Rare Maps Show Life in Hong Kong’s Vice-Filled ’Walled City’ - CityLab
Back in the day, around 33,000 people lived in the webbed high-rises, making the city one of the most densely populated places in the world. To outsiders, it was a hotbed of vice and violence that most refused to enter—even after the walls came down in the mid 20th century.
Man caught smuggling 9k memory cards into China by strapping them to his body | Daily Mail Online
Smuggling goods from Hong Kong into mainland China is not an uncommon sight for the border guards in Shenzhen.
Electronic goods from Hong Kong are cheaper than they are across the border, and many people are busted with them taped to their bodies.
In January last year, a man tried to smuggle 94 iPhones into mainland China by strapping them to his body.
Missing Hong Kong bookseller Lee Bo ‘doesn’t do evil things’, friends insist | South China Morning Post
While mystery looms over the disappearance of bookseller Lee Bo, more details are coming to light about the quiet, 65-year-old Hong Kong native who, as his acquaintances remembered, was a “low-profile, intellectual-looking” figure, along with his writer wife.
“The last time I saw Lee Bo, I remember, was when he visited our bookshop over last Chinese New Year and gave us packs of chocolate as gifts,” said Paul Tang, owner of People’s Recreation Community, a book cafe also selling banned books. “He was friendly, and not high-profile.”
Compared with more well-established publishers of banned books, such as Mirror Media which traces its roots to the 1980s, Lee’s Mighty Current was new on the scene, said Tang, adding: “And there is little reason for it to be extraordinarily outstanding or insightful among its more than a dozen peers.”
A news stand vendor near the Causeway Bay bookshop that was taken over by Lee’s publishing house around three years ago, who gave his name only as Billy, said he would have occasional chats with the missing owner.
“He was slim, often wearing a pair of glasses,” he said. “He was not talkative, and looked like a typical intellectual.”
“As a friend of Lee, I would say he is an upright man, and doesn’t do evil things,” said Ngan Shun-kau, former chief editor and now senior adviser to Cosmos Books.
n the early 2012, Lee’s wife, Choi Ka-ping, founded Mighty Current, a publisher specialising in books critical of the Chinese Communist Party, together with a German-based man who later transferred all of his shares to Gui Minghai and Lui Por, company records show.
Both Gui and Lui are also missing.
Choi, 61, is a writer who boasts a portfolio of multiple Chinese-language novels, essays and poetry collections.
Writing under the pen name So Fai, the mainland-educated writer has a regular column in the city’s pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao newspaper with her latest offering dated January 4.
She was in the city’s publishing industry as early as 1997, her biography shows. Her name was also mentioned as an editor with Joint Publishing Hong Kong, one of the biggest and most respectable publishing houses in the city, in a few of the culture books published in 2007 and 2008.
While the city’s banned-book trade became lucrative after the Bo Xilai scandal broke, Billy, who helps with logistics with Lee’s bookshop at times, said he was told that the business wasn’t faring well over the last two years.
“And that is why he sold some of his holdings of the shop in 2014 to keep it running.”
The 65-year-old was last seen on Wednesday at the Chai Wan warehouse of Mighty Current, the company that owns his store.
BLENDING IVORY: China’s Old Loopholes, New Hopes – The Report - Elephant Action League
– Legitimate businesses and business people participate in and facilitate the laundering of illicit ivory through the legal ivory market by such means as 1) importing supposedly pre-ban, antique, and trophy hunting ivory, 2) the manipulation of the ivory registration system within China, 3) trading ivory privately and illegally without following the government’s guidelines and restrictions, and 4) the use of the existing huge illegal raw ivory stocks (>1,000 tons) in the hands of a few traders.
– Chinese traders now import ivory mainly via Hong Kong (or purchase worked ivory in Hong Kong), “legalize” it, and re-export the ivory to mainland China.
Fewer mainland Chinese settle in Hong Kong, leading to cut in population growth projection | South China Morning Post
Acting Commissioner for Census and Statistics Stephen Leung Kwan-chi told lawmakers yesterday that the lower take-up rate since 2013 could weaken further, with mainlanders expected to use only 100 out of the 150 daily permits available.
“People coming to Hong Kong under the scheme remain an important driver of population growth,” said Leung.
Hong Kong has one of the world’s lowest birth rates at 8.6 per 1,000 people last year, down from 13.5 in 2011, according to government statistics. The inflow of one-way permit holders is therefore crucial in adding to the overall population.
Under the scheme, launched in 1997 largely to allow family reunion, up to 150 permits are available for mainland applicants every day. In the past, many were mainland mothers seeking to join their children and husbands in Hong Kong.
According to official figures, the use of the daily quota – which dipped in 2007 and 2008 – reached a peak in 2012, with an average of 149 mainlanders admitted into the city every day. However, that number has been slipping since then, with 123 people in 2013 and 111 last year.
However, a paper released to lawmakers said: “The revised assumption should in no way be construed as any intention to change the [one-way permit] scheme”, adding the mainland authorities had no plan to revise the existing quota.
“Given the prevalence of cross-boundary marriages which have made up almost 40 per cent of locally registered marriages, there is a continued need for the scheme to enable separated spouses and their children born on the mainland to come to Hong Kong for family reunion,” said the paper.
A leading social policy academic and a social worker said better living standards on the mainland had led to fewer applications for one-way permits, while recent anti-mainland sentiment in the city might also have had an impact.
Philippines’ labour chief urges Hong Kong to review live-in policy and two-week rule for domestic helpers | South China Morning Post
Two controversial policies that require domestic workers in Hong Kong to live with their employers and return to their home countries two weeks after their contracts are terminated should be reviewed, the visiting Philippine labour minister says.
Rosalinda Baldoz told the South China Morning Post yesterday that while she appreciated the opportunities the city had provided for Filipinos, changes could be made to the regulations.
Asked her views on the live-in requirement and the two-week rule, policies that helpers say make them vulnerable to abuse, Baldoz suggested a review.
“I think it should be the subject of an agreement between the workers and the employers,” she said of the live-in requirement ahead of a meeting with her Hong Kong counterpart, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung.
“It should be a choice.”
For years, domestic helper groups have warned that the live-in requirement blocks any means of escape for maids facing abuse, while the two-week rule forces the helpers, often heavily indebted, to endure mistreatment so they can hold on to their jobs.
“The feedback that I get is that the two-week period is quite short,” Baldoz said. “Maybe it is time to review [the period] and make it a little longer.”
She also called on employment agencies - notorious for charging maids up to HK$20,000 - to adopt “ethical recruitment standards”. Hong Kong law stipulates that agencies can only charge maids 10 per cent of the first month’s salary.
“We are even ready to incentivise them by making it easy: less bureaucratic red tape, shorter processing time, especially if they will partner with local recruitment agencies that also maintain a very high standard of recruitment business,” she said.
Grossesse fatale pour les bonnes à Hongkong, par Alexia Eychenne (mai 2015)
Chaque année, des milliers de #domestiques philippines ou indonésiennes immigrées à #Hongkong sont licenciées illégalement. Leur faute ? Etre tombées enceintes. Friand de leur force de #travail, le territoire refuse qu’elles fondent une famille. Privées d’emploi, elles ont deux semaines pour plier bagage.