This month the UK began offering a visa scheme that allows Hong Kong residents to come and live in the UK. This scheme that offers a fast track to British citizenship to British Overseas Passport holders, was launched after China imposed a new security law imposing on Hong Kong’s autonomy.
It is estimated that over 300,000 people will apply for this visa. Those who secure the visa along with their dependents will be eligible to apply for settlement after five years and attain British citizenship one year after that. It is needless to say that former Hong Kong residents may soon make up a large portion of Britain’s multicultural population.
What will this mean for the public sector and brands when it comes to connecting with these new migrants? While the UK is becoming increasingly multicultural, there are still some minorities that feel invisible and unaccounted for. The Chinese community in Britain is often considered the ‘hidden minority’ because even though it is the 4th largest minority group in the country, they lack representation in public spheres including politics, the media and advertising. In today’s climate, East Asian representation is more important than ever as due to Covid-19’s associations with China, hate crimes against East Asians in the UK increased by 300% from 2019 to 2020. While East-Asian depiction in the media is minimal, over the past year 33% of news images surrounding coronavirus depicted East Asians who were over-represented in this regard, but for the wrong reasons.
It is up to us to change this negative trajectory and to promote inclusivity. Both the public sector and brands must learn to connect better with East Asians in Britain. Multiculturalism in marketing is extremely important and no minority group should feel invisible.