UM Centre for Macau Studies releases results of Survey of Willingness of Participation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Opinions on the Internet among Macao Residents 2018

The University of Macau’s (UM) Centre for Macau Studies (CMS) today (27 June) released the results of the Survey of Willingness of Participation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Opinions on the Internet among Macao Residents 2018.

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Policy Research Team was established in 2018. It is led by Agnes Lam, principal investigator of the team, who is also the director of the CMS. Other members of the team include Sheng Li, associate dean of UM’s Faculty of Social Sciences; Prof Yu Wing Yat and Prof Ngo Tak Wing from the Department of Government and Public Administration; and Prof Kwan Fung and Prof Chan Chi Shing from the Department of Economics.

According to the survey results, most of the respondents are not willing to work or live in mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) or in Hong Kong, and the most frequently cited reason is unsuitable lifestyle. In addition, less than half of the participants are willing to retire in mainland GBA cities. It is noteworthy that most respondents at the age of 55 or above are not willing to spend their elderly years in mainland GBA cities.

Overall, young people and those with a college degree or above have a more open attitude towards working or living in GBA cities outside Macao. The survey has also found that about half of the respondents are willing to see more residents from other GBA cities visiting Macao as tourists or investors. However, less than 30 per cent of the respondents are willing to have more residents from other GBA cities as workers or immigrants in Macao.

In addition, based on the results of media mining, we have found that traditional media and social media have different focuses when covering GBA-related news. For instance, traditional media focus more on the policies of the Macao SAR government and the relevant actions led by the government and main officials, whereas social media focus more on topics related to people's livelihood in the context of the GBA, such as transport (mutual recognition of driving licenses), infrastructure(construction of crematorium), and government integrity and probity (non-stringent immigration approval process), etc.


Results of the Telephone Survey

About 37.9 per cent of the respondents are willing to work or live in mainland cities in the GBA. Significant differences have been observed in the variables of sex, age, level of education, employment status, occupation, self-identity, regular expenses in mainland China, frequency of travelling to mainland China, whether the respondents or their family members are working in mainland China, and whether the respondents or their family members have studied in mainland China. Demographic characteristics of respondents who are willing to work or live in mainland GBA cities and those who are not willing to do so are listed below:

Table 1: Characteristics of respondents who are willing and those who are unwilling to work or live in mainland GBA cities (listed by different demographic characteristics, only excerpts show items that meet statistical significance)

 

Willing

Unwilling

Sex

Male

Female

Age

15-24

65 or above

Education level

College degree

Primary education or less

Employment status

Students

Retirees

Occupation

Members of the legislature, senior officials in public administration, community leaders, senior executives and managers in companies

Blue-collar workers, manual workers, general service workers

Self-identity

Macao residents who also identify themselves as Chinese

Macao residents

Regular expenses in mainland China

Yes

No

Frequency of travelling to mainland China

Always

Never

Whether respondents or their family members work in mainland China

Yes

No

Whether respondents or their family members have studied in mainland China

Yes

No

A main reason for willing to consider working or living in mainland GBA cities are better career prospects (61.2%). The major reason for not wanting to work or live in mainland GBA cities is unsuitable lifestyle (76.5%).

Respondents who are willing to work or live in mainland GBA cities have a greater sense of self-identity as Chinese (7.78) compared to unwilling respondents (7.46). The difference, however, is not statistically significant, t(474)=1.493, p = .136. Respondents who are willing to work or live in mainland GBA cities have a greater sense of self-identity as Macao residents (8.21) compared to their unwilling counterparts (7.46). The difference is not statistically significant either, t(472)=1.894, p=.059.

23 per cent of the respondents show a positive attitude towards working or living in Hong Kong, with significant differences in sex, age, level of education, employment status, place of birth, and self-identity. Respondents who are willing to work or live in Hong Kong and those who are not willing show the following characteristics:

Table 2: Characteristics of respondents who are willing or unwilling to work or live in Hong Kong in the Greater Bay Area (listed by different demographic characteristics, only excerpts show items that meet statistical significance)

 

Willing

Unwilling

Sex

Male

Female

Age

15-24 years old

55-64 years old

Education level

Doctoral

Junior higher school

Employment status

Students

Unemployed

Place of birth

Hong Kong

Mainland GBA cities

Self-identity

Macao residents

Macao residents who also identify themselves as Chinese

A main reason for willing to consider working or living in Hong Kong are better career prospects (62.4%). The major reason for not working or living in Hong Kong is unsuitable lifestyle (52.4%).

Respondents who are willing to work or live in Hong Kong have a significantly lower sense of Chinese identity (7.24) their unwilling counterparts (7.72), t(493)=2.043, p =.042. Respondents who are willing to work or live in Hong Kong have a stronger sense of self-identity as Macao residents (8.17) than their unwilling counterparts (7.98), but the difference is not statistically significant, t(491)=1.048,p =.193.

More than half (53.8%) of the respondents are unwilling to retire in mainland GBA cities (i.e. Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhaoqing, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, and Jiangmen). Significant differences have been observed in the variable of age, level of education, employment status, occupation, individual monthly income, whether respondents have relatives living in GBA cities outside Macao, regular expenses in mainland China, the frequency of travelling to the mainland China, and whether the respondents or their family members are working in mainland China.

Table 3: Characteristics of respondents who are willing or unwilling to retire in mainland GBA cities (listed by different demographic characteristics, only excerpts show items that meet statistical significance)

 

Willing

Unwilling

Age

25-34 years old

65 or above

Education level

Doctoral

Primary school education or less

Employment status

Employed

Retired

Occupation

General civil servants

Blue-collar workers, manual labour workers, general service workers

Individual monthly income

MOP 40,001~50,000

MOP 60,001 or above

Whether respondents have relatives living in GBA cities outside Macao

Yes

No

Regular expenses in mainland China

Yes

No

Frequency of travelling to the mainland China

Always

Never

Whether respondents or their family members are working in mainland China

Yes

No

The sense of Chinese identity (7.88) of respondents who are willing to retire in mainland GBA cities is significantly lower than that of the unwilling respondents (7.39), t(493)=2.043 , p=.042. Respondents who are willing to retire in mainland GBA cities have a significantly greater sense of self-identity as Macao residents (8.09) than those who are unwilling (7.87), t(449.30)=2.402, p=. 017.

56 per cent of the respondents are willing or very willing to welcome more residents from other GBA cities as tourists in Macao. About 18.4 per cent of the respondents are unwilling or very unwilling to do so.

About 53.3 per cent of the respondents are willing or very willing to welcome more residents from other GBA cities as investors in Macao. About 23.6 per cent of respondents are unwilling or very unwilling to do so.

Approximately half (47.6%) of the respondents are unwilling or very reluctant to welcome more residents from other GBA cities as workers in Macao. Less than one-third (29.5%) of respondents are willing to welcome more residents from other GBA cities as workers in Macao.

58.2 per cent of the respondents are unwilling or very reluctant to welcome more residents from other GBA cities as immigrants. About one-fifth (21.0%) of respondents are willing or very willing to do so.

The telephone survey was conducted in a quantitative manner to investigate the overall attitude of Macao residents towards their participation in the development of the GBA. The survey was conducted between 17 December 2018 and 30 December 2018. All of the respondents are Macao residents at the age of 15 or above. A total of 557 cases were successfully completed.

 

Results of Mining Analysis

The Outline of the Strategies for the Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has clearly positioned Macao as a world centre of tourism and leisure, a service platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, and a base for cultural exchange and collaboration with Chinese culture as the predominant component, complemented by a variety of other cultures that co-exist in harmony. When covering the news, traditional media and social media mentioned the phrase ‘world centre of tourism and leisure’ the most (2,733 reports, 624.5 popularity points), followed by ‘services platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries’ (1,467 reports, 72.9 popularity points) and ‘base for cultural exchange and collaboration’ (501 reports, 45.2 popularity points). In addition, there were 1,938 reports mentioning ‘one center, one platform’, with 336.7 popularity points.

As for factors that give Macao an advantage, traditional media and social media show similar but slightly different focuses. In traditional media, ‘Portuguese language’ has been mentioned the most (6,740 reports), followed by institutional advantages (4,959 reports). In social media, the popularity point is ranked No 2 (994.4 points) and No 1 (1,115.0 points). Thus, the two advantages were the most recognised advantages of Macao in both traditional media and social media.

Some media reports believe that Macao should give full play to its Portuguese language advantage, which is a unique ‘soft power’ of Macao. They also believe that Macao could benefit from its connection with Portuguese-speaking countries and should steadily promote the construction of a ‘service platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.’ Public opinion on the internet are also in favour of Macao strengthening cooperation with other parties in the development of the Sino-Portuguese platform. It is believed that provinces in mainland China can implement the ‘Go Global’ strategy by leveraging Macao’s role as a platform for economic and trade cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.

In terms of institutional advantages, news reports and online public opinion have mentioned that the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy is the biggest advantage of Macao in its development and participation in the development of the GBA. The policy allows Macao to maintain long-term prosperity and stability after its handover to China. For instance, some people say the participation of the People's Liberation Army Macao Garrison in the disaster relief in the aftermath of Typhoon Hato and the successful completion of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge let Macao residents feel the love of their fellow compatriots and the benefits of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ policy.

When talking about the disadvantages of Macao in the construction of the GBA, the viewpoints in traditional media and social media are similar, both singling out Macao’s single-income-source economy as the greatest concern (3,505 reports, 846.8 popularity points). The concern about the lack of economic stability stems from the fact that Macao’s economy is dominated by a single industry, namely the gaming industry, which means any change in the economic climate could have serious consequences for the local economy.

The second disadvantage mentioned is the lack of human resource (822 reports, 374.8 popularity points). Many people  believe that insufficient human resource is a major hindrance to Macao’s participation in the construction of the GBA, which has elicited concern over the competency of Macao. Furthermore, some have pointed out that if Macao goes deeper into the construction of the GBA where the overall environment is more open, it may lead to brain drain, which could in turn cause Macao to lose its competitiveness.

When covering issues related to the construction of the GBA, traditional media and social media have different focuses . In traditional media, topics that have been mentioned the
most are culture and art (16,562 reports), technological innovation (15,394 reports), education (11,903 reports), traffic problems (10,388 reports), finance (10,351 reports) and tourism (10,103 reports).

The top three topics in social media are traffic (7,420.2 popularity points), infrastructure (6,553.3 popularity points) and finance (5,476.8 popularity points).

To summarise, the top ten topics covered by traditional media and social media are culture and arts, technological innovation, education, transport, finance, tourism, innovation and entrepreneurship, and infrastructure. Traditional media pays more attention to healthcare and economic diversification, which are not listed among the top ten focuses in social media. Social media pays more attention to legislation and housing issues, which are not listed among the top ten focuses in news media.

Issues related to the GBA involve a variety of topics that are closely related to the development of Macao and the livelihood of local residents. This section focuses on issues discussed on traditional media and social media, with a detailed analysis of the number of reports of the top ten issues covered in traditional media and social media.

Among the issues related to the GBA, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge has been the most covered topic for both traditional media and social media (5,166 reports and 3,239.6 popularity points). Issues listed among the top ten in both traditional media and social media are: smart cities, Macao cuisine, medical insurance, mutual recognition of drivers’ licenses, development fund for Guangdong-Macao cooperation, property price trend, and renovation of the old district. Relatively speaking, traditional media focus more on poverty alleviation and the 2019 policy address, which did not enter the top ten topics in social media. Social media pays more attention to issues related to immigration approval and the construction of crematorium, which did not enter the top ten topics in traditional media.

We investigated the content of each topic and analysed the overall emotional undertone for different topics. Among the top 12 topics in terms of news media coverage and social media popularity, those that elicit an expression of positive emotions are ‘Macao cuisine’, ‘poverty alleviation’, and ‘Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge’, with 90% (97.1%, 94.3%, 90.1%) according to the content emotion analysis; ‘construction of crematorium’ elicits the most neutral emotion, reaching 70% (71.9%); in terms ofnegative emotions, ‘mutual recognition of drivers’ licenses’, ‘non-stringent immigration approval process’, and ‘development fund for Guangdong-Macao cooperation’ are the top three issues, accounting for 32.6%, 23.4%, and 16.5%, respectively.

Note: Due to rounding, the sum of the items in the chart may not be 100%, which is a normal statistical phenomenon.

 

As for news reports and online public opinion, we have summarised the recommendations and opinions of different parties on Macao's participation in the construction of the GBA. The views in traditional media and those on social media are similar, mainly focusing on academic research exchange (8,465 reports, 1,316.7 popularity points), economic diversification (6,228 reports, 1,090.6 popularity points), and customs clearance (1,570 reports, 505.3 popularity points) which have been ranked among the top three, in the same order.

By observing news reports in traditional media and public opinion on social media platforms about the GBA, we have found that the two channels use different expressions to report news related to the GBA. In terms of the amount of information, traditional media outweigh social media, which is probably due to the fact that the construction of the GBA is a national strategy and thus receives more attention from the media.

 In terms of news content, traditional media pay more attention to the SAR government's policy trends (e.g., the 2019 policy address on Macao’s participation in the construction of the GBA), and relevant actions led by the government and main officials (e.g., poverty alleviation); In terms of other specific areas, traditional media focus more on culture and arts (e.g., Macao cuisine) and technological innovation (e.g., smart cities). In contrast, online public opinion pays more attention to issues related to people's livelihood in the context of the construction of the GBA, such as transport (i.e., mutual recognition of drivers' licenses), infrastructure (i.e., construction of crematoriums), and clean government (i.e., non-stringent immigration approval process). Due to the different natures of traditional media and social media, the form of communication is obviously different.

Media mining uses network mining technology to thoroughly and systematically collect relevant opinions from major media channels in Macao, news-related pages on Facebook, and online forums, to form a GBA research database. It also applies big data technology in online content analysis for a comprehensive review. The ‘amount of information’ mentioned in this article refers to the number of news reports and web posts on relevant topics in traditional media, on Facebook and online forums. They include the original posts and replies to the posts. The popularity points refer to the accumulative number of netizen behavior data (numbers of ‘Likes’, sharing, replies, readings/clicks/views). The higher the value, the higher the popularity point.



Source: Centre for Macau Studies

Media Contact Information:
Communications Office, University of Macau

Albee Lei  Tel:(853) 88228004
Kelvin U  Tel:(853) 88224322
Email:prs.media@um.edu.mo
UM Website:www.um.edu.mo

Released on 2019-06-27 16:48

UM Centre for Macau Studies releases results of Survey of Willingness of Participation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Opinions on the Internet among Macao Re

UM Centre for Macau Studies releases results of Survey of Willingness of Participation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and Opinions on the Internet among Macao Re
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