Edelman 2020 Trust Barometer: Hong Kong slides, Singapore remains stable

And once again, China tops global trust rankings.

A lack of government trust in Hong Kong under the leadership of Carrie Lam
A lack of government trust in Hong Kong under the leadership of Carrie Lam

Globally, the report shows that trust remains strong in most markets in Asia but rather the opposite in developed markets where income inequality remains a factor.

Hong Kong’s position on the barometer slides down five spots, an unsurprising outcome given its political and social turbulence in the past six months.

On the bright side, it performs better than Australia and Japan, the latter taking third-last spot ahead of the UK and Russia. As a result of the bushfire crisis in Australia, Australia’s position could slide even further in 2021.

Meanwhile, Singapore remained stable ahead of Malaysia and South Korea. But Singaporeans are found to be most worried than other Asian markets when it comes to keeping up with the fast pace of tech.

China continues to lead trust globally, a nod to its pattern of rising nationalism. Based on an interview that PRWeek did with Edelman president Matthew Harrington in December, the connection of Chinese citizens to its central government is a main factor.

"I do believe that it [shows the] understanding of the importance of a central government to advancing society. [China] is migrating from being agrarian to a middle-class consumer society, and the economic power of the last generation is in large measure because of the concentration of a central government," said Harrington.

Globally, 83% of employees are worried about job loss due to automation, an impending recession, lack of training, cheaper foreign competition, immigration, and the gig economy. 57% say they worry about losing the respect and dignity they once enjoyed in their respective countries, and two-thirds say the pace of tech change is too fast.

"Fears are stifling hope and long-held assumptions about hard work leading to upward mobility are now invalid," said CEO Richard Edelman in a statement.

On media, 76% say they worry about fake news being weaponised in this climate. Just over half of respondents don’t believe that the media does a good job of differentiating opinion and fact but find them invaluable on covering news.

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