20 August 2017

Ko Tin-yau

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist
  • Wong Lo Kat and Jiaduobao herbal tea use identical packaging, featuring red cans with gold lettering. Photo: yahoo

    China ruling on tea packaging row will worry foreign firms

    - Aug 18, 2017 11:53am
    China’s top court ruled on Wednesday that JDB (China) Drink Company and Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings (00874.HK) can continue to use similar packaging for their herbal tea beverage products. Both companies “had made contributions to promoting...
  • Having achieved a strong earnings recovery in recent years, Fiat Chrysler is in a strong position to negotiate with potential bidders. Photo: Bloomberg

    Acquiring Fiat Chrysler won’t be a cinch for Chinese carmakers

    - Aug 17, 2017 2:08pm
    Several Chinese automakers are reportedly interested in acquiring Italian-American company Fiat Chrysler. Great Wall Motor (02333.HK), Guangzhou Automobile Group (02238.HK) and Dongfeng Motor Group (00489.HK) are said to be some of the potential bidders. They are...
  • Shenzhen-based DJI was the first to successfully turn drones into mass-market products. Photo: DJI

    Chinese drone maker DJI faces a sudden obstacle

    - Aug 16, 2017 1:04pm
    Chinese drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co. is the undisputable leader in the field, having captured 60 percent of the global market. The Shenzhen-based firm’s founder is Wang Tao, also known as Frank Wang. Born in...
  • Open floor plans at Apple's new "spaceship" headquarters complex are said to be causing unhappiness among some staff. Photo:

    Why Apple’s new campus has upset some employees

    - Aug 15, 2017 10:21am
    More than 12,000 Apple employees are moving into the company’s new US$5 billion headquarters complex in Cupertino, California. The six-year development, completed in April this year, was one of the final projects dreamed up by the...
  • Intensive games like King of Glory and easy-to-play games like Stupid Again 2 represent two very different business models in the mobile gaming sector. Photo:

    How a low-profile game became the most popular free download app

    - Aug 14, 2017 10:50am
    Tencent’s share price has continued to set fresh record highs, thanks to its highly profitable mobile game King of Glory. However, its Stupid Again 2 has replaced King of Glory as the most popular free download in...
  • Some customers were upset when they found out they could not just pay with cash but must download an app to order and pay online inside Alibaba’s Hema stores. Photo: Shoplink

    Alibaba’s cash-free policy at Hema meets consumer resistance

    - Aug 11, 2017 10:17am
    E-payment continues to gain traction in China and Alibaba’s Alipay has been one of the most aggressive promoters of the cash-free trend. But recently, its Hema Xiansheng stores have drawn complaints from customers who prefer to...
  • By 2022, 45 percent of McDonald's outlets will be located in third and fourth-tier cities. Photo:

    Should McDonald‘s change its China menu?

    - Aug 10, 2017 10:48am
    Fast-food giant McDonald’s has announced an ambitious plan to add 2,000 restaurants in China over the next five years, mostly in third and fourth-tier cities. That would almost double the number of its existing outlets in...
  • Regulatory technology is seen lagging far behind the development of financial technology. Photo: Maxxelli

    China sets up centralized clearing platform for online payments

    - Aug 9, 2017 11:20am
    China’s central bank has set up a clearing house for online payment services. The new platform, Nets Union Clearing Corp., will launch next year. All online payment services will route their transactions via the new platform....
  • Huawei’s Honor Magic phones can recognize the handset owner’s face and lock in certain data when other people try to use the phone. Photo: Sohu

    AI handset that keeps your secrets safe triggers data fight

    - Aug 8, 2017 10:25am
    Shenzhen-based Iflytek (002230.CN) is not a household name yet, but MIT ranked it as the sixth smartest company in its world’s 50 smartest companies list released in June, behind global titans like Amazon (No. 3) and...
  • Hangzhou is one of the 12 cities chosen for the pilot rental reform program. Photo: World Enterpreneurship Forum

    Can rental reform cool home prices in China?

    - Aug 7, 2017 1:37pm
    Chinese authorities have unveiled a pilot rental reform program in a bid to tame skyrocketing home prices. Twelve cities, including Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou, have been chosen for the pilot scheme. Under the scheme, tenants...
  • Neymar will be paid the equivalent of HK$1 million a day by Paris Saint-Germain, more than five times his current salary. Reuters

    Qatar’s 220 million-euro splash on Neymar may not be smart move

    - Aug 4, 2017 9:37am
    The world transfer market has just set a new record, with Paris Saint-Germain reportedly paying 220 million euros for Barcelona forward Neymar. It is more than double the current world record fee of 89 million pounds...
  • Hong Kong has more than 350,000 foreign domestic helpers while China has a shortage of about 10 million live-in nannies. Photo: HKEJ

    Why China badly needs good nannies

    - Aug 3, 2017 11:21am
    China is considering a plan to import domestic helpers from the Philippines to five big cities, and offer them up to 13,000 yuan, or about HK$15,000 per month, according to the Philippine Star newspaper. Although the...
  • Lam Wai-chun, founder of 759 Store, has reduced the number of his outlets to around 240, from more than 280 in 2015. Photo: HKEJ

    Can snack food retailer 759 Store overcome the crisis?

    - Aug 2, 2017 11:21am
    Once considered a miracle in the retail industry, CEC International Holdings (00759.HK) was able to carve a niche in the market despite the intense competition by focusing on Japanese snacks. Sadly, its success didn’t last very...
  • Despite bullish cash projections, Sunac China’s Sun Hongbin embarked on a share placement last week to sell 220 million shares at HK$18.33 in a top-up placement. Photo: Now

    Why are Chinese property developers flocking to place shares?

    - Aug 1, 2017 9:04am
    Despite brisk sales and expectations of strong cash inflows, numerous Chinese property developers have recently decided to raise fresh funds through share placements. Five recent deals involving four companies share two common features — new shares were...
  • Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos briefly became the world’s richest person last week. Photo: Bloomberg

    The curse of the richest

    - Jul 31, 2017 10:06am
    Becoming the richest person in China is sometimes said to be a curse. Since property and entertainment tycoon Wang Jianlin was named the richest Chinese this year by Forbes, he appears to have been mired in...
  • China's crackdown on illegal VPN networks is expected to boost the business of authorized service providers. Photo: Bloomberg

    Who will benefit from China’s VPN crackdown?

    - Jul 28, 2017 12:24pm
    Chinese authorities have launched a crackdown on unauthorized virtual private networks (VPNs) in a bid to prevent people from accessing blocked internet sites and bypass online censorship. It is estimated that around 200 million, or 27...
  • The cross-border rail link may encourage more rich mainlanders to settle their spouses and children in Hong Kong, and this may exert great impact on Hong Kong’s housing market. Photo: Reuters

    High-speed rail link may attract more mainlanders to Hong Kong

    - Jul 27, 2017 9:39am
    Hong Kong’s Executive Council has approved the joint checkpoint proposal for the Express Rail Link. The cross-border railway system is expected to start operating in the third quarter of next year. The Hong Kong government has...
  • Dalian Wanda founder Wang Jianlin said his company will focus on the domestic market and countries along the Belt and Road routes. Photo: Reuters

    China’s overseas buying spree coming to an end

    - Jul 26, 2017 9:23am
    Chinese companies have been on a foreign buying spree in recent years, inflating the prices of hotels, consumer brands, entertainment companies, sports clubs and other assets. However, the nation’s overseas acquisition streak seems to be coming...
  • It’s estimated that around 200 million out of China's more than 730 million netizens have used VPN to access foreign websites. Photo:

    China beefs up Great Firewall with VPN crackdown

    - Jul 25, 2017 9:42am
    Chinese authorities have blocked access to Virtual Private Networks (VPN) since July 22, taking aim at people who try to get around online censorship. Web users who had violated the rules have seen internet access being...
  • Eslite's business model transformed the traditional bookshop into a lifestyle emporium. Photo: Eslite

    The legacy of Eslite founder Robert Wu

    - Jul 21, 2017 10:55am
    Robert Wu Ching-yu, founder of Taiwan’s famed Elite Bookstore, died of heart failure on Tuesday night. Wu created a new business model for the struggling bookshop business and his company, once suffering from chronic losses, is...

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