opportunities lie,” Apple Daily reported.

In terms of the ranking of the top 30 tourist destination with unique characteristics, Hong Kong did not make the list at all. The institute said that this was due to anti-parallel trading activities targeted towards mainlanders, which drove the tourists to Japan and Korea. In the top three places were Lhasa, Macau, and Tsingdao. However, Hong Kong was ranked the safest city of the year, RTHK reported.

Lhasa. Photo: Wikicommons.

The institute also made a list of the top ten leaders based on factors such as their charisma, decision-making and international and national influence. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying did not make the list. “Mr Leung is very outstanding, but the criteria is different,” Gui said, explaining that the leaders which did feature on the list belonged to cities which had an economic growth of around eight percent.

‘Untrusted’ methodology
The credibility of CICC and Gui Qiangfang have been called into question. Stand News reports that Gui obtained his master’s degree from a distance-learning course at an unrecognised university in Hawaii. The report also said that Gui was once fined for false advertising.

In 2013, i-Cable reported that CICC’s research methods were not trusted by academics. It also pointed out obvious mistakes on CICC’s website, including naming a district in the New Territories that does not exist.

CCIC’s website said that it was founded in Hong Kong in 1998 and has research centres at multiple mainland universities.

Karen cheung hong kong

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.