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Health & Environment

Small companies find ESG compliance easier said than done

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: XIA Fan、ZHAO RuntongEdited by: Junzhe JIANG、Ji Youn Lee
  • 2024-03-23

Two years ago, Edmund Chan started a small company called Meat The Next which offers  plant protein products. He came up with the idea soon after his child was born because he wanted to protect the  environment for the next generation through sustainable development. “Sustainable development has the highest priority in our business,” Chan said. “We want to provide a solution to our customers and give them the platform to protect the environment.” Chan’s company develops  their leading products in  an environmental, social and corporate governance or ESG philosophy. That means they are mindful of the company's sustainability, including its effects on the environment and the broader society. According to the company’s website, the carbon emission in producing one kilogram of tiger nut milk is  less than 0.9 kg, far lower than the  3.2 kg in producing the same amount of cow’s milk. “Our society is becoming more concerned about our environment compared with the previous decade, and companies are embracing the idea of ESG as consumers are calling for more sustainable development,” said Davis Bookhart, Director of the Sustainability Office at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, A Hong Kong Consumer Council survey in 2023 found that 87% of consumers said they would be willing to pay an additional 5% or more for products or services that are environmentally friendly or sustainably produced. However, developing ESG is easier said than done for small to medium enterprises.  “The lack of talent is a major challenge for SMEs,” said Keith Chan, assistant professor of HKUST. “It will affect their ability to make their ideas financially feasible.” Edmund Chan said his company has  cooperated with experts from different fields, such as  product development, test and retailing. “If small businesses do things individually, it is like trying to speak up but …

Business

Investors bullish about Tencent’s stock after annual results released

  • By: Runqing LIEdited by: Subin JO
  • 2024-03-21

Chinese technology giant Tencent announced its annual report yesterday with revenues increased and a plan to double share buybacks, driving the stock’s price up. The listed company reported a 7% rise in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2023, to 155.2 billion yuan (about HK$ 142.9 billion) from a year earlier and its annual revenue surged 10% to 609 billion yuan (about HK$ 560.6 billion)from 2022. However, the net income during the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2023, dropped 75% from the same period in 2022 because there’s a high base from gains from the disposal of Meituan shares last year. Besides, the annual net income in 2023 declined 39% from 2022, according to the company’s report. The company decided to increase the dividend by 42% to HK$ 3.4 per share at the year-end, with its increased shares repurchasing scheme to over HK$ 100 billion this year. The stock’s opening price edged up by 2.2% to HK$ 295.2 per share from yesterday’s close, and it closed at HK$ 290 per share, which is up 0.4%. During 2023, four major segments, including value-added service (VAS), Online Advertising, FinTech and Business Services, and others, all achieved growth in revenue. For value-added services, which increased by 4%year-on-year to 298 billion yuan, international online gaming increased 14%to 53 billion yuan, and domestic online gaming increased by 2%to 126 billion yuan. “Several of our recent releases have performed well in terms of DAU(Daily Active User), and now are converting the DAU success to monetisation,” said Martin Lau, the president of Tencent, in the live streaming of the annual report. “We will contribute to long-term stability and growth of our game portfolio; having a large portfolio of major hits illustrates our ability to continuously develop new major hits and operate multiple highly popular games …

Society

Food and beverage stalls return to Hong Kong Flower Show 2024 after the pandemic

Hong Kong  Flower Show 2024, one of the biggest annual flower events in the city, has returned with full features after the pandemic of COVID-19. This year’s theme is Fairy Tales and it showcases a variety of flower exhibits from horticultural organizations from around the world.    

Society

Memorial exhibition of Jin Yong brings back the world of wuxia

“A Path to Glory - Jin Yong’s Centennial Memorial '', an exhibition celebrating the 100th birthday of the famous Hong Kong writer Jin Yong opened in Central on Friday, free to the public. Fans can immerse in the fictional narratives with sculptures, calligraphy, and augmented reality. 10 sculptures made of bronze or stainless steel featured in the exhibition held in Edinburgh Palace, worth a total of HK$100 million, are on loan without charge from their creator, mainland Chinese artist Ren Zhe. The exhibition will open until July 2. "Seeing these sculptures in person is more shocking than watching them on TV,"  said Joyce Cai, 63, who has read all the novels by Jin Yong. She came from Kwun Tong, which is an hour's drive away. “The expressions of these characters are so real.” Speaking at the opening ceremony on Friday, the centenary of Jin Yong’s birth, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said people worldwide are familiar with Jin Yong’s 15 novels which have become a “golden-plated signboard” for Hong Kong. Jin Yong, also known as Louis Cha, is a prominent Chinese martial arts novelist and writer, whose 15 volumes of works have been translated into 14 languages and whose books have sold more than 300 million copies, with 1,400 characters created. Zoey Siu, 55, a photographer, has read all of Jin Yong’s novels. “Jin Young’s novel is the collective memory of Hong Kong,” she said.”Once Jin Yong's works were published, the whole city seemed to be quieter at that time because everyone was reading his stories.” Siu was deeply impressed by Jin Yong’s style of writing and attracted by his psychological and detailed descriptions. "Many foreigners are able to read Chinese and history probably because they read Jin Yong novels," said Chong Tai-leung, 55, executive director of Chinese University of …

Society

Floral Joy Around Town: 2024 Hong Kong Flower Show

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: LI Sin Tung、MAO Anqi、James Ezekiel Kalaw MODESTOEdited by: James Ezekiel Kalaw MODESTO
  • 2024-03-18

Hong Kong welcomes the arrival of spring with the annual Hong Kong Flower Show as it returns to Victoria Park for a second straight year after a three-year halt due to Covid-19. This year’s theme is “Floral Joy Around Town,” with the Angelonia as the event’s chosen flower. Angelonia, also known as the “angel flower” and summer snapdragon, comes in various colours and is noted for its long flowering period, flourishing from Spring to Autumn. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department uses the Angelonia to symbolise Hong Kong’s ability to overcome adversity, adding that Hong Kong can always overcome difficulties and bloom with vigour like the theme flower. Around 229 organisations are participating in this year’s event, including several government departments and exhibitors from other countries. The event will be held from Mar. 15 to 24.

Business

Hong Kong hope to strengthen its position as the world’s leading air cargo hub

Hong Kong is likely to regain the world's busiest cargo airport, and passenger traffic at the airport is expected to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels this year, the Financial Secretary said on Tuesday at World Cargo Symposium. Three-runway system to be completed by the end of this year, will be able to handle 120 million passenger trips and more than 10 million tonnes of cargo annually in 2035, Paul Chan Mo-po said during the opening remarks of the World Cargo Symposium at the AsiaWorld-Expo. "Hong Kong is also cooperating with other cities in the Greater Bay Area to enable Hong Kong International Airport to fulfil its role as the logistics gateway of the Greater Bay Area and the world premier air cargo hub," he added. Later on Tuesday, Cathay Cargo and Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals were awarded the full environmental assessment certification at the symposium, becoming the first two air cargo terminals to receive the certification in Asia. The International Air Transport Association certification, is a comprehensive evaluation of companies' environmental sustainability management systems and their plans for continual performance improvement. “Having IATA environment certified facilities at Hong Kong International Airport strengthens Hong Kong’s position as the world’s leading air cargo hub and is reflective of the strong sustainability culture and vision of Hong Kong,” said Mark Watts in a press release, Cathay Cargo Terminal’s Chief Operating Officer. "Before the outbreak, the Hong Kong International Airport had more than 1,100 daily flights connecting to over 220 destinations,” Chan said. “At the end of last year, passenger throughput was back to 80 percent of pre-outbreak levels. According to the data, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport's total passenger throughput in 2023 reached 2 million tonnes, significantly ahead of Hong Kong's because of its fast recovery of domestic flights. "We have started to build …

Photo Essay

Lions and Dragons Dance again after four years silence

The 15th World Hong Kong Luminous Dragon and Lion Dance Championships returned to Hung Hom Stadium on Mar. 9, after a four year hiatus, gathering 11 lion teams and 8 luminous dragon teams. For the first time the luminous dragon performances took place during the day. “The windows were covered with black cloth and all the lights will be turned off to create a night effect,"said Gong Pui-wai, President of Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association. The championship is held every two years but was canceled in 2022 because of the pandemic.This year's championship includes teams from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao,Taiwan, and eight other countries and regions. The Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association sent nine referees and more than 50 volunteers to ensure the event went smoothly "Both lion dance and dragon dance are a test of teamwork," said Gong. "Holding such a championship represents Hong Kong's welcoming spirit of tolerance and unity. reflecting our respect for traditional Chinese culture,"he added.                                    

Society

VegCoffee Mix & Match Competition attracts non-vegetarian visitors to Vegetarian Food Asia

The 10th Vegetarian Food Asia held from Friday to Sunday featured the second VegCoffee Mix & Match Competition, with a combination of cafe culture and vegan culture which attracted many non-vegetarians. This year's competition highlighted a vegan and coffee theme, requiring competitors to make desserts and coffee within an hour. The organizer of this event, the Hong Kong Roasters and Coffee Commissioners Association, said this is the only live competition in Hong Kong where coffee and roasting are held at the same time. Lei Bui-dak, 45, chairman of the Vegan Coffee Creation Competition organizing committee, said they wanted to further promote vegan culture through the growing popularity of the cafe culture in Asia. "We wanted to explore how well vegan and cafe cultures could be integrated so that the vegan culture will become widely known as a lifestyle. We were happy to see that the competition did succeed in attracting many non-vegetarians who came because they were interested,” he said. “I came to this exhibition after seeing the Coffee Association's promotion on Facebook​​,” said Cheung Ming-wing, a coffee lover, who specifically came to watch this competition. “I’m not a vegetarian, but I think I might try going vegan after this exhibition,” he said. Lim Sze-han and Chan Sung-ming participated in the VegCoffee Mix & Match competition, presenting a work called "The Hong Kong Tea Set". "The theme of our work is a very classic Hong Kong afternoon tea with pineapple buns and coffee, and all the ingredients of the pineapple bun are vegan," Lim said. “We are not vegetarians. We came to this contest because we were curious about vegan culture and our desire to help spread it for the better,” said Lim and Chan. Lim said that they had made a lot of efforts before the competition, such as …

Society

Sham Shui Po' s first Literary Youth Bazaar immerses visitors in local culture

The Home Affairs Department organised the "Searching for Sham Shui Po" Literati Bazaar at the activity space underneath the Tung Chau Street Flyover on Saturday. It is one of the events under the "District 18 is Colourful Day and Night in 2024" programme, aiming to drive people to understand and immerse themselves in local design products and Sham Shui Po textile culture while promoting itself to become the core area of ​​the innovative economy. The bazaar marked the first time for Sham Shui Po to host an event of this scale, with more than 30 stalls featuring local original works such as fabrics, leathers, and cultural and creative products. The bazaar also promotes city walking activities.After registering for admission, visitors will receive a printed eco-cup as a gift. Shadow Lee, 28, a handmade stall owner, said she was happy that the government has given  young literary youths a platform to promote their work. Cindy Chen, 26, a ceramic craftsman, said that as a resident of Sham Shui Po since childhood, she is honoured to contribute to the development of this area's culture. "Although the economy here is not well developed, the culture of cloth and handicrafts has always been very distinctive, and in recent years, I can feel that the government is emphasising these cultures," said Chen. Effie Zhu, 21, a visitor to the bazaar, said it is her first time participating in such type of bazaar in Sham Shui Po,“ I did not expect that there would be so many visitors, not only some literary youth but also many old people and children joined today’s bazaar.” Karlssen Wong, 7, said his favourite part of the whole fair was the stamping and punching of cards in the fair, where there were all sorts of prizes to be won. “I was …

People

Brisbane Celebrates International Women’s Day with a Sea of Pink

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: KURNIAWAN Trista VaniaEdited by: Lisheng CHENG、Yau To LUM
  • 2024-03-10

Australia celebrated International Women’s Day today with around 23,000 people wearing pink for a five-kilometre run in Brisbane to support breast cancer research. It’s the largest event for the cause ever held. The run began in South Brisbane and ended in City Botanical Gardens with participants walking, jogging, or running along the way. People could also join virtually across the state, bringing the total number of participants to  26,000. Tickets were sold out within a month.  The Mater Foundation has been holding the event for over 33 years to raise funds for breast cancer research.  They partnered with Queensland X-ray this year and raised over nearly 1.8 million Australian dollars (HK$9.3 million). The money will go toward providing women with high-quality X-ray imaging services.  Kaylah Pearse, one of the event organisers, said she is delighted to see the event grow every year.  “Last year was a smaller show compared to this year. It’s great because fundraisers need more support to carry out more research and provide help for women with breast cancer,” she said.  Connie Glover, one of the participants, said that her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and she has joined the event for four years now.  “I was inspired by my mom. I think it’s important to support more people with similar experiences,” said Glover. She also added that the funds can help provide women with headscarves after chemotherapy and mastectomy bras after breast removal surgery. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare stated that breast cancer is the most common cancer among females in Australia in 2023. One in seven women in Australia is at risk of breast cancer during their lifetime.  In 2022, the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that breast cancer is the seventh-highest cause of death overall and the second …