Hong Kong Daily News shuts down after 56 years

Hong Kong Daily News, a Chinese language newspaper, ceased publication as of Saturday.
Hong Kong Daily News website closes down

Statement on the Hong Kong Daily News website
After 50 years, the paper said that it had been losing money due to a change in reader habits and competition from free papers.
hong kong daily news closes
The Chai Wan-based newspaper was founded in 1959 and had a pro-Beijing stance. In 2013, it had a circulation of 70,000.

The mainlandisation of Hong Kong’s stock market

Hongkongers have much to complain about these days – mainlandisation of our schools’ curricula, mainlandisation of public spaces and leisure facilities, and most recently, even mainlandisation of street performances.
In recent months, however, another “takeover” has been happening right under our noses, but has largely gone unnoticed amid controversial electoral reforms grabbing the headlines. The Hong Kong stock market, a long-standing bellwether of the local economy, is rapidly taking on “Chinese characteristics”, and this trend bodes ill for the territory’s position as a reputable international financial hub.
hong kong photo

Some of Hong Kong’s biggest financial institutions dominate the city’s skyline. Photo: marcusuke
Last November witnessed the debut of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme, allowing Hong Kong residents to buy and sell shares in the domestic Chinese stock market, hitherto accessible only to mainland citizens, and a similar link to the Shenzhen bourse is expected to be under way. The integration, however, is two-way; the exchange linkage also allows mainland residents to trade shares listed in Hong Kong.
Lowering investment restrictions and broadening investment opportunities should ordinarily be welcomed by the financial community, but there are growing concerns in the industry about rising market volatility owing to increased mainland participation in the Hong Kong stock market.
In contrast to many developed countries, stock trading in China is dominated by retail investors rather than institutions and professional investors. A recent survey conducted by the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (西南財經大學) revealed that more than two-thirds of investors joining the stock market frenzy this past year had not attained a high school education, with six percent being outright illiterate.
Fully aware of the risk of sounding elitist, one has to admit that a disproportionate fraction of novice and under-informed investors is not a healthy situation. These inexperienced hands are prone to impulsive trading based on sentiment or even hearsay, fueling “herding” effects and exacerbating contagion when volatility spikes.
hkse stock exchange

The Hong Kong exchange trade lobby at the city’s stock exchange. Photo: Wikipedia.
With Hong Kong shares now within their reach, mainland investors’ bouts of irrational exuberance (spontaneous buying because of an auspicious ticker code?) and panic increases market risk for all participants. A widening Chinese footprint in the Hong Kong stock market is nothing new; Chinese companies already make up over 60 percent of the Hang Seng Index and have been at this level for years. Opening up the Hong Kong stock market to retail mainland investors, however, creates a disruptive negative externality that may ultimately have destabilizing effects.
In a mature capital market, prices of shares gravitate towards levels that equilibrate supply and demand, driven by investors rigorously researching their investments and analysing companies’ fundamentals. This “price discovery” role is greatly hampered when there are cadres of aunties and day-trading high school drop-outs from across the border punting their savings on penny stocks.
Crunching the numbers will reveal that, in terms of price volatility, mainland Chinese shares are currently among the riskiest in the world, second only to Greece, on par with Nigeria, Argentina, Venezuela, and Ukraine. Given the pace of mainland integration, Hong Kong won’t be far behind.

Chinese taxi app promotes operations in Hong Kong amid crackdown on Uber

A mainland China transportation firm similar to Uber has been promoting its services in Hong Kong amid a crackdown on illegal taxis in the city.
Kuaidi One is a transportation service company backed by Alibaba. It has been operating in Hong Kong since early July.
The firm has been compared to Uber as both companies were targeting customers who are seeking taxi rental services in Hong Kong.
Kuaidi One has been operating in Hong Kong since July. Photo: Kuaidi One.

Kuaidi One recently launched promotional campaigns at shopping malls in Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. New customers received HK$100 coupons.
Taxi drivers filed police reports alleging that Kuaidi One rental cars did not have third party risks insurance, according to a report in the Hong Kong Economic Times.
In February, its mother company Kuaidi Group merged with its main competitor in China, Didi Dache.
The group currently leads the Greater China’s car-service app industry in terms of market share and transaction volume, according to Kuaidi’s website.
Kuaidi One app and its services. Photo: Kuaidi One.

Kuaidi One app and its services. Photo: Kuaidi One.
Following the crackdown on hire car companies, the government released a statement on Friday saying that it is “open to applying technology to the transport area.” It also stated that such services “must comply with Hong Kong’s laws, to take care of passengers’ benefits and safety.”
Uber, a mobile car service app, was targeted by authorities earlier this week as police raided its office and took away three staffers and seven drivers.
GoGoVan driver pleaded guilty at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to driving/using a private car for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward, as well as driving without third party risks insurance.
By law, vehicles carrying passengers for hire must obtain a hire car permit from the government. Violation of the law may result in a fine of HK$5,000 and imprisonment of three months on the first conviction, and a fine of HK$10,000 and up to six months’ imprisonment on the second conviction.

Exclusive: Asia’s most expensive house – Jack Ma’s HK$1.5 billion new Peak home in pictures

Chinese internet mogul Jack Ma has reportedly purchased a home on the Peak for HK$1.5 billion, breaking Asia’s record for the most expensive home by square-foot.
The property at 22 Barker Road was built in 1949 and renovated in the early 2000s by deceased local architect Karl Shiu Ka-leung of the KLS Planners.
Hong Kong Free Press was granted exclusive access to pictures of the house before and after its makeover.
jack ma peak home

22 Barker Road before and after its renovation. Photo: KLS Planners
Ma, Alibaba’s founder, bought the house from Francis Yuen Tin-fan, former Hong Kong Stock Exchange CEO and his wife Rose Lee Wai-mun, Hang Seng Bank chief executive. Yuen was also a former PCCW deputy chairman.
Ma paid HK$150,000 per saleable square foot for the four-storey home, the second-highest amount for a residential property in the world after a property in Nice, France, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
jack ma peak home

22 Barker Road before and after its renovation. Photo: KLS Planners
The Yuens renovated the home when they bought it from the Belgian consul general in 2000.
The project, which transformed the historical house into a modern building, was architect and interior designer Shiu’s “proudest masterpiece”, said Shiu’s son Julian.
“My dad was talking about the project a lot and he took me to the house on the Peak a few times when I was little. He designed the interior as well, it was done in modern classic style. ”
jack ma peak home

22 Barker Road before and after its renovation. Photo: KLS Planners
The project took two to three years, the junior Shiu said, with building materials brought in from overseas and furniture tailor made.
The house has four ensuite rooms, three bathrooms and seven living rooms. With four big balconies across four storeys and a rooftop terrace, residents can enjoy a 220-degree view of the Victoria Harbour, Shiu said.
jack ma peak home

The sea view from 22 Barker Road. Photo: KLS Planners
Next to the house is a 20,000 square feet private garden, which includes a lawn and a small forest.
Shiu said his father applied traditional Chinese feng shui theories in designing the interior. The Yuens loved the furniture and made subtle changes to the interior in the 15 years they lived there, according to KLS Planners.
22 barker road

The house in 2011. Photo: Google Maps.
Pictures seen by HKFP showed the house was furnished in a blend of Chinese and western styles, sporting satin sofas, folding screens, black and white checkered floors and artfully rumpled ceiling-to-floor curtains.
The Yuen couple bought the property for HK$163.5 million in 2000, meaning they may have pocketed around HK$1.3 billion from the deal.
jack ma peak home

22 Barker Road after its renovation. Photo: KLS Planners
The top floor of the building was featured in Discovery Channel’s “Super Home” programme in 2006 when the couple rented it out to a banker.
jack ma peak home

Karl Shiu Ka-leung stands proudly in front of the house after its makeover. Photo: KLS Planners
Karl Shiu founded KLS Planners in 1999. His work was mainly in Hong Kong and mainland China. He died aged 58 in a tragic motorcycle crash in 2010.

Surprise gift ideas? 10 strange things you can buy from HKTV’s online shop

In case you wondered what the identical adverts that have taken over more than 3,000 billboards in all 51 MTR stations are about, they are part of an ambitious ad campaign by Hong Kong Television Network.
Despite a sharp decrease in audience and uncertainty of whether it will eventually secure a free-to-air TV license (the controversy sparked citywide protests in 2013), HKTV is expanding its business to e-commerce. Its online shop, HKTV Mall, offers a wide variety of items from around the world.
Here are 10 strange products we found:
1. An HK$999 cubic watermelon… for decoration only.
Grown in Kagawa prefecture in Japan, the cube-shaped watermelon is meant for display only as it is not ripe. The watermelon will gradually become round after a few months — or sooner if it is not stored indoors with air-conditioning.
2. “Godzilla Egg”, with a special wooden case for your memento. 
The oval watermelon is grown only on one farm in Hokkaido. It is not as big as one may imagine an egg of Godzilla would be (for comparison, the world’s heaviest watermelon weighs 159kg), but the price is certainly bewildering for a watermelon of an average weight.
3. Looking for romantic dinner ideas? Try this one-kilo (35 ounces) heart-shaped rib-eye steak.
The steak has received three positive reviews so far, all of which highlight its economical price. One reviewer wrote, “This is the second time I bought this item. The steak was thick, not too fatty nor lean, and the meat was fairly tender.”
4. An alternative to the HK$400k marriage proposal: A popup card, with a ring.
The card is made by hand in South Korea and can hold a ring of a diameter up to 20mm.
5. Never get to finish a box of condoms? You can now buy just ONE condom.
The Japanese manufacturer guarantees: “The condom is so thin and so perfect that you won’t even notice it’s there.”
6. Racist joke intended? “Cutie little black skin makes you feel like living in a jungle.”
The Chinese description of the condom, named Animal Black, says: “These rare black-coloured condoms will make you feel like you’re in a tropical rainforest.”
7. Finally! A pineapple that you can easily peel by hand.
The pineapple, from Okinawa, is smaller than average but has a very special taste, according to the vendor. “With a depth of sweetness and sourness, it will give you an unforgettable taste experience.”
This is how it works:
8. Just what every hiker in Hong Kong needs: A mosquito net to protect your face.
The headnet is rated 4.4 out of 5 on the website of outdoor retailer REI. Most reviewers were happy with it, but one warned, “The net is too small and it won’t cover your neck if you wear a hat. The model in the photo must have an unusually small head with a small hat.”
9. Enjoy the bees’ home.
The purest honey comes from the honeycomb, which is believed to have a multitude of health benefits. According to traditional Chinese beliefs, honeycomb is thought to help with digestion, pain relief and sleep quality, among other advantages.
10. The perfect garlic?
Cultivated in Kyoto, the black garlic is left to dry for more than a month in greenhouses of 60 degrees Celsius. This will reduce the strong scent of garlic and make the produce taste like dried fruit, according to the vendor.

Deregulation is Uber-disgusting! No to newcomers, innovators, modernisers and foreigners

Mr. Absolutely Ngo of the Shift Change Taxi Management Company, something of a toff in the taxi trade in that he changes his shirt daily , explained to me the Hong Kong government’s persecution of Uber quite clearly. “The licensed taxi system here is an antique business model which is in danger and must be preserved for future generations at all costs. Like prewar pawn shops and banyan trees, Hong Kong taxis are part of our local culture. We are failing to preserve the shops and the trees because there is no money in them. On the contrary, there is a lot of money outside them waiting for them to fall down and make space.
“There is a lot of money in taxis though, involving a small group of people who take part in the timeless ritual of making a bundle out Hong Kong government licensing and quotas. The symbols of this , our beloved red topped Toyotas, shimmering in their hundreds in the setting sun as they queue for gas along blocked roads, are under threat from cowboys who fill up whenever they feel like it and do not clock on and clock off all at the same time.’
hong kong taxi

Photo: Remix/Roger Price.
According to Mr. Ngo, there is no tradition of Hong Kong people having free market accessories like Uber scuttling around at their beck and call in an economy as stitched up as this one. ‘They don’t expect to get Tesco or Carrefour or Boots. Why the hell should they expect a situation where they can call a car at any time they like, with a driver who behaves like some sort of servant, takes them directly and exactly where they want to go – and no snot soiled tissues stuck down the side of the seat for them to stick their fingers in?”
‘How long have you lived here?’ he asked me. I told him quite a while. “Then this you’ll understand. People invest money in a service and receive returns out of all proportion to the people operating it and what the public gets from it. That is the Hong Kong model and the taxis are one of its proudest icons. Close to seven million for a taxi and licence, twenty thousand a month income from renting it, I’m not telling what I get for commission and fees, and $55 an hour average earning for the driver. They should teach it on MBA programmes. ”
uber police prison

“No to newcomers, innovators, modernisers and foreigners!”
He became almost teary as he told me of the treasures of the trade which Uber put under so much threat. “It is a valuable refuge for people with limited social skills and a robust indifference to their fellow men who want to move on from driving dumper trucks, fork-lifts and mortuary vans. It is a traditional opportunity for people already stressed from their day jobs, to carry passengers around at night, at speed, to pay off mounting personal debts. It requires no background checks, street knowledge or training and many older drivers still operate in the touching belief that the gas pedal is a stop-start button. This is what licensing is all about. Deregulation is disgusting! ”
He admitted that Hong Kong taxis do resemble those of other Asian cities in being unavailable or suddenly unaffordable at times when most needed, as in bad weather, after work, late at night or taking the Rottweiler to the vet. “But which other city,’ he asked, ‘has taxis in three colours, two of which cannot go to some areas and one of which can go to all of them but doesn’t want to? We are ‘Asian City in the World.’ That’s how it goes isn’t it?”
Frankie Yick, Liberal Party and transport ‘constituency’ member in Legco, is neither liberal nor greatly concerned with how people get around because he too is a keen one for prosecuting Uber drivers.
So intent is Liberal Yick on the finest detail of licensing and insurance, that people picking up friends from the airport and mothers collecting kids from school had better watch their tricky steps. Another misnomer in the Uber purge and ever wetter than a washed lettuce, is Invest Hong Kong, which suddenly pulled its once noisy support from the firm when Yick, Absolutely’s clients and the Commissioner of Police –not much improvement there- discovered that Uber was a criminal gang causing a nuisance.
‘Invest Hong Kong’ should be shaken out until it realizes what it represents and rebrands itself to ‘inVest Hong Kong’. This administration will go down in history or for five minutes at least as the ‘Vested Government’. It represents the political, commercial, social, sexual, dietary, sartorial and pigeon-fancying vested interests of the day. Newcomers, innovators, modernisers and even plain foreigners should note the Uber persecution. It sets the tone nicely.


本書分為四大篇幅的文章之中,主角不下數十,魯迅、金庸、倪匡、李小龍、周潤發、亦舒……都是恒久不衰的名字。「飛雪連天射白鹿」時至今日仍是學生熱門小說,打着Bruce Lee名號的影像作品推陳出新,發哥早前上映的《賭城風雲2》更賣個滿堂紅。他們不但讓港人吃了一遍又一遍的文化大補藥,而且北至神州、南至婆羅洲,都被這股港產力量征服。乃至演藝聖地荷里活,都刻上了香港的名字,足見其超然地位無可動搖。
作者本身為《蘋果日報》專欄常客, 其政治立場明顯不過,本書亦有部分章節可看到他對這個社會的激情。今時今日的香港,無時無刻都被種種問題纏繞,的確讓人有點吃不消。然而,這是一本讓你重新回味香港文化,勾起你我的回憶,甚至跟上、下一代打通隔膜的好工具,如果看到一些跟自己不同的見解,大可以平常心面對,甚至手指一動,直接翻到下一頁就好了。熱愛這片土地,熱愛本地文化的香港人,又怎能因為一個小問題,而錯過了加深對本土演藝、出版業界認識的機會?


那就不妨看看長命百歲有何奧秘。據《赫芬頓郵報》報道,美國老年細胞學家茲格利尼茨基(Thomas von Zglinicki)指出:百歲以上的人與眾不同,他們的衰老往往相對緩慢,他們更能在更長時間裏不生病。
而美國另一老年醫學專家戈斯蒂奇(Cheri Gostic)則指出,長命百歲的關鍵在於控制炎症(inflammation),人類要是能好好控制身體炎症,可減少患病風險。
參與此項研究的夏威夷大學教授威爾考斯(Bradley Willcox)有此說法:身高在5呎2吋以下的男性壽命最長,而個子愈高,則壽命愈短──儘管此項調查的結果並沒有絕對性,但至少可提供身高與壽命之間關係的證據;威爾考斯又指出,此項研究已首次表明,男性身高與FOXO3基因有關。

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