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By: Vikki Cai ChuchuEdited by: Yanni Chow


Exhibition of food and beverage industry in HK draws over 270 brands

The 3-day Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong X Gourmet Asia exhibition at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre ended on Nov. 13. Once postponed due to COVID-19, the Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong X Gourmet Asia exhibition was the only trade show for Hong Kong's food and beverage industry this year. Over 270 exhibitors and brands were participating in this event presenting spirits and beer; food service and catering equipment; hospitality design and supplies, as well as hospitality technology. The exhibition adopted hygienic precautions amid the pandemic. According to the posters and leaflets inside the venue, people were required to wear masks at all times and keep a safe distance of 1 meter when in queues. Buyers were asked to dispose of used lidded paper cups in a designed rubbish bin. Liang Jia, a 29-year old wholesale buyer who sought to buy meat said she felt the rules and measures were stricter compared to last year. She felt it is inconvenient to toss the trash into the designated bin since the bins were located far from each stall. Some exhibitors made their products specifically to cater to the time of the pandemic. Sales manager Twinkle Wong from BBPOS, a payment service provider, introduced their new vending machine without human contacts in the purchasing process. She believed that the risk of being infected would be reduced. "COVID-19 has shown the society the need for zero-contact ordering and payment methods in the food and beverage industry," Ms Wong said, adding that this was the debut of the machine in Hong Kong. The pandemic has raised the need among consumers to live a healthy and green life, which leads to strong demands for natural and organic products. Sales representative Winnie Choi from Green Common, a vegan product company, said they have seen …


One year after siege of CUHK: Censored commemorative exhibition

A commemorative event of the siege of the Chinese University of Hong Kong kicked off yesterday at the university's Cultural Square. However, the school censored the exhibition, including some of the most chanted slogans in protests.  The one-week event was to serve as a reminder of the fire and blaze of the CUHK siege last year. The host, CUHK Joint Student Unions, said they hope people still remember what they've experienced and stand in solidarity with the CUHK students arrested for defending their campus. Right on their poster is the slogan "Never Forget, Never Forgive."  Security has tried to block non-CUHK visitors from entering campus and going to the exhibition, despite the exhibition open to the public.  "I think it's a must for everyone to remember this history, not only for CUHK students, we should not forget the efforts made by others," said Cho Ning, 19, a student from CUHK who gave an alias as she was one of the protesters at the scene last year.   The exhibition shows photographs and placards displaying the timeline of last year's clash with police. Also, there are street booths that collect letters and cards from the public to CUHK students who were arrested, including some CUHK students who received asylum in Germany recently. However, some sentences are being censored. Common protest slogans such as "Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our Time" are covered by black paper. The Student Union of CUHK said they are being requested to remove such sensitive lines before the exhibition by the school administration.  "The school office reminds us a few times. We can only cover those sensitive words with black tape," said Au Cheuk-Hei, chairperson of the Provisional Executive Committees of CUHK. The censored lines are deemed by the government as a possible breach of the national …


Biden’s victory frustrates Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States on Sunday, with more than 74 million votes nationwide, surpassing Obama's 2008 record of 69,498,516, setting a new record for the popular vote. Millions of people have kept their eyes fixed on the battle between the Republican US President, Donald Trump, and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden. And people in Hong Kong are no exception, yet the result has disappointed many Hong Kong pro-democracy supporters. As Trump had openly taken his stance to support Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, many have been rooting for Trump and have even actively promoted Trump across social media platforms.  "I support Trump, for sure, his policies are tough. I believe Trump would definitely bring benefits to Hong Kong when we are on the path of fighting for democracy," said Lo Ho Yin, 21, a pro-democracy university student.  Mr Lo said he has nothing to do but to accept the reality. "I mean it's the decision of the US citizens. They certainly have the right to vote for what they think is best for the country," said Mr Lo.  "And now Biden wins, he will stop the US-China trade war for sure, and it will only help China to gain more power," said Mr Lo, adding that Biden winning will only help China rise. He said that Hong Kong is just a small part of the US's concern, and Hongkongers should broaden their perspectives on what Biden would do to benefit different races and change the world.  In response to the implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong, Trump had launched a series of boycotting policies toward China. He cancelled 1,000 China students' visas and banned members of the Chinese Communist Party from entering the US, in support of the Hong …


Civil Human Right Front demands release of 12 detained protesters and freedom of assembly

Civil Human Right Front's proposal to demand the release of 12 anti-extradition bill protesters detained in Shenzhen was met with an objection letter from the police on Sep 25. The police mentioned that past parades held by CHRF usually turned into violence that damaged buildings and hurt people, citing also from the current social distancing rules that public gatherings of more than four people are not allowed. "Commissioner of Police believes that it is necessary to oppose the protest, so as to maintain public safety, public order and protect others rights and freedom," the letter of objection read. Upon the decision of the police, parade convenor Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit replied that the police have exhausted all their powers to prohibit the holding of parades and assemblies. The two sides held a meeting on Sep 24 on details of the protest. "The meeting only took 15 minutes. I could not feel any sincerity from the police," said Mr Sham. "Hong Kong has not had a legal parade for seven months since February," Mr Sham said. "Freedom of assembly is the right of Hong Kong people but it has been severely exploited these days." CHRF later announced on social media that they would appeal against the decision. Chan Ngai-chung, an anti-government Hong Kong citizen, said that the action of police is not surprising. He said, since social unrest occurred last year, the government has started to limit the freedom of assembly and speech, and most demonstrations have been restricted or prohibited. "This is expected but doesn't mean it is right, for a democratic society, freedom of assembly is essential," Mr Chan said. Chan Kwok-cheong, supporter of police, said that the police are responsible to maintain social order and public safety. He believed that it is understandable to ban the rally as some …


Concerns over press freedom arise due to HK police's change in "media representative" definition

Student journalists and freelance journalists in Hong Kong worry about their press freedom in the future as they are currently excluded from the recognition of the police. Hong Kong police announced on Sept. 22 that only journalists who have registered with the Government News & Media Information System and those from "Internationally recognized" media outlets will be identified as "media representatives." Student media from six local universities later released a joint statement, citing the press freedom under the Basic Law, to condemn the decision. "Article 27 of the Basic Law of Hong Kong stipulates that Hong Kong residents shall have freedom of speech, of the press and of publication," the statement read. The statement also expressed the worry that the amendment would strip individual freelance journalists and non-mainstream media journalists of reporting rights. Sharron Fast, a media law professor and deputy director of the Master of Journalism programme at the University of Hong Kong echoes the issue as well. "I think the immediate impact is that it is drastically narrowing the definition of journalists," Ms Fast said. Ms Fast added that student journalists who may not be part of a GNMIS recognized organization have a reason to worry because the frontline police officers now have "the very subjective authority to make determinations and to improve hand-picked journalists who are able to cover a protest scene." Heung Sum-yee, a final year journalism student at the University of Hong Kong worries that there will be more events in the future that will diminish the press freedom in the city. "A lot of exclusive news in protests was reported by freelance and online media journalists. If they are not able to report at protests, it would be a great loss for the news media industry in the city," she said. Sheryl Lee Tiantong, …


Hongkongers celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in a socially distanced way 

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: CHAN Wing YeeEdited by: Clara Ip、Kawai Wong、GOH Kylan
  • 2020-10-01

For the first time ever, the city celebrates the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day with social distancing measures, which includes compulsory mask-wearing in public areas and no more than four people in a group gathering.  Despite the social distancing measures, people gather around without keeping a distance of at least 1.5 meters apart.  Traditional celebrations including the National Day Fireworks, Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance and the public Lantern Festivals have been cancelled. While several districts' festive events are still available in town.   MTR cancels overnight services on Mid-Autumn Festival for the second year in a row, train services are provided within normal time.  The Leisure and Cultural Services Department warns Hongkongers to strictly follow the social distancing rules and not to enter prohibited areas such as beach and barbecue sites during the holidays.  The new social distancing measures in place will be maintained until October 7, while bars, restaurants and karaoke clubs are allowed to open until 12 am.  Hong Kong records 12 local COVID-19 cases in the past seven days, a 71-year-old woman of elderly home tested positive and 61 co-residents were sent to Asia-World Expo for quarantine.     A black rainstorm signal was issued on Wednesday night before the Mid-Autumn Festival.  Mr Chuang Ka-ming, 14, and a secondary school student says this year's Mid-Autumn Festival is unprecedentedly joyless and less exciting, "I can't feel the festival mood, wearing masks while playing outside." He gathers with another three classmates at Shatin Park, playing glow sticks and lanterns. Miss Kan Tsz-lok, 16, also a secondary school student who admires the moon with her family after the reunion dinner. She feels disappointed that her sister cannot enjoy the festival games,"Many Mid-Autumn Festival carnival and lantern riddle games have been cancelled this year. For me, I'm less affected by the cancellation as …


VPN: Chinese people's window to the outside world

Turning on the laptop, connecting to Shadowsocks, and then accessing Google. These are the necessary steps for some students in mainland China to complete their homework every day. During the outbreak of the coronavirus, many mainland students enrolled in colleges in Hong Kong have to stay in the mainland. In order to take online classes and complete course assignments, they need to scale the so-called Great Firewall, a virtual online barrier that keeps people in China out of specific foreign websites. Using Virtual Private Networks such as Shadowsocks, is a way to gain access to the uncensored Internet. Since the early 2000s, China has gradually blocked a large number of overseas websites including Google and Facebook. In recent years, the government has turned up the heat in its  control of the network so that VPNs have become more and more vital for people to cross the Great Firewall. Here is a guide to what you may want to know about VPN in China. What is VPN? VPN routes your device's internet connection through a private server rather than your Internet Service Provider. That way, it masks the identity of your device because all of your data will appear to come from a private server and enables you to operate data that can only be operated through the private network. By using VPN, software running on a computer or a mobile phone can gain some rights that only a private network has, such as security and some specific function such as internal resources of an organization. Take The Young Reporter for example, as a student publication the portal of TYR can only be logged in and managed when the user's device is connected to the university's network. In order to operate the portal remotely, editors need to use a VPN so …

Health & Environment

Calls for improvement in online learning

Ignoring the piles of unfinished assignments on his desk, Michael Shum, a form two secondary school student, sits in front of his computer to play video games all day. Since the government announced the suspension of  classes, spending hours in front of the computer has become his new normal. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, schools in many countries, including Italy, India and the United Kingdom, have closed down in order to slow down the pandemic transmission. Ahead of the other countries, two months before it turned into a pandemic, schools in Hong Kong already stopped  face-to-face classes and shut down the schools indefinitely. Most teachers have since transferred to remote teaching. Students can turn their homes into classrooms with one click on their computers and get on to their schools' e-platform. Zoom is a popular web-based video conferencing tool for many universities worldwide, whereas eClass is often used in secondary schools to provide digital learning resources. Since the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong in 2003, the government here has been using the slogan "Suspending classes without suspending learning". The aim is to encourage schools to adopt eLearning in classrooms and offer digital content for students' self-learning outside the classroom. Apart from enabling eLearning during emergencies, the government also wants to build up an interactive way for students to participate in class actively. "E-Learning is a leading trend today and beyond, therefore the Hong Kong government has been promoting  eLearning for almost 10 years," says Dr. Li Ka Kui, the chairman of the Hong Kong Publishing Federation.   But Michael Shum has his reservations on eLearning. He thinks the only benefit of eLearning is that he can stay at home all day, without rushing to school. "I simply don't like eLearning especially when we are forced to suspend all our classes,"Michael says with …


Fitness video games under home quarantine

Staying fit while under home quarantine because of the pandemic is a challenge for some, and not doing exercise may only worsen the cabin fever. So turning to Ring Fit Adventure maybe one solution. The fitness video game from Nintendo, a Japanese games and electronic company, topped the sale charts in Japan, America and Europe, with over 170 million copies sold in late February, after being released for five months. Ring Fit Adventure was launched at a price of 7980 yen, which is approximately 577 Hong Kong dollars. However, as demand soared since the coronavirus outbreak, the price jumped more than threefolds to around 2100 Hong Kong dollars at its highest point in February. The price of the game has risen rapidly since mid January in mainland China as well. According to Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at a gaming market research company, Chinese sellers are buying overseas game sets at the list price and reselling them for around 2200 Hong Kong dollars. He thinks that the huge price difference is due to global shortage. In Weibo, there are 10.2 million discussions under the topic of Ring Fit Adventures. Short videos and thoughts regarding the game are shared. Nintendo even had to apologize for the shortage, as shut down of factories in China affected the supply. On Nintendo's official website, the game experience is described as "Explore fantasy adventure worlds to defeat monsters using real-life exercises". In the adventure mode in Ring Fit, users are required to mirror the poses shown to defeat monsters. The poses are sorted into four main categories, each meant to train a specific body part. For example, under the "leg" category, users need to do squats, mountain climber and side steps. Claudia Cheng, 24, bought the game after the start of the epidemic. "As I …


Confusing high-tech online classes during campus closure

Time has frozen in the hallways of the Department of Computer Science at Hong Kong Baptist University. All the lights on, but the empty rooms are almost too eerie to step into. A piece of paper that reads "Online Teaching  In Progress" is stuck to a door. Behind it, Lan Liang is sitting in front of his computer, facing a screen filled with the names of his students framed in a grid.  Due to the overwhelming spread of COVID-19, universities in Hong Kong and mainland China have suspended on-campus teaching activities since January. Resumption of classes before the Summer now seems unlikely. Teaching activities have moved online. But the high-tech teaching tools have caused some confusion. Some teachers are uncertain whether students understand the content while others aren't sure how to use the online teaching software. Dr Lan, a lecturer from the Department of Computer Science at HKBU is among them. He started teaching at the university two years ago but has experienced the suspension of on-campus classes twice so far.  Dr Lan started teaching using the video conferencing application, ZOOM, this semester. Teachers share their computer screens in real time with students.   Dr Lan found it difficult to teach that way. "At the beginning, I actually felt very weird just talking to a computer for two hours," said Dr Lan,  "I did not know whether the students really understood the concept or not. I just kept talking and talking." He asked his students to turn off their cameras because he was afraid that the network could not bear the traffic if everyone was on video. Dr Lan is not alone. Jean Lai is another lecturer at the Department of Computer Science. "I cannot see the students. I don't know if they are listening, or can understand what I am …