Hong Kong has long been known for its glitzy skyrises, world-class cuisine and luxury shopping. But it's just become very famous for something else, writes news.com.au
The city is now home to the biggest concentration of ultra-rich people in the world — those with $30 million or more — after recently overtaking New York City.
One in seven people in Hong Kong is a millionaire and about 93 billionaires live there.
It's a metropolis geared towards wealth. Taxes are low, corporate tax is tiny and residents don't pay GST.
This is a place where tiny, three-bedroom apartments sell for $10 million — Hong Kong is also the world's least-affordable housing market.
Golf club memberships come with a $6 million price tag. Luxury items gleam in shop windows lining some of the most expensive shopping streets on the planet. Young people pursue careers in law or medicine, not necessarily because they enjoy those things, but because they know they'll earn big bucks. Conversations among friends almost always feature robust discussions about money.
It's a playground for the crazy rich, but as Marc Fennell discovers in his report on Hong Kong on Dateline, which airs on SBS tonight, there's an ugly side to this glamorous metropolis tourists don't see.
In his report, Fennell catches up with rich kid Mabel Lau. Her father made his incredible wealth in the textiles industry, and she works as an Instagram influencer, partnering with high-end brands to produce slick content for her 11,000 followers.
Mabel lives in one of Hong Kong's most exclusive suburbs, Repulse Bay, and when she's not at home she can be found travelling the world in style — a recent Instagram photo shows her holidaying at the Great Barrier Reef.
She invites Fennell to the $10 million home she shares with her family, along with a "helper", and shows off her immense luxury handbag collection worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Fennell asks her why Hong Kong is home to such uber-wealthy people as herself, and the heiress' answer is thoughtful.
"I think it's because the barriers to do business here is relatively lower than other places," Mabel says.
"But I feel like there's a very wide wealth gap in Hong Kong. The Government has always been criticised for implementing policies that are favouring the rich instead of helping the poor, and I feel like we obviously have more financial capacity to be able to help these people."
Therein lies the dark secret of Hong Kong — where there is extreme wealth, there is also heartbreaking poverty, and little is being done to address the widening gap between the two.
Away from the luxury shopping districts and multimillion-dollar homes, in congested suburbs packed with illegal housing and crowded subdivided flats, one in five children live below the poverty line, struggling to secure an education that will break them out of the poverty cycle.
Thirty per cent of Hong Kong's population live in public housing, and many more spend years on the waiting list. While they wait, as Fennell discovers, the living conditions for many are abysmal.
He visits another woman at her home: 75-year-old widow Auntie Har. She is on a waiting list for public housing, and for eight years has lived in a room in a subdivided flat she shares with eight other families.
She pays $300 a month — about a third of her government pension — to live in the tiny room, and it's falling apart.
"Sometimes you can see the rats running along the ceiling," she says, before pointing out an area of the room that's damp from water leakage.
"The landlord won't fix it, as this is an illegal structure."
Auntie Har tells Fennell she feels "hopeless".
"I need to move out but don't know where to move to," she says.
"I hope the Government can improve the life of people in the lower classes. They should be given basic living conditions. It think this is important."
The richest people in Hong Kong earn 44 times more than the poorest, which, for Fennell, is striking.
"Everything about this city it's like it wants you to be rich, it's willing you to be rich, all the tax stuff," he says.
"But if you're not, like (Auntie Har), in a sense it's like the city doesn't quite know what to do with you."
The Hong Kong Government recently raised the pension age from 60 to 65, forcing people to work for longer. With property prices so high and the waiting list for government housing so long, Fennell finds elderly people selling cardboard on the street for extra money, and other poor people — overwhelmingly elderly, with children unable to support them — lining up for free charity meals.
He speaks to politician Nathan Law who was 23 when he was the youngest person elected to parliament.
"A lot of our younger generation are really frustrated by the housing problem," he says.
"If you're not coming out from a wealthy family you have no expectation or no hope of purchasing your own house.
"A lot of our housing is being bought by Chinese money and not being used for residential needs. They don't really care about livelihood issues in Hong Kong."
He says Hong Kong's housing affordability crisis can also be linked to the city's low birth rates: When you're still living with your parents as an adult, it's hard to have a romantic life, much less a family of your own.
"For a young generation, we feel angry about it," Mr Law says.
"We need to live and have a safe space … to live our lives but the Government is just focused on how to earn money with the maximum profit."