own model, while the local Chinese population had little contact with the European community of wealthy tai-pans settled near Victoria Peak.
In conjunction with its military campaign, the Empire of Japan invaded Hong Kong on 8 December 1941. The Battle of Hong Kong ended with British and Canadian defenders surrendering control of the colony to Japan on 25 December. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, civilians suffered widespread food shortages, rationing, and hyper-inflation due to forced exchange of currency for military notes. Through a policy of enforced repatriation of the unemployed to the mainland throughout the period, because of the scarcity of food, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony.
Cold war era
Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s
Hong Kong's population recovered quickly as a wave of migrants from China arrived for refuge from the ongoing Chinese Civil War. When the PRC was proclaimed in 1949, more migrants fled to Hong Kong for fear of persecution by the Communist Party. Many corporations in Shanghai and Guangzhou shifted their operations to Hong Kong.
In the 1950s Hong Kong's rapid industrialization was driven by textile exports and other expanded manufacturing industries. As the population grew and labour costs remained low, living standards rose steadily. The construction of Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 followed a massive slum fire, and marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme designed to cope with the huge influx of immigrants. Trade in Hong Kong accelerated even further when Shenzhen, immediately north of Hong Kong, became a special economic zone of the PRC, and Hong Kong was established as the main source of foreign investment in China. The manufacturing competitiveness gradually declined in Hong Kong due to