Business

Culture & Leisure

Hong Kong Craft Beer: Local Style

by Henry Wong and Sing Lee Hong Kong craft beer brewery, Mak's Beer, has  been promoting their products for half a year. The based brewery's latest offering: "Cantonese beer" which they hope will attract local drinkers. The brewers got their inspiration from Yim Tin Tsai Village, a historic neighborhood in Hong Kong that produces  salt. The ingredients include traditional Chinese herbal tea,  wolfberries and longan fruit. "It's called ‘Cantonese beer' because we want to build a relationship with our community and educate local people on how to appreciate craft beers," said Mark Mak, co-founder of the company. Mak's brewery hosts free factory tours twice a month. Twenty per cent of their beer is offered for free at business and cultural events in order to promote their brand. Mak's beer is not alone. City Brew's beer "Kong Girl", for example, uses the nickname for Hong Kong women in their branding. The Bottle Shop is one of the largest retailers of craft beers  in the city They stock local brands such as Gweilo, Mak's  and Moonzen. " Some of the beers include creative local ingredients such as goji berries and chilies to spice up the drink,"  said Joey Chung Wing-yi , the brand and event manager at the Bottle Shop. But the cost of production is an issue for some of the breweries. Mak's produces 4000 bottles a month and they are priced higher than most commercially available beers. "The competitiveness is about branding and the  craft beer trend in the city," Mark Mak said. Ms Chung at The Bottle Shop believes craft beer market will become as popular as coffee and red wine in Hong Kong. "There is increasing demand for local craft beers and as more bars stock them, locals became more supportive of this emerging industry," according to Ms …

Business

Time to proof if small business survives under competition law

  • 2016-03-09

  By Isabella Lo and Ellen He Small businesses in Hong Kong are facing challenges caused by price-cut promotions by large firms, following the implementation of the Competition Ordinance. The Competition Ordinance (the "Ordinance"), passed by the Legislative Council in June 2012, has come into full implementation since December 14, 2015. The Competition Commission, an independent statutory body established under the Ordinance, had already received about five hundred complaints from all sectors across the territory before the law came into effect, according to Anna Wu Hung-yuk, Chairperson of the commission. Days before and after the commencement, stores selling electronics and sports products in Mong Kok had cut down the prices. For example, Fortress, an electronics chain, offered customers a discount up to 20 per cent for selected products, as stated on its official Facebook page. The Competition Ordinance is an economic legislation aiming to "prohibit conduct that prevents, restricts or distorts competition in Hong Kong". It adjusts business relationships by prohibiting three kinds of anti-competition conducts: anti-competitive agreements, concerted practices and decisions; abuse of market power; merger and acquisition (only applicable to the telecommunications industry). According to Thomas Cheng Kin-hon, an antitrust lawyer and member of the commission, the law should have given small businesses greater room because it "aims to ensure level playing field so that businesses can compete on their merits." In particular, "The Second Conduct Rule prohibits of abuse of substantial degree of market power, which means that small businesses should be able to compete better," he said. Before and shortly after the law came into effect, however, a large scale of stores including the large enterprises offer great discounts like 40 per cent off, leading to heavy pressure on small businesses. "When large corporations and small businesses both make sales, the former is surely at an advantage," …

Business

Newly Introduced Silver Bond may Neglect Poorer Elderly Population

  • 2016-02-24

The Silver Bond may only benefit senior citizens with extra money in hand, neglecting the poorer elderly population in Hong Kong. The Silver Bond, similar to the previous inflation-linked iBond that was designated for the elderly, will be launched this year and the year after, announced the Financial Secretary Mr. Tsang Chun-wah in the Budget speech today. "The bond is attractive if I had some extra money in hand," said Mr. Chu, 75 years old. "But I only had enough to cover living expenses, how could I spend thousands to invest?" "I don't have any money to buy the bond," said Ms. Chan, 84. "Even if I do, I'd spend it on bread." Aiming to protect against inflation, A HK$10 billion iBond was issued every year since 2011 with a guaranteed return of two per cent for investors aged 65 and over. "The Silver Bond is just the performance of the government," said Mr. Chu. "It cannot protect against inflation." Interested in the Silver Bond, Mr. Lau said retirement pensions and medical service would be more important to the senior citizens. "I hope the government could cover all the elderly population with the retirement benefits, not just part of us at the moment," he said. "The old people are much easier to get sick and the medical care is costly," he added. "So the government should provide us with more support." In mid-2014, Hong Kong had 1.07 million people aged over 65 and over, accounting for about 15 per cent of the total population. https://www.facebook.com/tyrmag/videos/1116156438408885/

Business

Summarizing the 2016-17 Budget : what has the Government announced?

  • 2016-02-24

  Today's budget discloses a 6.7% increase in expenditure to $347.5 billion from $324.6 billion last year.   This year, tax allowances rewards focus  on those taking care of the elderly people, with increases allowances for a dependent parent or grandparent aged 55 or above. Whereas in 2015-2016, tax allowances are mainly targeting population with children, raising child allowances only.   Moreover, basic, single parent and married person's allowance are increased, benefitting wider range of Hong Kong people.   The government has 75 per cent reduce salaries tax, tax under personal assessment and profit tax in a same extent as 2015-2016. They also lower the waive rates' ceiling from $2500 for two quarters last year to $1000 for four quarters this year.   Tourism, hospitality and retail industries and other enterprises also take advantages from waived licence fees, business registration fees, technology vouchers and more subsidies.   In sum, the tax and short-term relief measures cost $38.8 billion compared to $34 billion last year, which further reduces the government revenue reduction.   The government plans to play a key role under the "new economic order". They take action to nurture innovation in applying R&D results, startups, Fintech and creative industries, and find new markets in Belt and Road Initiative, trade and logistics and financial services.   Fostering talent is also vital to Hong Kong by gaining internship and exchange chances for students and professional training.   Compared to last year, the budget promoted diversified development in nurturing startup ecosystem, boosting creative industries and promoting social enterprises, and improving the quality of manpower. It focused on opportunities created by "One Belt One Road".   Based on the latest projection, government has adopted the public housing supply target of 280 thousand units for the ten-year period from 2016-17 to 2025-26. Livelihood related …

Business

Reserve Estimates : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The government is estimated to have $30 billion worth of surplus in this financial year.  

Business

Creative Sector : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

A total of 8.1 billion be provided to support for film, fashion and sports sectors.

Business

Housing & Land : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

28,000 public housing units and 29,000 private housing units can be provided to the housing market, according to this year's Budget.  

Business

Elderly Sector : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The Budget spends $66 billion to support the underprivileged, which will mostly be aimed at the elderly.  

Business

Tourism Sector : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

The government pours a total of $380 million into the tourism sector in this year's Budget.  

Business

Research & Development : Highlights

  • 2016-02-24

Hong Kong Science Park will take the lead in smart production and research with $8.2 billion from the Government.