18 September 2019

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • A buyout of Bitauto will allow Tencent to boost its holding in the online automobile retail platform Yixin Group indirectly. Photo: Reuters

    What’s driving Tencent’s privatization bid for Bitauto?

    - Sep 17, 2019 3:11pm
    Crisis brings opportunity. Many years ago, investors learnt a painful lesson after betting heavily on the so-called new economy stocks that subsequently proved toxic amid a sharp slide in the post-IPO performance. Now, the game seems...
  • People gather around lanterns and installations at Victoria Park on eve of the Mid-Autumn Festival. While Hongkongers celebrate the festival, the overall mood is somber following the recent events in the city. Photo: Reuters

    A Moon Festival to remember

    - Sep 13, 2019 3:11pm
    About 700 years ago, the Chinese used mooncakes to spread revolutionary messages, using the Mid-Autumn Festival to create special pastries that served a hidden purpose. Well, we are now in our own “revolution of our times”,...
  • Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing CEO Charles Li has made a daring move, but he admits he came in a bit late. Photo: Bloomberg

    HK-British corporate takeover drama: money can’t buy you love?

    - Sep 12, 2019 10:37am
    If Wednesday’s surprise announcement by the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx, 00388.HK) of its proposal to acquire the London Stock Exchange (LSE) were a drama, would it be a comedy or a tragedy? Well, some...
  • The turmoil has already lasted longer than the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the Occupy protests in 2014, and the impact on business is worse. Photo: Reuters

    How to lift your mood in these times of uncertainty

    - Sep 11, 2019 12:37pm
    Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with my smartphone. For over two months now, my handset has rarely rung. I’ve even started taking calls from those with phone numbers starting with “3” – usually...
  • Executive Council member Fanny Law claimed that some of the young girls in the anti-extradition bill movement have been misled to give free sex to frontline protesters. Photo: Reuters/HKEJ

    What Fanny Law should learn about the youth from our tycoons

    - Sep 10, 2019 1:34pm
    The past three months of protests have put Hong Kong youth in the spotlight, and our political views often determine how we perceive them. For many of those who agree with what they are fighting for,...
  • People watch a protest from a shop in Central on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

    Some HK hotels now offer cheapest rates in Greater Bay Area

    - Sep 9, 2019 12:42pm
    A room at a four-star hotel near Victoria Park is now cheaper than similar accommodation in Zhongshan or Zhuhai, and you can walk into a Michelin-rated restaurant without any booking, especially on a Sunday. Another sign of...
  • People take an escalator next to posters and sticker notes supporting the anti-government protest movement near the Central Government Offices in Admiralty on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

    Back to the futures for Hong Kong traders

    - Sep 6, 2019 12:45pm
    “Hong Kong has no future and no option.” This was the running joke among brokers on Thursday after the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (00388.HK) suspended derivatives trading for the first time in its history. Not a...
  • Australian neobank Xinja offers employees unlimited annual leave, free meals and no dress code on top of stock options. Photo: Xinja

    Perks HK startups might want to consider for young people

    - Sep 4, 2019 12:04pm
    With a political crisis gripping Hong Kong society at the moment, it might not be a good time to talk about job perks for young people, many of whom are preoccupied with battling police in the...
  • Following a leaked audio recording which shows Carrie Lam saying that she would resign if she had a choice, will Beijing rethink its options and allow her to go? Photo: Reuters

    Who can replace Carrie Lam?

    - Sep 3, 2019 2:04pm
    Spare a thought for Carrie Lam, who has said that she would quit if she had a choice. The embattled CE has admitted to causing “unforgivable havoc” in Hong Kong with her extradition bill misadventure, as...
  • Alibaba's Jack Ma has once again spoken about the growing role that women will play in businesses in future. Photo: Bloomberg

    Meet ‘Jackie Ma’ of Alibaba

    - Aug 29, 2019 12:26pm
    If there is something Alibaba’s outgoing chairman Jack Ma wants different in his next life, it is about changing his gender. Speaking at the Global Conference on Women and Entrepreneurship in Hangzhou on Wednesday, Ma said he hopes...
  • Chief Executive Carrie Lam has not ruled out the possibility of invoking emergency powers to address the growing unrest. Photo: Reuters

    Martial law and Carrie Lam’s seven

    - Aug 28, 2019 12:04pm
    Seven is not exactly a lucky number for Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor. According to the latest Public Opinion Program survey of the Public Opinion Research Institute, 77 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied with...
  • Longfor chairwoman Wu Yajun promised to look into the property owner's complaint. Photo: HKEJ

    Changsha protest finds its way into Hong Kong

    - Aug 27, 2019 12:17pm
    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...
  • Protesters take cover from tear gas during clashes with police in Tsuen Wan on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

    Jet lag in the summer of ‘white terror’

    - Aug 26, 2019 12:04pm
    I hate having jet lag. Once I had it, I couldn’t sleep properly for nearly a month. But I hate even more what is happening in Hong Kong now because I and a lot of other...
  • The Lennon Wall is a symbol of the people's protest against the erosion of our freedoms. Photo: Bloomberg

    The spirit of Lennon Wall never dies

    - Aug 20, 2019 12:54pm
    I was shocked beyond words at what happened this morning in my neighborhood of Tseung Kwan O.  According to initial reports, a man in his forties attacked three people with a meat chopper after arguing with them...
  • Pro-democracy and pro-Beijing demonstrators hold rallies at the Broadway-City Hall SkyTrain Station in Vancouver on Saturday. Photo: AFP

    Red versus black: HK protests in Canada

    - Aug 19, 2019 2:29pm
    Thank God, the mass protest in Hong Kong on Sunday was a peaceful one as police kept their distance from the demonstrators. In Canada, meanwhile, pro-democracy demonstrators and Beijing sympathizers were just a heartbeat away from actual fisticuffs...
  • China Mobile chairman Yang Jie said a laser pen is not an offensive weapon per se; it depends on how one uses it. Photo: HKEJ/Reuters

    China Mobile gift sheds light on laser pen row

    - Aug 9, 2019 12:33pm
    You gotta love China Mobile (00941.HK): it really knows how to cheer up local media. The state-owned telecoms operator on Thursday gifted each reporter attending its interim results announcement with a laser pen.  Of course, it...
  • John Flint said "the good interim results indicate that this is the right time for change, both for me and the bank". Photo: AFP/Bloomberg

    One strike and you’re out

    - Aug 5, 2019 12:29pm
    On the day a historic general strike is happening in Hong Kong, HSBC (00005.HK), one of the city’s leading banks, announced the resignation of its chief executive, John Flint, only 18 months after he took up...
  • Prospective buyers queue up during a sales event at the T Plus project in Tuen Mun earlier this month. Demand for tiny housing units has been soaring, but market experts warn that there is a potential downside as well. Photo: HKEJ

    Should you buy a nano flat?

    - Jul 31, 2019 2:39pm
    If you are a bread master, what would you do if you have limited flour but many customers? The answer: make the bread rolls smaller – and sell them faster. Now substitute the bread with homes,...
  • Demonstrators charge with a cart filled with burning cardboard during a clash with police in Sheung Wan on Sunday. Photo: Reuters

    Amid all the tumult

    - Jul 30, 2019 12:06pm
    Despite what doomsayers say, the local market appears to be taking the current political turmoil in stride. Fifty days after the mammoth rally against the extradition bill on June 9, one can say that the Hang...
  • Following the violence unleashed by white-clad thugs in Yuen Long last Sunday, the New Territories town is bracing for further potential trouble. Photo: Reuters

    What to expect in Yuen Long this weekend

    - Jul 25, 2019 4:36pm
    Like most locals, I never had any worries about personal safety nor hesitated to travel anywhere — and at any time — within Hong Kong as I firmly believed the city was one of the safest...