Current applications are not affected. No new applications will be entertained until further notice.
It appears that the government has determined, finally, to focus specific attention on attracting business to Hong Kong, not capital (did we ever really need it after all?)
To my mind, all the CIES did was fuel the real estate bubble. Even after real property was removed from the list of permissible investment asset classes, mainlanders mostly took advantage of the Scheme and they all bought properties in Hong Kong nonetheless.
This change in the rules will also affect the Gambia / Vanuatu third country PR-for-purchase market (which mainlanders had to acquire @ c.HKD100,000 a pop in order to qualify).
This legal fiction was well passed its sell by date and to be honest made a mockery of the rationale of the Scheme. For sure, allowing people to contribute capital for investment is a bloody good idea; we still need such a programme (in my view). Next time out though, the rules should be improved upon.
But for now: Capital Investment Entrant Scheme Suspended
The good news in all of this really though is the government’s increased focus on business investment. New technology, creation of jobs, the connection economy realised (hopefully!) I await news on this with bated breath.
It seems business immigration policy is changing for the good!