Hong Kong, Asia’s financial hub, is by now also known as a city of protests.
Many fear that the almost daily anti-government rallies, which have often descended into violence, would have a serious impact on our economy. Tourist arrivals are likely to be affected, especially those coming from the mainland.
But the charged atmosphere of dissent in the city has apparently also given inspiration to a mainlander who must have thought that the city is the right venue for him to air his grievances and assert his rights as a property owner.
And what better occasion than the interim results press conference of Longfor Group Holdings Ltd. (00960.HK), the object of his complaint?
Disguising himself as a financial reporter, the man crashed the presser at Marriott in Admiralty on Monday and managed to take the floor. And so he was able to ask his own questions to the top management of the Beijing-headquartered property developer.
The man began by saying that he originally did not want to come to Hong Kong because of the current political situation here but he felt that he should grab the chance to speak up for himself about a matter that concerns the company.
He said he is the owner of a property at Crystal Lichang, a Longfor project in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.
According to him, there were many unhappy homeowners in the development and they decided to unite to fight for their rights.
But instead of acting on their complaints, some Longfor executives allegedly employed triad members to harass and silence the activists.
Well, after the attacks at the Yuen Long MTR Station on July 21, the allegation doesn’t sound too far-fetched.
Anyway, the man continued with his winding speech, saying that he holds Longfor chairwoman Wu Yajun in high regard, knowing that she built her real estate firm out of her frustrations when she was buying her own home. Her success in the business, in fact, has earned her the title of “Queen of Real Estate” in China.
Wu, who has been through several other important appointments prior to meeting with the press, allowed the man to continue to state his case, although her deputies tried to cut him short.
Finally, she pledged that her executive in charge of the Changsha development will look into the matter.
The case seems to drive home a point: some mainlanders might think there’s a greater chance they could obtain justice here than in their home turf.
As for the Changsha property owner, he might have thought that a place where he could make his case more effectively than in a court is a press conference of the company in question, which is listed in Hong Kong.
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