27 January 2020

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • 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 Since June, when protests against the now-withdrawn...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...
  • 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...