Hong Kong Female Garment Workers and China’s Open Door

  • Kaxton SiuEmail author
Part of the Series in Asian Labor and Welfare Policies book series (Series in Asian Labor and Welfare Policies)


This chapter provides a comparative context for the broad economic processes underway on the south China coast, by focusing on Hong Kong’s changing positions in global garment production. To compare the circumstances of Chinese workers in the 1990s and today, I relate the stories of two Hong Kong female garment workers and review their life cycles and work histories during Hong Kong’s transition from manufacturing boom to bust. This transition witnessed a proliferation of subcontracting practices in the garment industry and the rise of patron–client and labor–management relationships up until the mid-1990s. By the end of the 1990s, Hong Kong factory management had abandoned their Hong Kong workforce, resulting in “deskilling” as many garment workers left the industry and entered the low-pay service sector.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityKowloonHong Kong

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