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Hong Kong exodus grows as 140,000 apply for new British visa

Security law drives families away while COVID keeps foreigners out

Hong Kong's population marked the biggest drop since tracking began in 1961. (Photo by Takeshi Kihara)

HONG KONG -- A total of 140,500 Hong Kongers had applied as of the end of June for a special British visa that paves the way for citizenship, with China's sweeping national security law spurring more people to leave.

The population totaled 7.29 million as of the end of June, down roughly 120,000 from a year earlier, according to official data published in August. This marked the biggest drop since tracking began in 1961.

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