Date
19 September 2017
Demand for stalls at Victoria Park has not been affected by the ongoing pro-democracy protest. Photo: Bloomberg
Demand for stalls at Victoria Park has not been affected by the ongoing pro-democracy protest. Photo: Bloomberg

Lunar New Year stalls fetch record prices at auction

The prolonged Occupy protest has not held back vendors vying for booths for next year’s Lunar New Year Fair in Victoria Park.

The biggest food stall was sold at an auction on Monday for a record price of HK$570,000, 73 percent above the reserve price and after 13 bids, RTHK reported.

It’s the second straight year for the same bidder to win the biggest food stall. “The price has gone beyond our expectation, and we already planned for the worst and could face losses,” the bidder said.

The bidder intends to sell abalone and experimental cuisine at the fair. “The Occupy movement has affected the rule of law in Hong Kong, and small businesses like us are concerned. But we believe Hong Kong people could resolve the issue,” the bidder said.

Two smaller stalls went for HK$360,000 and HK$410,000 respectively. The prices were more than double the reserve price.

But the fair organizer, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD), said it may cut short or “even cancel” the week-long fair in February if the civil disobedience campaign persists.

“We have no idea yet about the impact on traffic and public safety, but we would pay close attention to developments and make our decision,” said Lam Kam-kong, a senior official at the FEHD.

The auction has drawn more than 300 bidders, indicating that demand for stalls has not been affected by the protest, Lam added.

– Contact us at [email protected]

JZ/JP/CG

Freelance journalist

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe