Uber, Hong Kong gov profiled ‘success story’, raided by HK police, Uber drivers arrested

Tuesday, 11 August, 2015
Uber, Hong Kong gov profiled ‘success story’, raided by HK police, Uber drivers arrested

Uber, Hong Kong gov profiled ‘success story’, raided by HK police, Uber drivers arrested

Uber, a controversial taxi alternative that connects private drivers with riders, has its Hong Kong office raided by Regional Crime Unit of Kowloon West today as reported by ABC news. Three Uber Hong Kong employees (age 21 to 29) and five Uber drivers were arrested according to the Hong Kong Chinese media Apple Daily news.

While Uber has run into various legal troubles in different parts of the world including Canadian cities like Calgary (brief operation in 2014, currently halted), Edmonton (pending court case), and Ottawa (taxi drivers released vigilante-style video, Ottawa police and bylaw officers laying 32 charges against Uber drivers), this may be the first time Uber employees and Uber drivers have been arrested in a high profile police sting operation. Especially considering the fact that Uber was just recently in May 2015 featured in an investHK Success Story (PDF file) (investHK is a Hong Kong government department tasked “to attract and retain foreign direct investment which is of strategic importance to the economic development of Hong Kong”.) (2015/05 investHK Success Story 投資推廣署 – 成功個案 PDF)

According to the HK government official May 2015 investHK Success Story (PDF) ,

“InvestHK provided Uber with significant support, including information on public transportation and advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch.”

Let’s think about it for a moment. A government department helping a multi-billion foreign high-tech company with “significant support” including “advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch” sounded like a perfect task and job well done for investHK. And that would fit HKSAR Chief Executive CY Leung‘s often talked about desire to establish an Innovation and Technology Bureau (創新及科技局) very well.

It is not like Uber has changed its business model since May 2015 when Hong Kong government talked about her “significant support” including “advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch” in its investHK Success Story. This reporter is not a lawyer but to many casual observers, the Hong Kong government’s prior “significant support” including “advice on market entry strategy prior to its launch” might be seen by some, fairly or unfairly, as potentially a form of entrapment.

Does Hong Kong still have a stable business environment where innovative entrepreneurs can work under a fair legal system where rule of law still matter? Will the Hong Kong government explain what rules, laws, or regulations have changed between May 2015 (a “success story”) to August 11th where people were arrested and equipment and records confiscated as part of a criminal case investigation?

An earlier version of this report is cross-posted to examiner.

Note 1: Uber is not operating in Calgary even it operated briefly in 2014 before insurance concerns halted the service. In separate polls conducted by the city and the company finds majority of Calgarians embrace idea of Uber. And more importantly, officials from cities like Calgary are willing and working with Uber to try to bring more choices to citizens in a manner that protect the safety of riders.

Note 2: This reporter has uploaded saved copies of the English version of investHK Success and Chinese version of investHK Success Story 投資推廣署 – 成功個案 as part of this news reporting as per fair dealing provisions of copyright law for readers to read and research for themselves. At press time, it appears that both the English and Chinese “success story” files have been deleted from the investHK website. Some Hong Kong Facebook users voiced their suspicion that the HKSAR government might have deleted the files to avoid embarrassment or incriminating evidences.

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted - English

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted – English

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted - Chinese

20150811 Uber Sucess Story deleted – Chinese

11th August 2015 Update: On the night of August 11th, Uber Hong Kong stated “Uber ensures that all trips have insurance coverages” and they will “fully support their drivers” and “fully cooperate with government officials, work to improve current legislation, putting safety and benefits of passengers and drivers first.” (rough translation from Chinese).

For the record, here is the media in Chinese as reported by Apply Daily,

「一直以來,香港市民已明確、清楚的表達,欲享有更多元化和更完善的交通方式。Uber 致力提供安全、可靠及優良的服務,以滿足市民對高效交通服務的需求。與 Uber 合作的司機,使用創新科技平台,提升工作安排的彈性並增加收入。Uber 亦確保所有行程都有保險保障,每位 Uber 司機都必須通過全面的背景審查。我們百分百支持與我們合作的司機,亦期待與有關當局通力合作,推動完善現行的法例,將乘客及司機的安全和利益放在首位。」

Further report here (首次放蛇搗信用卡收費白牌車 警打擊Uber 拘5司機3職員) and here (警檢控 料將案件作測試個案).


Women’s Horizon (好風景) documentary film review

Tuesday, 9 September, 2014
Women’s Horizon (好風景) HK documentary

Women’s Horizon (好風景) HK documentary

Documentary title: Women’s Horizon (好風景)

Directors: Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) and Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄).

Casts: Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai (佳佳), Charlene, Chan Hei (陳熹).

Film rating: **** out of 5

Film review:

Women’s Horizon (好風景)  is documentary that recorded the different small slices of lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 fall to 2012 spring. In 58 minutes, the filmmakers were successful in getting the viewers to see how the five women living their lives and for this reviewer, to care about them all. The filmmakers were careful in telling/reminding the viewers by putting up slides on screen part way through the film stating “We are not comparing or judging. We don’t want the audience to generalize all Hong Kong women either. This might only a be a tiny part of their life. Going in front of the camera may cause hesitation or glossing over issues, We want to capture that brief moment of their sincere reality.

Without heavy hands nor trying to sensationalize things, the film gives viewers windows to the women’s work lives, family lives, their aspirations, their disappointments, their dating/love lives, and more. And at one point, we felt like an intimate participant along Kai Kai’s political protest and can emphasize the changes she must have gone through since the beginning of the film.

Watching the film, there are many scenes with Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei that put a smile on my face, made me laugh out loud, got me thinking, felt sad, and got me scared for what I saw on screen. These are signs of a good documentary.

As far as this reporter knows (plus checking with Jo), Women’s Horizon is possibly the first Hong Kong documentary that wishes/plans to come back to revisit the same documentary subjects in a few years time (if the documentary subjects are willing to participate). Jo mentioned to this reviewer in an video interview that she and Byran were inspired and influenced by the British Up Series when they were planning the documentary in 2010. As a big admirer and lover of the Up Series, this reviewer hopes Jo & Byran’s wishes will come true and viewers will have the pleasure to learn more about Kitman, Esther, Kai Kai, Charlene, and Chan Hei in a few years.

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Women’s Horizon (好風景) film outline,

“[Women’s Horizon (好風景)] Paints a portrait of five unique Hong Kong women. Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake;; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner;; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church;; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore;; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents. The documentary recorded their lives from 2010 to 2012. It represents a history of their growth, a reflection of their temporal moods and aspirations for the the future. The images filmed are like five mobile mirrors into individual lives revealings their feeling intentionally or unintentionally. The documentary is not aiming to judge but solely at catching a glimpse of the women’s innermost feelings in this era.”

Here is a trailer,


Cantonese interview with Jo Ho, co-director of HK documentary Women’s Horizon (好風景)

Tuesday, 9 September, 2014

Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) is the co-director of HK documentary Women’s Horizon (好風景) with Bryan Chang Wai Hung (張偉雄). A documentary that recorded the lives of five Hong Kong women from 2010 to 2012. Here is a description of the five women from the film outline,

“Kitman, a big fan of online sweepstake; Charlene, a dance instructor and urban fashion shop owner; Esther, growing up in in a christian community aspiring to live the life within the church; Chan Hei, was an advocate for the fair treatment of sex workers and is employed at a bookstore; Kai Kai, Representative of the League of Fanling North Villages and Residents.”

Here is a trailer,

When Jo and Bryan were first planning to shoot Women’s Horizon in 2010, they talked about being inspired by the British Up Series documentary that has “followed the lives of fourteen British children since 1964, when they were seven years old.” The directors of Women’s Horizon hopes to revisit the lives of the five Hong Kong women in a few years to make another documentary. Over the two and a half years, the filmmakers made the documentary with their own money and shot ~60 hours of footage and editing the footage down to a 58 minutes documentary.

Here is an extensive and exclusive interview with co-director Jo Ho Ka Wui (何嘉滙) conducted on the eve of the film’s world premiere on September 9th at the Chinese Documentary Festival 2014.


The Art of Producing 監製的藝術

Thursday, 20 February, 2014
Kashy 8pm 2014 Feb 28 Concert Banner

Kashy 8pm 2014 Feb 28 Concert Banner

The Art of Producing 監製的藝術:
My journey as a concert producer 踏上演唱會監製之路
I do many things. I am a management consultant, documentary film director/producer, …, and now I’ve taken on the role as a concert producer. 我做很多種工作。我是管理顧問,紀錄片導演/監製,…,現在再加上演唱會監製的角色。
Some people say when you have done it, it is not bragging.有些人說,只要您真的做過,便不算車大炮。
I’ve never attended film school and then my first and only full-length documentary is in the national archive of Canada. 我從未上過電影學校,而我的第一套紀錄長片現正收藏在加拿大聯邦政府“國家圖書檔案館”之內。
I tell this story not to brag but to illustrate the capacity to learn within each and everyone of us. 我說這故事不是想自誇,而是想帶出您我每人都有的學習潜能。
Do it. Learn it. Get better. Do it some more. Learn some more. […] 做。學習。做得更好。做多一些。學多一些。[…]
Singer/songwriter Kashy Keegan, me and a team of great professionals (theatre & music) and unpaid volunteers (camera and production assistant) are working very hard to organize Kashy’s concert! 創作歌手Kashy Keegan、我及一個專業與義務的團隊,大家正在很努力籌辦Kashy的演唱會!
Kashy’s concert happens in 8 days at 8pm, Friday Feb 28th, 2014 in Hong Kong. Kashy的演唱會8日後,2014年2月28日,星期五,晚上8點在香港舉行。
We still have lots to do, music video to shoot, school visit to sing with students, media interviews, plus trying to sell out this concert! 我們還有許多事要做,拍攝音樂短片,參觀學校及與學生合唱,媒體採訪,試賣更多票,把這場演唱會賣個滿堂紅!
As producer, it is my job to be creative and to make things happen. 作為監製,我的工作是勇於創新,無中創”有”。
We have done some ground breaking things and will do some more in Hong Kong. 創新的事我們已經做了很多,到香港後將會試做更多。
The business/science of producing is not easy but the art of producing is harder. 監製(生意/科學)難,但掌握監製的藝術更難。
The “Art of Producing” is about the magic of producing something, out of nothing! 監製的藝術是一門從無中創”有”的藝術!
Please wish us luck! 請祝我們好運!
– Kempton – 錦堂
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Kashy’s Hong Kong Dreams Come True Concert :: Friday 28/2/2014, Y-Theatre, Youth Square, Chai Wan. HK$198 & $168 Tickets on sale NOW! > http://www.urbtix.hk :: telephone booking: 2111 5999 (10am – 8pm)
Kashy香港夢想成真演唱會,星期五 28/2/2014,Y綜藝館,青年廣場,柴灣。HK$198, $168 門票現正於各城市電腦售票處、網上及電話購票熱線發售!> http://www.urbtix.hk ,電話訂票:2111 5999 (10am – 8pm)
Ref article: 香港式監製


Hong Kong Freedom of Press under attack by CY Leung (HKSAR Chief Executive)?

Thursday, 13 February, 2014
20140213 Ms  Li Wei Ling Press conference

20140213 Ms Li Wei Ling (李慧玲) Press conference

Is Freedom of Press in Hong Kong  under severe attack by HKSAR Chief Executive Mr. CY Leung as Ms. Li Wei Ling 李慧玲 (FB page) alleged? You be the judge yourself after watch the full press conference. I personally believe Ms. Li Wei Ling 李慧玲 is a person of the highest integrity through her years of journalistic work. Have a watch of the clip 李慧玲回應被商台解僱事件記者會 starts at 1m23s (full press conference with Q&A on 2014/02/13, over 1 hour long) and judge for yourself.


Cantonese interviews with HK Legislative Council members Claudia Mo & Alan Leong Kah-kit

Sunday, 27 October, 2013

The following are two Cantonese interviews with HK Legislative Council members Claudia Mo & Alan Leong Kah-kit.

立法會 毛孟靜 議員政總十月二十一曰訪問

立法會 梁家傑 議員政總十月二十一曰訪問


Kashy Keegan sings “This is my dream” LIVE at HKTV rally outside of HKSAR gov HQ

Friday, 25 October, 2013

Kashy Keegan at #HKTV rally interview after "This is my dream" LIVE performance

Kashy Keegan sings “This is my dream” LIVE at HKTV rally outside of HKSAR gov HQ

Kashy Keegan #HKTV rally interview after “This is my dream” performance 

Commentary: HK Chief Executive Mr. CY Leung and the Chinese government may not realize it until it is too late. But the repeated protests on the street and in front of the HKSAR Government HQ for  various bad policies may have the unintended consequence of training citizens to voice their views publicly which is required in any healthy democracy.


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