24 June 2018

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • A subdivided unit in Beijing's Xincheng District, about half the size of a standard parking lot in Hong Kong,  was sold for  2.5 million yuan in a hotly contested auction on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters/

    Beijing nano flat fetches sky-high price

    - Jun 22, 2018 12:42pm
    Hong Kong’s property market is crazy, but Beijing’s is crazier. A subdivided unit in the capital city near the National Center for the Performing Arts, dubbed The Giant Egg, was sold for 2.5 million yuan (US$384,00)...
  • Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun will preside over what promises to be a very interesting and well-attended press conference this Saturday. Photo: Bloomberg

    What Xiaomi’s first IPO presser would look like

    - Jun 21, 2018 4:28pm
    Financial journos, especially those covering the technology beat, will have to postpone plans for a well-deserved beauty sleep this weekend if they don’t want to miss an important event in the sector.  Smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc....
  • Chinese football fans are the most avid supporters of the beautiful game, although their national team did not make it to the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Reuters

    Chinese soccer fans make presence felt at World Cup

    - Jun 20, 2018 6:38pm
    Chinese football fans continue to avidly watch the heart-thumping matches at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, despite the notable absence of their national team in the world’s most widely followed sporting event. In fact, there is...
  • Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun demonstrates the new features of his latest smartphone model. Xiaomi's move to postpone its mainland listing creates uncertainties for Beijing's initiative to lure tech giants to return home. Photo: Reuters

    Something old for Xiaomi’s new IPO

    - Jun 19, 2018 3:04pm
    Something’s wrong with Xiaomi Corp.’s much-awaited dual listing? The Chinese smartphone maker said on Tuesday it will postpone its application for a mainland share offering through the issuance of China depositary receipts (CDRs) until after it...
  • Yat Lok Barbecue Restaurant fetched HK$82.8 million in a deal as juicy and crispy as a platter of goose barbecue. Photo: HKEJ

    Famous goose barbecue restaurant closes juicy deal

    - Jun 15, 2018 11:26am
    In the restaurant business, how many dishes does one have to prepare and sell in order to reach HK$100 million?  A lot, you will say. And probably not even several lifetimes of hard work and the...
  • The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off in Russia on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    Chinese brands sub for national soccer team in World Cup

    - Jun 12, 2018 5:51pm
    Bai Yansong, China’s top TV anchor, hits the nail right on the head. He says everyone has gone to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, except the national soccer team. There’s no use rubbing it...
  • Thanks to the dominance of Octopus, Hong Kong has been years behind its motherland in adopting a better cashless payment gateway. Photo: HKEJ/Bloomberg

    A North Pole delivery is faster than Octopus customer service

    - Jun 7, 2018 5:25pm
    The Octopus Card is a remnant of an old payment system that has managed to survive in this era of mobile cash. Antiquated but proud, it is still the most popular method of payment in shops and...
  • A beauty pageant crown is not worth much for anyone but the owner who considers it priceless. Photo: Xinhua

    Moneylender demands Miss Hong Kong crown

    - Jun 5, 2018 1:27pm
    How much is a Miss Hong Kong crown really worth? To the few winners of that most coveted symbol of the feminine ideal, it’s priceless. How can you put a price tag on the tears, fears, anxiety, the...
  • There are many bargains in Hong Kong, if you know where to look. Photo: Bloomberg/Reuters

    Hong Kong is world’s most expensive city? Have another look

    - Jun 4, 2018 12:53pm
    In survey after survey, Hong Kong stands as one of the world’s most expensive cities, especially when you talk about home prices. No wonder a growing number of Hongkongers are thinking of emigrating to foreign shores...
  • Alibaba has joined Tencent in a list of the world's 10 most valuable brands. Photo: Bloomberg

    Chinese firms and their rising brand values

    - Jun 1, 2018 1:07pm
    When it comes to fastest-rising brands in the world, it boils down to online and wine. New-age retailers and Alibaba Group and China’s famous Moutai liquor maker were the brands that saw their value jump...
  • A file photo shows a housing construction project in Guangzhou. China's Greater Bay Area plan is prompting more Hong Kong people to consider investing in property across the border. Photo: Bloomberg

    My property hunt in the Big Bay Area

    - May 23, 2018 3:05pm
    The Big Bay Area is an investment concept as hot as the current weather in the southern part of China. The Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai Bridge and the cross-border high-speed rail — both due to open this year...
  • Jack Ma is spotted in a Causeway Bay convenience store using his Alipay to buy a copy of the South China Morning Post. Photo: Bloomberg/Internet

    Jack Ma uses his Alipay to buy copy of own newspaper

    - May 21, 2018 12:39pm
    Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma was spotted in a Causeway Bay convenience store buying a copy of the South China Morning Post, which he owns. One wonders why a photo of such a candid moment would go...
  • Haidilao is known not only for its excellent Four Seasons-type of hotpot but also for its legendary customer service. Photo: Bloomberg

    Haidilao is hot pick for hotpot and IPO

    - May 18, 2018 1:48pm
    The name is hot, and the IPO is probably hotter. Hotpot chain Sichuan Haidilao Catering has filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, seeking to raise up to US$700 million. Sichuan province, in southwestern...
  • Two of the world’s largest bitcoin plays plan to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as soon as this year with each seeking to raise as much as US$1 billion. Photo: Bloomberg

    Bankers eager to meet Chinese bitcoin miners

    - May 17, 2018 5:14pm
    Investment bankers still have a vivid recollection of that time, about a decade ago, when mainland mining bosses descended on Hong Kong to list their companies on the local stock exchange. The executives looked ill at ease...
  • Ricky Wong's HKTVmall continues to bleed cash but the company believes a turnaround is not too far away. Photo: Bloomberg

    HKTV burns a Mercedes every day

    - May 16, 2018 12:28pm
    What do you call a company that burns cash at a rate that would be equivalent to pushing a Mercedes Benz vehicle into the sea every day? Some may say it is “new economy” company with...
  • When it comes to toilet rolls, price doesn't necessarily equate with quality. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

    Battle of the toilet rolls: best brands for the bottom

    - May 15, 2018 5:02pm
    The more expensive the toilet roll, the better the quality?  Not necessarily, says the Consumer Council, which recently tested several popular brands of toilet rolls in the local market. Based on its findings, Tempo, the premium...
  • Malaysia's Dr. Mahathir Mohamad returns to power at age 92. Photo: Reuters

    Time for old, wise men to rule the world again?

    - May 14, 2018 1:26pm
    It is said that only Television Broadcasts’ Cantonese drama could have produced a more thrilling episode: “The new PM is coming in. The old PM is going out. “The future PM is coming out of jail soon....
  • Service quality varies among banks in Hong Kong, and critics say there is no uniformity even among branches or different divisions within the same institution. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why do I always hear bank customer complaints?

    - May 11, 2018 2:04pm
    Being a columnist who writes mostly on financial topics, I often find myself listening to tales from friends and acquaintances about their bad experiences with financial institutions in the city. While there is hardly any entity...
  • The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels reported strong occupancy rates and room revenues for the first quarter, but investors are more interested about the share price and dividend. Photo: Bloomberg

    How long is long term for Peninsula shareholders?

    - May 10, 2018 11:59am
    How long is long-term? That was the question raised by some loyal shareholders of Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels at the group’s annual general meeting on Wednesday. No, they’re not unhappy about the service at The...
  • Ngai Wai Court, an estate being developed in Mui Wo under the government's Home Ownership Scheme, will see buyers shell out about HK$3.7 per square foot in monthly management fee. Image: HK Govt

    Why buyers at a Mui Wo housing project have reason to complain

    - May 9, 2018 12:23pm
    Taking a look at two subsidized housing projects in Mui Wo, one can’t escape the feeling that there’s something fishy going on.  They seemed affordable initially, but, as they say, the devil is in the details....

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