Date
22 September 2019

Ko Tin-yau

Hong Kong Economic Journal columnist
  • China’s fast-food market continues to register double-digit growth. Photo: Bloomberg

    Chinese companies put western fast-food chains on the menu

    - Sep 6, 2016 5:45pm
    Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial has recently become a part owner of KFC in China. State-owned Beijing Capital Agribusiness Group is reportedly looking to acquire McDonald’s outlets in China, including Hong Kong. And Lenovo took over...
  • The European Commission's tax ruling against Apple was a topic of conversation on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou last week. Photo: Xinhua

    EC Apple tax ruling riling up Ireland’s friends

    - Sep 5, 2016 6:16pm
    The European Commission (EC) has ordered Apple to pay back Ireland up to 13 billion euros (US$14.52 billion) in taxes. The US Treasury warned that the move risks damaging “the important spirit of economic partnership between...
  • Local governments encouraged gas firms to invest in their cities, but after the pipeline networks have been completed, they no longer need to provide incentives to the gas companies. Photo: Xinhua

    Chinese gas stocks plunge as price cut looms

    - Sep 2, 2016 4:43pm
    The Hang Seng Index closed above 23,000 points for the first time in two weeks on Thursday, but the gas sector slumped nearly 10 percent. Beijing has issued a notice asking local governments to cut the retail...
  • Henry Cheng, Xu Jianyin and Zhang Songqiao appear to be moving in concert in relation to acquisition of shares in Chinese property developer Vanke. Photo: HKEJ

    The Big Dee club members and Vanke

    - Sep 2, 2016 12:36pm
    Almost three decades ago, four Hong Kong billionaires joined hands in accumulating significant stake in leading property developer Hong Kong Land and eventually walking away with handsome profit. A similar thing is happening now as a...
  • Swimmer Michael Phelps is one of the biggest fans of the ancient Chinese therapy of cupping. Photo: Xinhua

    Chinese medicine getting more popular but China not the winner

    - Sep 1, 2016 11:43am
    Those who watched the recently concluded Rio Olympics must have noticed the dark red spots on the shoulders and backs of swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Chris Brooks. Those red circles were signs that the US athletes had...
  • Chinese author Hao Jingfang, 32, won the Hugo Award for her work Folding Beijing. Photo: CRI

    Award-winning sci-fi book reflects class divide in Beijing

    - Aug 31, 2016 11:28am
    Chinese author Hao Jingfang’s work Folding Beijing has won the Hugo Award for best novelette. In her futuristic book, Hao depicts Beijing as a city divided into three physical layers, each occupied by a different socio-economic...
  • Having pets instead of raising kids has become a global phenomenon. Photo: AFP

    China seen surpassing US as world’s largest pet market soon

    - Aug 30, 2016 3:34pm
    Major economies including China, Japan, the United States and Europe are trying to boost domestic consumption to restore growth, but the problem is that consumers are reluctant to spend money. One exception to this trend is the...
  • Audrey Tang is expected to bring new energy and diversity to the president's team. Photo: booksandideas.net

    Taiwan’s new digital minister: young, talented, transgender

    - Aug 29, 2016 10:12am
    Audrey Tang, 35, will join Taiwan’s cabinet as a minister without portfolio in October. The self-taught programmer and self-described “civic hacker” has been named an executive councilor to help the government in formulating its digital policies....
  • The Hang Seng Index closed down 41 points at 4 p.m. on Aug. 23, but staged a U-turn during the closing auction and eventually ended with a gain of one point. Photo: HKEJ

    Closing auction session: does it work?

    - Aug 26, 2016 10:21am
    The Hong Kong stock exchange reintroduced the closing auction session a month ago, and it’s about time we took a look to see if it’s working properly. The closing auction session was first launched in 2008,...
  • Liu Zichen (L), also known as ‘Snake spirit boy’, and Lee Hee Danae (R), ‘Snake spirit’, are among the Meitu users. Photos: Weibo

    Why investors should be cautious toward Meitu IPO

    - Aug 24, 2016 10:05am
    Chinese photo app developer Meitu plans to raise up to US$1 billion in a listing on the Hong Kong exchange. The company is valued at over US$5 billion and is regarded as the biggest internet IPO...
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan tries the city's Night Tube. Photo: CNN

    Should MTR offer 24-hour services like London?

    - Aug 23, 2016 10:36am
    From proposal to reality, it took London about two decades to make Night Tube service happen. Now, the Tube will run 24 hours a day on Fridays and Saturdays. Currently, New York is the only city...
  • “It doesn’t go that the more you pay, the more patriotic you are,” Apple's Tim Cook said recently, hitting back at critics of his firm's tax strategy. Photo: CNET

    Tim Cook fights for US corporate tax reform

    - Aug 22, 2016 11:17am
    Wealth inequality has been widening since the world embraced globalization in the 80s. The situation became worse after the financial crisis in 2008 prompted worldwide monetary easing. In his book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, French...
  • Huawei sold 8.4 percent more smartphones in the second quarter compared to a year earlier, but some other Chinese brands have slipped. Photo: notebookitalia.com

    China smartphone makers face challenges

    - Aug 19, 2016 10:07am
    The smartphone industry has seen significant shift in market shares, particularly among the Chinese brands. Globally, Samsung has kept the top spot and Apple is still the runner up. But Xiaomi, which was earlier in the...
  • Through the aggressive use of loans, Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin has built the company to become the country's second largest developer within just a decade. Photo: Bloomberg

    Evergrande: Too big to fail?

    - Aug 18, 2016 1:50pm
    Evergrande Real Estate Group (03333.HK) has wowed the market recently with its purchase of a stake in bigger rival Vanke Co. (02202.HK, 000002.CN). So far Evergrande has spent 20.8 billion yuan (US$3.14 billion) and has built...
  • If China can make real progress in slashing its overcapacity, the economy may pick up steam again in one or two years. Photo: Bloomberg

    When will China economy bottom out?

    - Aug 17, 2016 11:00am
    China’s economic growth has started to slow down markedly since 2012. And the long-awaited bottoming sign has proved illusive over the past few years. According to a new forecast made in a China Daily article, the...
  • Taikang can help Sotheby’s grow in China while Sotheby’s strong brand and credibility in the global auction market will help the Chinese company expand overseas. Photo: Sotheby’s

    Sotheby’s new biggest shareholder from China

    - Aug 16, 2016 10:38am
    What can HK$1.8 billion buy? Maybe several large diamonds, a couple of rare paintings in Sotheby’s auctions, or a stake in the world’s top auction house itself, which is what mainland insurer Taikang Life Insurance Co...
  • With over 100 brands, P&G is the world's largest advertiser, using a mix of traditional as well as digital media. Image credit: gurufocus

    What’s behind P&G’s cutback on targeted Facebook ads?

    - Aug 15, 2016 10:51am
    Facebook has dominated the social network world with its 1.6 billion users. However, the world’s biggest advertiser, Procter & Gamble, said recently that it will scale back ads on Facebook that target specific consumers, and consider...
  • With strong sales income in excess of 180 billion yuan in the first seven months, Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin no doubt has lots of ammunition to back his purchase of Vanke shares, or even acquire the rival. Photo: Reuters

    Stake purchase sparks sudden revival of China property plays

    - Aug 12, 2016 11:03am
    For years, mainland property stocks have been avoided or underweighted by institutional investors, who believe China’s home market bubble is about to burst. Most stocks in the sector have slumped below their net asset value, and...
  • Acquiring Jet.com may help Walmart challenge Amazon, but it’s going to cost handsomely if the retail giant backs the online retailer's cut-throat pricing strategy. Photo: Bloomberg

    Can acquiring Jet.com help Walmart win battle against Amazon?

    - Aug 11, 2016 1:40pm
    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett once described the supermarket business as a non-starter. The logic is that even if a supermarket gains lots of customers, a rival can always appear out of nowhere and take the business...
  • Paul Pogba will be paid over 17 million euros annually under a five-year contract. Photo:101greatgoals

    Why Manchester United paid 130 mln euros for Paul Pogba

    - Aug 10, 2016 11:50am
    What can you do with HK$1.1 billion? You can snap up a small company listed on the main board of the Hong Kong stock exchange, purchase more than 100 medium-sized flats at Taikoo Shing, or, in...