15 November 2019

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • A protester mans barricades outside a students' dormitory at City University in Kowloon Tong on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

    Chaos on the streets: who’s in charge?

    - Nov 15, 2019 2:35pm
    Nothing is worse than not being able to meet the four basic needs – food, clothing, shelter and transportation. Many Hongkongers went through the tribulation of not having the last one this week. Commuters and motorists have...
  • Maxim's Caterers and Cathay Pacific reel from the impact of the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong. Photo: Bloomberg/AFP

    HK turmoil takes its toll on Jardine and Swire

    - Nov 8, 2019 11:19am
    At least two of Hong Kong’s leading conglomerates are reeling from the impact of the raging political conflagration that broke out five months ago. There’s Jardine Matheson’s Dairy Farm International, which has a 50 percent stake...
  • WeWork plans to cut by half its co-working sites in Hong Kong as part of its restructuring moves. Photo: Reuters

    WeWork doesn’t work in Hong Kong

    - Nov 7, 2019 11:52am
    Just how dire the situation is for WeWork right now could be seen in its operations here in Hong Kong, where its business model seemed well-suited given the stratospheric rates of office spaces in the international...
  • Singer Joey Yung has removed an Instagram post showing her wearing a mask after mainland fans bombarded her with hate messages on social media. Photo: CNSA/Instagram

    Joey Yung realizes wearing a mask for a selfie is a bad idea

    - Nov 6, 2019 12:06pm
    Wearing a mask could get you into trouble these days. Sultry cantopop singer Joey Yung, 39, learned this recently when she posted on Instagram a picture of hers wearing a white surgical mask while seated aboard...
  • Clashes between police and protesters have dominated the news. Photo: Reuters

    Bothered by all the turmoil? Think of the mega Mark Six jackpot

    - Nov 5, 2019 8:36am
    Most people seemed too preoccupied with the protests that the Halloween snowball for Mark Six came and went with no one winning the jackpot. The protesters did celebrate Halloween by wearing all sorts of masks in...
  • A construction project in Guangzhou in China's southern Guangdong province. Mainland developers, in partnership with an e-commerce platform, are preparing to roll out huge discounts in a special sale. Photo: Bloomberg

    Will half-priced Greater Bay Area homes lure Hongkongers?

    - Oct 30, 2019 2:03pm
    As we head into the shopping season, a Chinese e-commerce giant has come up with a seemingly novel idea to entice wealthy Hongkongers into investing in real estate on the mainland., China’s No. 2 online...
  • A file picture shows gold bangles being put on a bride's wrist during a wedding-related ceremony. Hong Kong’s social unrest is prompting some young people to rework their plans for weddings and related arrangements. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why we’ll see more wedding lunches than dinners

    - Oct 29, 2019 5:06pm
    Attending a reception and dinner hosted by a newly-wed couple last weekend, I couldn’t help but think about the impact the social unrest may have had on the marriage plans of many young locals. Invited to...
  • Hong Kong's housing crisis is prompting many young people to consider co-living arrangements. Photo: Bloomberg

    A (tiny) room with a view

    - Oct 28, 2019 1:06pm
    Do you want to live in a unit with Victoria Harbour view? Well, such lodgings are only a dream for most of us, given the sky-high property prices in the city. Yet there is a way...
  • Carrie Lam arrives for the enthronement ceremony of Japan's Emperor Naruhito in Tokyo on Tuesday. The Hong Kong leader may have had several things occupying her mind even amid the foreign setting. Pool photo via Reuters

    What was the message that required Lam’s immediate attention?

    - Oct 23, 2019 5:50pm
    Checking your cellphone while attending a solemn event is deemed not a nice thing to do as such action would raise questions of propriety and much else. So, it was a bit surprising to hear that an...
  • People walk past Kowloon Masjid and Islamic Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui on Monday. Photo: Reuters

    A blue-dyed black eye to the police

    - Oct 21, 2019 2:45pm
    If love means never having to say you’re sorry, we can say the police have been giving a lot of love over the past four months. On Sunday police deployed a water-cannon truck to disperse protesters...
  • The new mortgage rules, while good news for homebuyers, also prompted many property owners to raise flat prices in anticipation of stronger demand. Photo: HKEJ

    A flat owner’s story

    - Oct 18, 2019 12:19pm
    Not too many landlords were smiling over the past four months in view of the political unrest that has dealt a telling blow to the property business as a whole. Take the case of a certain flat...
  • People pass by a giant TV screen showing Carrie Lam delivering a speech on Wednesday. The Hong Kong leader unveiled housing and livelihood- related measures in her policy address, but the moves are unlikely to end the unrest in the city. Photo: Reuters

    Will Lam’s policy address make any difference?

    - Oct 16, 2019 4:56pm
    Does anyone really care about what Carrie Lam said in her policy address today? The embattled Hong Kong leader, who was forced to deliver her speech via video after being shouted down in the Legco by...
  • Demonstrators urge the US Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act during a rally in Central on Monday. Photo: Reuters

    Political crowdfunding sells faster than IPO

    - Oct 15, 2019 11:33am
    It may not be the best time to launch an initial public offering in Hong Kong these days, but it surely is for political donations in this financial hub. Since June, when protests against the now-withdrawn...
  • Riot police fire tear gas toward anti-government protesters during a demonstration in Tseung Kwan O on Monday. Photo: Reuters

    Disruptions along the way, but is this the right direction?

    - Oct 10, 2019 12:32pm
    An old friend yesterday invited me for dinner. “But let’s set the time first. You name the venue, I pay the bill,” he said in a text message. As it turned out, the difficult part was...
  • Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng have seen their popularity ratings plunge to the lowest since they took office amid the turmoil. Photo: Reuters/HKEJ

    Carrie Lam and Teresa Cheng have become penny stocks

    - Oct 9, 2019 12:02pm
    Things could not be worse for Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah. The detested duo, who are being blamed for unleashing the chain of events leading to the current...
  • An anti-government protester walks past a burning barrier outside the Mong Kok MTR station on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

    Masked people all over town, and it’s not Halloween yet

    - Oct 8, 2019 1:51pm
    More people wore their masks on the streets over the long weekend after the SAR government implemented the ban against wearing masks during public assemblies. That’s how effective the administration has been in using its colonial-era...
  • Wawa Planet has closed a deal to rent a three-storey property on Percival Street in Causeway Bay. Photo: Wawa Planet/Facebook

    A business that thrives even in these dark days

    - Oct 2, 2019 10:52am
    The start of the National Day “Golden Week”, normally a time when mainland tourists pour into Hong Kong’s shopping districts in full force, saw 30 shopping malls and 47 MTR stations shuttered on Tuesday. Instead of...
  • A growing number of Hongkongers are thinking of moving to another place amid all the chaos and uncertainty in the city. Photo: Reuters

    50% more Hongkongers seriously thinking about emigrating

    - Sep 30, 2019 12:12pm
    It must be one of the hottest “investment themes” in Hong Kong.  I’m talking, of course, about investing overseas or, more precisely, thinking of moving to another place because one is having second thoughts about staying...
  • Anti-government protesters throw items at New Town Plaza in Sha Tin on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

    Maxim’s finds itself on protesters’ ‘hit list’

    - Sep 23, 2019 11:38am
    Anti-government activists appear to have escalated their protest, targetting not only police and MTR stations but also mainland businesses and commercial establishments deemed supportive of the administration in the ongoing political turmoil. New Town Plaza in...
  • Carrie Lam and her top officials will hold the first of their planned community dialogue sessions on Sept. 26 as they seek a way out from the months-long anti-government protests in the city. Photo: Bloomberg

    The 150 people PR show

    - Sep 20, 2019 5:42pm
    The number 150 seems to bear some special significance to the HKSAR government. Otherwise why would it pick only 150 people for the first “open dialogue” that Chief Executive Carrie Lam will hold next Thursday at...