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“Art March 2024”: tourists welcome new ovoid installations with full bookings in the opening week

  • By: Chi On LIUEdited by: Ji Youn Lee
  • 2024-03-25

teamLab:Continuous, an outdoor art project featuring hundreds of colourful illuminated egg-shaped installations at Tamar Park & Central and Western District Promenade, was fully booked by tourists on its opening week as part of the government’s new campaign. Around 200 ovoid installations changed colours with interactive sound effects with audiences. The installation is part of the government’s “Art March 2024” campaign, a program which aims to welcome tourists and locals to take part in various artistic events and “take the city’s vibrant cultural landscape to the next level”. In the opening ceremony, Tam Mei-yee, Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, said they were pleased with the public’s reaction to the exhibit. “The 100,000 reservations for the first week were sold out within 2 hours, showing the audience’s enthusiasm for this event,” said Tam. However, some visitors were disappointed in the amount of tickets and available amenities. Gao Xiaoqian, 28, a visitor from mainland China who has been to other teamLabs projects in Japan, said he had to walk more than 100 metres from the exhibit to the nearest vending machine for drinks and snacks. “I think the government can do better in this event, Gao said. “More tickets and valuable souvenirs related to Hong Kong may make this event more friendly.”   To accommodate for high demand, Tam said the Leisure and Cultural Services Department would increase the number of booking quotes and would work with the travel industry to arrange group bookings. According to Klook’s official listing for the event, all tickets are fully booked until Apr.7. Richard Kim, 25, a local resident, said: “If an event has reservations to limit the people coming to the exhibition, I can’t see how it can attract more people to go out and more tourists to come.”   The installations will be …


Labour importation threatens local job security

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: AO Wei Ying Vinci、AU YEUNG JimEdited by: Ka Man Wong
  • 2024-03-25

It has been six months since the government launched various labour importation schemes aimed at addressing a labour shortage in the construction and transportation sectors. Last year, Hong Kong saw a manpower shortage of 17,500-24,000 in the construction industry, and 3,600 public light bus and coach drivers, according to Legco figures. But labour unions say the government should instead focus on fixing the flaws in labour protection laws in order to promote local employment and sustain the workforce. Construction: Labour importation threatens local job opportunities According to a press release from the Hong Kong Construction Association in January, the first workforce demand survey result after the start of the importation scheme shows a shortage of 8,208 workers. The government has approved 4,680 out of the 12,000 applications in the first round for 20 construction contracts. HKCA supports the scheme as a supplementary measure to resolve the urgent labour shortage but expects the government to enhance labour sustainability by introducing multiple measures, including hiring new blood in the industries, utilising technologies, and providing more training to the existing workforce as the scheme is not permanent. Ng Wai-leung, Equity Director of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union said that the highly mobile work nature of construction work makes it hard to safeguard job vacancies for local workers. “We would only import labour when the workload exceeds the demand. We should only aim to fill up the short-term manpower gaps,” said Ng. “When the demand shrinks, it is really unacceptable that companies fire local workers before imported ones. Instead, imported workers should go home once they are not engaged in any projects.” According to Ng, many imported labour are working on the Third Airport Runway System at Hong Kong International Airport. He hoped that the agencies and government can provide language …


Hong Kong bus companies driving toward carbon neutrality

  • By: YANG Shuyi、WANG Ludan、WANG JingEdited by: KONG Tsz Yuen
  • 2024-03-25

Electric buses are appearing on Hong Kong's streets starting in 2022,  transforming the city’s image of traffic clogged up with old double deckers that belch out pollution. These buses use environmentally friendly new energy as fuel, which can reduce emissions better than diesel buses. Citybus will put Hong Kong’s first hydrogen bus into road commissioning this month, and it will soon come into the market.  “We plan to test the performance of diesel, electric, and hydrogen buses by deploying five buses of each type on the same route in the second half of this year. ” said Lee Ka-ming, Citybus's Head Engineering Manager. “Based on the results, we will decide on the proportion of hydrogen and electric buses in our plans. We prefer to use data comparisons to support our decisions on which buses to choose,"Lee said. At present, there are 21 KMB routes serving the public with electric buses, accounting for about 56 electric buses. “Double-decked electric buses have been in service since 2023, and their performance has been very satisfactory. Since a bus can operate for 18 years, we will continue to monitor its performance and prepare to cope with any possible difficulties,” said Kenny Kan, Head of KMB's corporate communications and public affairs department. “KMB expects to replace diesel buses with fully electric ones by 2040,” he added.  According to local think tank, Civic Exchange, Hong Kong's transportation sector accounts for the second largest share of total Greenhouse gas sessions, emitting 18.7%. Commercial vehicles such as buses only account for 20% of the total number of vehicles in Hong Kong but contribute over 90% of nitrogen oxide (NO) emissions, a significant contributor to roadside air pollution. “Compared with diesel buses, new energy buses do not produce harmful emissions, thus directly reducing the use of non-renewable energy such …

Photo Essay

Noir & Blanc—A Story of Photography exhibition debuts at M+

  The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Noir & Blanc—A Story of Photography is the first photography programme of the French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong opening in March. As the first stop of the travelling exhibition, M+ is collaborating with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), the national library of France.  It showcases photographic works from 1915 to 2019 and is the first major public exhibition of BnF’s photography collections in Asia.  “Light and Shadow”, “Aiming for Contrast” and “Colour Chart” are the three main sections in the exhibition. It presents different perspectives for comprehending the creation of black-and-white images over the span of more than a century.  The exhibition includes more than 250 photographs from BnF’s world-renowned collection, complemented by over 30 works from both mainland China and Hong Kong, drawn from the M+ Collections. The exhibition will be held from Mar. 16 to July 1. Tickets are $140 for adults, $70 for full-time students, children ages 7 to 11, senior citizens ages 60 or above, persons with disabilities and one companion, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients.  


Hong Kong recycling industry faces uncertainty over waste charging scheme

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: LI Sin Tung、CHEN Yik NamEdited by: James Ezekiel Kalaw MODESTO
  • 2024-03-24

Yeung Man-ching, 21, a student at the Hong Kong Baptist University, starts her morning by bringing plastic bottles and waste paper from home to throw them into the recycling bin on campus. She has been recycling garbage for more than two years and says she has recycled over a hundred bottles. “I always ask my family to collect and clean the plastic bottles. From where I live in Tai Wai, there are no recycling bins downstairs at my house, so I can only take them back to school to be recycled,” she said. Yeung said that she once passed a food waste recycling machine in Sha Tin with a long queue, which intrigued her. She had never thought about recycling before and decided then to start recycling plastic bottles. “I believe that after the waste-charging scheme is officially implemented, more people will be willing to recycle,” she added. “It’s time for Hong Kong’s recycling system to improve.” Recycling in Hong Kong is finally on track, alongside many expectations of its continuous development with the introduction of a new waste charging scheme, whose implementation was pushed back until August this year. But experts say the city still has a long way to go before it can call itself green. “I have noted many discussions and questions raised by various sectors in the community about Municipal Solid Waste Charging, and many people expressed their concerns to me that the general public do not understand how waste charging will be implemented,” said Secretary for Environment and Ecology Tse Chin-wan in a media session on Jan. 19. “As a responsible government, we would like to implement waste charging successfully and smoothly,” said Tse. “Therefore, I believe it is a liable act for us to put more time into public education.” The “pay-as-you-throw” charging scheme …

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 …


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 …


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.    


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 …


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.