27 March 2017

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam won Sunday's election with 777 votes, a number that has some nasty connotations in Hong Kong. Photos: Reuters, Google

    Welcome aboard Carrie Lam’s 777!

    - Mar 27, 2017 1:11pm
    Call it fate. There was little doubt in Hong Kong and mainland China that Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the Beijing-backed candidate, would win Sunday’s election, breaking the glass ceiling by becoming the territory’s first female chief...
  • Lui Che-woo (inset) thinks owning a flat in Hong Kong is not an impossible dream -- at least for financial reporters. Photo: HKEJ

    Can a financial reporter afford a flat from tycoon Lui Che-woo?

    - Mar 22, 2017 12:18pm
    If it was a joke, it was a bad joke. Financial reporters posed a tough question to K Wah chairman Lui Che-woo: “How big a flat should a family of three live in when new homes...
  • Sandra Mak (second from left) has been a key strategist for Carrie Lam in the CE election campaign. The text alongside the picture shows some feedback from reporters on Lam's PR team. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook

    Carrie Lam needs all the help she can get after PR blunders

    - Mar 21, 2017 3:18pm
    If Carrie Lam wins Sunday’s CE election, she will have a lookalike assisting her for the next three months or so before she officially takes up her duties.  We are talking about Jessie Ting Yip Yin-mei,...
  • John Tsang mocked Carrie Lam (left) as having low popularity, low energy and low legitimacy. Tsang (inset) is surrounded by supporters during a campaign stop. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook/John Tsang

    Carrie Lam has the votes but not the hearts

    - Mar 20, 2017 1:28pm
    The debates are over but a tougher road lies ahead for Carrie Lam. With 90 percent of the questions directed at her in the second debate on Sunday night, Lam was able to recover from an early...
  • HNA Group has outlined ambitious plans for a large residential project in East Kowloon after snapping up four sites near the old Kai Tak airport. Photo: HKEJ

    The rise of HNA Group

    - Mar 16, 2017 4:09pm
    For HNA Group, the new star in Hong Kong’s property landscape, scoring a hat-trick is clearly not enough when it comes to bagging prime sites. How about a fourth win in less than five months?  Well,...
  • John Tsang poses for a picture with his campaign staff after a debate Tuesday with other CE contenders. Key aide Julian Law is on far right (in red circle). Photos: Facebook/John Tsang

    Meet the smart spin doctor of John Tsang

    - Mar 15, 2017 12:13pm
    If there’s one clear winner from last night’s debate between the chief executive hopefuls, it’s not any of the three contenders themselves but rather someone else. It’s Julian Law Wing-chung, the relatively young personal assistant of...
  • John Tsang and Chow Yun-fat catch up with each other at a tofu shop in Kowloon City (L). Meanwhile, actress Josephine Siao (R) has come out in support of Tsang's rival in the CE race, Carrie Lam (inset). Photos: Facebook/Carrie Lam

    John Tsang gets a booster from Chow Yun-fat and Johnny To

    - Mar 14, 2017 12:39pm
    If this is a Tic Tac Toe game, give chief executive contender John Tsang two crosses over his main rival, Carrie Lam. As momentum builds up for the March 26 election, Tsang appears to have scored...
  • Wharf chairman Stephen Ng (Inset), who also chairs i-Cable, has made it clear that the group won't pour in fresh money into the pay-TV business. Photos: HKEJ

    Why is Wharf acting tough on i-Cable?

    - Mar 13, 2017 12:02pm
    Want to see a billionaire turn into a millionaire? It’s easy — just get the tycoon to venture into the airlines or media business! Well, the old joke comes to mind when we hear the travails...
  • Kingwood Villa has seen some home prices double in five years, mirroring the overall market trend. As buying a flat becomes ever more difficult for young people, lawmaker Aron Kwok (R) has weighed in with some advice. Photos: HKEJ

    Starving — before getting a small home

    - Mar 8, 2017 1:46pm
    How long can you go without water and food? Well, most people would bet that they wouldn’t last more than three days without those basics. But guess what, if you can manage to do that for...
  • A rooftop with only a toilet rents for HK$1,500 a month. More than half of the units in Cullinan West (left) are studios of 267 square feet .
Photos: HKEJ, Facebook/元朗村屋討論區

    Living on rooftop with only a toilet

    - Mar 6, 2017 6:00am
    Amid surging home prices, perhaps what we must have is a toilet because we only need water to survive. In a city where new residential units in urban areas are selling at more than HK$20,000 per...
  • One of the suspects (inset) is escorted by policemen after the raid on Champagne Court. Dozens of units have been used as one-woman brothels. Photos: Google Maps,

    Triads make big bucks on Lee Shau-kee love nests

    - Mar 3, 2017 1:25pm
    Sex plus triads equals money. Big money. Or is this what we have seen in a 60-year-old building in the most robust area in Tsim Sha Tsui? This follows the high-profile arrest of two men and...
  • The financial secretary's residendce in Shouson Hill has played host to Sir John Cowperthwaite, Sir Philip Haddon-Cave and Paul Chan (insets, clockwise from top left). Photos: Wikipedia, GIS, HKEJ

    What Paul Chan can learn from Philip Haddon-Cave

    - Mar 1, 2017 12:01pm
    Apparently, Financial Secretary Paul Chan has not learned from his predecessor, Sir Philip Haddon-Cave, who is best known as the father of “positive non-interventionism”. At least Chan does not appreciate the wisdom of laissez-faire in the colonial...
  • Financial Secretary Paul Chan sees an urgent need to have his official residence in Shouson Hill renovated.
Photos: Wikipedia, HKEJ

    After tight budget, Paul Chan spends HK$2 mln on home renovation

    - Feb 27, 2017 12:29pm
    It just doesn’t seem right. He insists he’s spending people’s money in the right places, but the timing probably isn’t quite right. Fresh from his maiden budget speech, in which he stressed the need for fiscal...
  • Buyers of this Tesla model and other electric cars will now have to shoulder 80 percent of the tax payable. Photo: HKEJ

    Tesla falls victim to Paul Chan’s budget

    - Feb 23, 2017 2:49pm
    Former financial secretary Antony Leung used to love Lexus, but Paul Chan, the latest official to succeed him in the post, apparently has no regard for Tesla. That is perhaps why in his first (and possibly last) budget,...
  • Former US consul general Clifford Hart (inset) has been spotted at a Kwun Yum temple for a fourth straight year. Photos: Wikipedia, HKEJ, Facebook/GoFar

    Kwun Yum, not Paul Chan, spells prosperity

    - Feb 22, 2017 12:36pm
    It’s that time of year again when Hong Kong people hope for a little luck and a billion dollars in their bank accounts. That explains why hundreds of people have been lining up in different locations...
  • The food is great, and the service is excellent with complimentary manicure and shoehine for customers. Photos: Bloomberg, Open Rice, Haidilao

    New hot pot restaurant offers Four Seasons food and service

    - Feb 17, 2017 12:39pm
    There is something I’m looking forward to this hot summer: hotpot. You may be raising your eyebrows, wondering why I would like a hot and spicy stew in the middle of a sweltering season. Well, that’s because...
  • This post from Schick (inset) triggered A PR crisis. Schick quickly retracted it and apologized. Photos: Facebook/Schick

    How Schick got a close shave over police Facebook link

    - Feb 16, 2017 1:32pm
    There are clever marketing gimmicks and then there are “clever” marketing gimmicks. The difference, as in the case of Schick, is whether you want to please the critics of the police at the expense of their...
  • Valentine's Day has become a big-ticket event for many retailers in Hong Kong and China. Photo: CNSA

    Romance in the new age

    - Feb 15, 2017 3:31pm
    If Saint Valentine, the third-century Roman priest, were alive today, he would be surprised to find how popular the annual day of romance commemorated in his name is in this part of the world. This morning...
  • If Chinese women not getting enough dates are a problem, Chinese men not getting enough choices for marriage are a bigger problem. Photo: Reuters

    Is leasing Romeo for Juliet the new-economy way?

    - Feb 14, 2017 3:15pm
    Almost anything tangible can be shared in the peer-to-peer new economy. Now, what about love, especially on one-on-one Valentine’s Day? In what has been billed as a Couple’s Day (versus Singles’ Day on Nov. 11) event,...
  • A McDonald's outlet on Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay is leased for HK$844,000 a month. Photos: HKEJ, McDonald's (HK)

    McDonald’s is selling its Big Mac and eating it too

    - Feb 13, 2017 4:04pm
    In my Business Management 101 class, my professor said the most profitable items at McDonald’s are not burgers, but French fries. My dear professor was talking about the margin between cost and price, but he forgot...

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