Date
25 July 2017
This Shenzhen-made MOKO USB charger exploded at a census field office in Shatin. The explosion scattered small fragments but no one was hurt. Photos: Facebook, CNSA
This Shenzhen-made MOKO USB charger exploded at a census field office in Shatin. The explosion scattered small fragments but no one was hurt. Photos: Facebook, CNSA

Census office drops China-made USB chargers after explosion

Census-takers are complaining about sub-standard government-issued equipment, saying these are unreliable and unsafe.

The Chinese-made equipment, which cost the government HK$88 million (US$11.25 million), consist of tablet computers, USB chargers and peripherals, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

These have been distributed to more than 5,000 enumerators in an ongoing by-census. 

On Tuesday, the census office was forced to discontinue the use of USB chargers after an explosion at a Sha Tin field center.

The incident scattered small fragments but no one was hurt.

A census-taker said in a WhatsApp post that the tablets and MOKO USB chargers are not up to standard, according to Apple Daily.

Another complained that his tablet computer conked out after just two days.

MOKO USB chargers are made by a Shenzhen company and have purportedly passed quality and safety tests.

The tablets are Lenovo and an unnamed Chinese brand. 

The chargers are available on Alibaba for US$8 to US$11 each but the census office is said to have paid HK$140 for each.

More than 300,000 households are being interviewed in the by-census from June 30 to Aug. 2.

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