24 January 2018

Ben Kwok

EJ Insight writer
  • The Blueprint co-working space offers a host of facilities including a bar and café. Photo: Swire Properties

    How Swire doubled the membership fee at a co-working space

    - Oct 18, 2017 11:59am
    Name a business that can charge customers double the previous price even though new competitors are entering the fray almost every day. Property? Sure. Small units? Bingo. Let’s talk about Swire Properties, which has relaunched its...
  • Regina Leung has graciously accepted a new term as president of the Hong Kong Girl Guides Association. Photo: HKEJ

    Regina Leung beats husband CY in winning second term

    - Oct 17, 2017 12:37pm
    Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying had wanted a second term and fought mightily hard for it, but in the absence of an endorsement from Beijing, he later decided not to push through with his plans, citing...
  • An abalone dinner may be fit for a king, but there are a lot of cheaper and healthier alternatives. Photo. YouTube

    Tycoons doing well, but not their favorite eateries

    - Oct 16, 2017 3:58pm
    Most, if not all, business tycoons (富豪, Fu Ho) in Hong Kong are having a bountiful year this year, but that’s not the case with one restaurant many of them enjoy visiting. After 21 years of...
  • Michael Ying Lee-yuen has transferred all his 211 million shares in Esprit to daughters Eileen and Claudine Lauren. Photo: Reuters/Internet

    Ex-Esprit chairman transfers HK$900 mln shares to two daughters

    - Oct 13, 2017 2:56pm
    He once was the chairman and chief executive of blue-chip fashion group Esprit Holdings (00330.HK), but he cashed out when its share price was near the peak. He is married to arguably the most beautiful actress...
  • MTR Corp., an 80 percent government-owned entity, has been driving up transport costs. Meanwhile, the government has no plans to privatize the rail operator. Photo: HKEJ

    Give us democracy, not HK$300

    - Oct 12, 2017 3:23pm
    It is funny how much a small transport subsidy won big for Carrie Lam in her maiden policy address. The government proposal to rebate as much as HK$300 for travelers using public transport managed to distract...
  • Diners will love the food and service at Hai Di Lao, but the music may not be such a great aid to appetite and digestion. Photo: Bloomberg

    Hai Di Lao: Good food, bad music

    - Oct 11, 2017 12:36pm
    The name is all over Facebook, and at Google, it is on the list of the most searched words for the month. Welcome to Hai Di Lao Hotpot (海底撈), the famous Sichuan-style hotpot restaurant which opened...
  • As Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, you'd have more chances of winning if you bought Zhing An Insurance shares than if you bet on Mark Six. Photo: CNSA

    What makes this year’s Moon Festival a truly happy one?

    - Sep 28, 2017 12:12pm
    Macau may be the casino capital of the world, but when it comes to lotteries in this part of the world, Hong Kong is tops. We are not talking about Mark Six and its HK$80 million...
  • ‘Sandwiched’ between cheaper earlier models and the more advanced upcoming iPhone X, Apple’s iPhone 8 devices have met with muted response from consumers. Photo: Reuters

    iPhone 8 makes tepid debut. Should we be surprised?

    - Sep 25, 2017 3:23pm
    Do not go in with preconceived notions or take anything for granted when it comes to assessing the prospects of high-tech products in Hong Kong. The first sign I saw upon entering Sin Tat Plaza, the...
  • Living in Shenzhen has distinct advantages but it makes sense only if you're willing to cross the border every day. Photo: Bloomberg

    Container home or cheap Shenzhen flat? Your choice

    - Sep 22, 2017 12:27pm
    Social housing? Container home? Super-low down payment? Ahead of Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in three weeks, Hong Kong  developers are rushing to come up with a creative solution to the age-old housing shortage. Among...
  • WhatsApp was down on July 17, then another outage occurred on Aug. 18, and the latest came on Sept. 19. Photo: Reuters

    What’s up in China? WhatsApp down for third time in three months

    - Sep 21, 2017 12:08pm
    We are not sure if this is the new normal, but it is definitely not a very welcome development for many people in mainland China, especially the expatriates. The popular instant messaging system WhatsApp is down...
  • David Beckham says his family is the main force that keeps him fit because he wants to be a role model for his four children. Photo: Reuters

    Learn it from Beckham

    - Sep 20, 2017 1:36pm
    After his colourful football career, David Beckham discovered a way to extend his legacy by promoting his own fashion brand and charities. Most recently, he has been promoting health. The new global ambassador of AIA Group...
  • The appointment of Henry Tang (above) appeared to be a win-win solution for all, and no doubt it was a political deal that Chief Executive Carrie Lam wanted to orchestrate. Photo: HKEJ

    How Henry Tang emerged from years in the wilderness

    - Sep 19, 2017 11:43am
    It is said that the best chairman of the troubled West Kowloon Cultural District Authority did not stay long enough, but then he is not available for another four years. We are talking about Rafael Hui,...
  • MTR Corp will strive to boost its European business as part of the rail operator’s growth strategy, says Chairman Frederick Ma. Photo: Bloomberg

    Why Europeans should be wary of ‘Goldilocks’ MTR

    - Sep 18, 2017 1:57pm
    MTR Corporation, Hong Kong’s commuter rail operator, feels it should be making a lot more money, given its strengths and solid track record. Last week, Chairman Frederick Ma Si-hang organized a media tour to London and...
  • Alibaba's Jack Ma is cashing in on a spurt in the company's share price this year. Photo: Reuters

    As a tycoon trio offload shares, is it time for us to cash out?

    - Sep 15, 2017 6:47pm
    How do you capitalize on a bull market run that lasts for nine months? Sell in fall! Well, this is what three mainland tycoons — interestingly, all of them bearing the surname Ma — have set...
  • Gary Chan (above) mistakenly put fellow legislator Paul Tse Wai-chun’s name on a petition, along with 38 other pro-Beijing lawmakers, after Tse had told him he would pass. Photo: RTHK

    No pass in English for Gary Chan

    - Sep 14, 2017 10:34am
    The last thing legislator Gary Chan Hak-kan wants to do is become an English teacher but he should probably consider writing a book for students and politicians about what to avoid when it comes to making...
  • After government service, (from left) John Tsang, Leung Chun-ying and Jasper Tsang manage to keep themselves busy by engaging in worthy endeavors. Photos: HKEJ/CNSA

    New careers for old politicians

    - Sep 12, 2017 12:22pm
    Politicians never retire, they just change gears. The Legislative Council’s former top honcho Jasper Tsang has joined the board of Beijing Tong Ren Tang Chinese Medicine as an independent non-executive director. In his first corporate role,...
  • At least on paper, a single tax will force marriageable individuals to get hitched, and therefore cut the demand for housing by half. Photo: Bloomberg

    How to solve the housing crisis: the 13th option

    - Sep 7, 2017 11:24am
    Among the many options Hong Kong is exploring to solve the housing shortage, here’s one that Chief Executive Carrie Lam is unlikely to seriously consider and mention in her first policy address: tax all singles. But...
  • Since it opened in late 2014, Hong Kong's Observation Wheel has been bogged down by poor attendance. Photo: Bloomberg

    Hong Kong doesn’t need a Hong Kong Eye

    - Sep 6, 2017 1:56pm
    Much of the controversy concerning the Observation Wheel at the Central harbourfront is focused on the deadlock between the old and new tenants of the site, which has led to a shutdown of the operation of...
  • Not too many people would want to invest in a haunted house, but those who did might realize that it's not such a bad idea after all. Illustration: Wikimedia

    There’s money to be made in a haunted house

    - Sep 4, 2017 2:00pm
    For most practical Hongkongers who are thinking of buying a home, nothing is scarier than a surge in property prices. So on the eve of the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Chinese Halloween, allow us to relate...
  • Pakhar, the second storm to hit Hong Kong, Macau and southern China in a week, led to severe disruptions in rail and air services in the region. Photo: Ben Kwok

    A through-train experience under typhoon No.8

    - Aug 28, 2017 5:42pm
    Given the warnings about tropical storm Pakhar, most people stayed put and remained indoors over the weekend, especially after seeing the destruction wrought by Typhoon Hato a few days earlier. Not me, however, as an offer...

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