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Society

Nearly 3 million Hong Kong Facebook accounts may be affected by data leak

Personal information from more than 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries have been leaked and posted in a low-level hacking forum on Saturday, cybersecurity researcher, Alon Gai said on Twitter on Saturday. Around 2.94 million Hong Kong users may be affected. The exposed data includes users’ full names, phone numbers, locations, email addresses and biographical information. Security researchers say hackers could use the data to commit fraud.  A Facebook spokesperson said that the data had been scrapped due to a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019.  According to Alon Gal, the chief technology officer of a cybercrime intelligence firm Hudson Rock, who discovered the leakage of data on Saturday, said while the data is a couple of years old, it could be used by cybercriminals  to impersonate users or scam them into handing over login credentials.  Ms Chung Lai-ling Ada, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data inHong Kong, said that her office is paying close attention to the Facebook leak and has carried out compliance investigations.  She suggested that members of the public should think twice before using social media. "The use of social media carries inherent yet non-negligible risks to users' privacy in relation to personal data," said Ms Chung.  The PCPD also issued a “Guidance on Protecting Personal Data Privacy in the Use of Social Media and Instant Messaging Apps” on April 5, which provides the public with some practical advice to mitigate the privacy risks involved in the use of social media. The Guidance points out that the use of social media and instant messaging apps is not really "free" because users’ personal data is usually monetized upon registration or in the course of user activities.  Users of social media often unwittingly reveal more information than they think. Information shared online can also be misused …

Society

Hong Kong resumes BioNTech vaccination after 12-day suspension

Hong Kong resumes BioNTech vaccination after 12-day suspension Hong Kong's BioNTech vaccination programme started again on Monday after a batch of the vaccine was found to have defective packaging on March 24. The injections offered from today come from a new batch of 300,000 doses that arrived last Saturday. Two previous batches are temporarily on hold until an investigation is completed by the manufacturer. People who could not get their vaccination during the week-long stoppage are automatically reassigned new time slots by the Centre for Health Protection. A notification is sent to their phones. "I am actually still a little worried, but I heard that the second dose must be given within a limited time after the first dose," said Ngan Lap-wing, a 62-year-old man who received his first shot on March 10. He originally booked a second shot on April 1. The city's vaccination booking system showed that all bookings of the BioNTech jabs are taken in the coming two days. "I had obvious side effects such as a fever after getting the first dose, and the second dose I received was a new batch. So I think it should be effective," said Alfred Lau, a 35-year-old banker who had his second shot today. By April 4, about 151,400 people in Hong Kong have received the first dose of the BioNTech vaccine and about 600 have also had their second shot, according to the latest figures released by the government.

Business

Goldman recommends “buy” Bilibili with expectation of soaring 40%

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Vikki Cai ChuchuEdited by: Zhou Yichen Gloria 周奕辰
  • 2021-04-02

Bilibili (9626) was rated ‘buy’ by Goldman Sachs on Thursday and with the stock expected to increase by 40% to HK$1,219 a share, compared to the current stock price of HK$870, due to its large and fast-growing user base and strong revenue.  IPOs in the Hong Kong stock market often have potential first-day rallies, but Bilibili’s stock price dropped 3.6% from an HK$808 issue price to HK$780 at its trading debut on Monday. The recent global declines in technology stocks and China’s crackdown on the country’s technology conglomerates put heavy pressure on Bilibili. Goldman Sachs said as the online video sharing and streaming platform with the most Generation Z users, Bilibili was expected to see its monthly active users to reach 400 million before 2023.  Besides, Bilibili has high quality and abundant content which are the fundamental elements for expanding its users. Bilibili also adopts multiple liquidity strategies which can generate more revenues. Bilibili’s revenues are mainly generated from mobile games, value-added services, advertising, and e-commerce and others. Its revenue in 2020 increased by 77% to 12 billion yuan (HK$ 14.3 billion) according to its prospectus. Monthly average users reached 202 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, up 55% over the same period in 2019. Guosheng Securities also gave a buy recommendation to Bilibili, according to an analyst report released on March 29, expecting the company to continue expanding its commercialization. Goldman Sachs affirms Bilibili’s community value and its understanding towards Generation Z in encouraging them to join the activities in Bilibili community in its report. The investment bank also said Bilibili has chosen a clear company development path and hopes it can keep thriving. Bilibili is building a video content ecosystem by providing various video content in satisfying its audiences’ entertainment, cartoon, technology and life skills viewing demand. …

Health & Environment

H&M responds to China boycott while slashed by state media

Swedish retailer H&M said it hoped to regain the trust of Chinese customers in a statement issued on Wednesday, after facing a boycott over the company’s refusal to use Xinjiang cotton for alleged human rights abuses. The embattled fast fashion company said they are working with colleagues in China to “do everything they can to manage the current challenges and find a way forward”.  “China will clearly continue to play an important role in further developing the entire industry,” the statement said. While the statement did not directly mention Xinjiang cotton or the boycott, it said that the company wants to “be a responsible buyer, in China and elsewhere, and are now building forward-looking strategies and actively working on next steps with regards to material sourcing.” The response comes as the Chinese backlash continues towards several Western brands including H&M, Nike and Burberry, which have expressed concerns about alleged forced labor in producing Xinjiang cotton and the decision by some to stop using cotton from the region. In a response to H&M’s statement, Chinese state media CCTV said on the Twitter-like social media platform Weibo that the statement was a “second-rate public relations essay”, deliberately avoiding the important issue and was lacking sincerity. It also said if the company wants to maintain its market position in China, it should show the stance. The world’s largest fashion retailer after Spanish clothing company Inditex, which owns Zara, has shut 20 stores in China, said the group’s Helena Helmersson during a conference to shareholders. The closure accounts for about 4% of the total 502 stores in China. Chinese e-commerce platforms including Taobao and JD.com also pulled the brand last week and people could not locate the stores from online maps. Chinese celebrities rushed to cut ties with the brand after the company’s statement issued …

Society

Wellness hub provides sanctuary for Hong Kong Baptist University students under stress

Covid-19 and long hours of online learning may be adding to the stress of university students. But a short break in a "wellness hub" maybe just the way to decompress.

Compulsory Covid testing at Hong Kong Baptist University

  • 2021-03-30

Hundreds of people at Hong Kong Baptist University have to undergo compulsory Covid-19 testing on Tuesday after a student tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday. They include students and members of staff who visited three buildings on campus where the infected student had classes

Society

HKBU student tests positive for COVID-19

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) announced today at a press conference that a 22-year-old local male student from Hong Kong Baptist University tested positive for COVID-19 on March 26. The source of infection is unknown. The student had a runny nose on March 25, and tested positive for COVID-19 the following day. He is from the Faculty of Social Sciences, and visited the HKBU campus in Kowloon Tong on March 18 and March 22. He attended at least two classes and a meeting in three separate buildings. According to Dr Chuang Shuk-kwan, the head of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Centre for Health Protection,  the students interacted in one of the classes and thus increased the chance of spreading the virus. Hence, more than 40 students and a teacher in one of the classes have to be quarantined. People who also went to the buildings that the student visited, including the HKBU Communication and Visual Arts Building, the Academic and Administration Building, and the Lui Ming Choi Centre at Sin Hang Campus, will have to take compulsory tests. Ms Jenny Lam, a senior lecturer who taught a three-hour lecture which the infected student attended on March 18, said she is not worried about the situation. “The students in that class wore masks throughout the lesson. There was no class discussion and interactions of any kind,” Ms Lam said. She has taken a COVID-19 test at the Hang Hau Community Testing Centre and the result is negative. According to Ms Lam, the classroom is 1100 sq. ft. and there were 25 students in class on the day. The infected student sat on the last row with a friend while other students were at least three rows away from them. Ms Lam said that only one student who attended her …

Society

World Press Photo Exhibition 2020 returns to Hong Kong

The World Press Photo Exhibition opened today for two weeks after being cancelled in February by Hong Kong Baptist University over campus safety and security concerns.  The independent, Amsterdam-based organisation holds the awards, which is recognised as one of the most prestigious photojournalism contests in the world. The World Press Photo 2020 received more than 70,000 entries from 4,000 journalists. The Hong Kong exhibition is sponsored by the Netherlands Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macau. More than 150 photos are exhibited as this year’s winners across eight categories: Contemporary Issues, Environment, General News, Long-term Projects, Nature, Portraits, Sports and Spot News. Photo of the year "Straight Voice", won by AFP photographer Yasuyoshi Chiba, was on a protester reciting poetry amid a military coup and blackout in Sudan. A major theme of the Word Press Photo 2020 were protests held in places all over the world including Algeria, Sudan, Hong Kong and Chile. Other themes were climate change, transgender rights and territorial conflict.  Story of the year titled "Kho, the Genesis of a Revolt", was a series of 30 photographs on the youth-led protests in Algeria by photographer Romain Laurendeau. A series of photographs on the protests in Hong Kong titled “Hong Kong Unrest” by AFP photographer Nicolas Asfouri, was nominated for World Press Photo Story of the Year. The Covid-19 pandemic put a halt to more than half of the World Press Photo exhibitions worldwide and delayed Hong Kong’s exhibition, which was initially set to be held in the fall last year.  The exhibition was cancelled again in February by Hong Kong Baptist University after online criticism of the Hong Kong photos sparked safety and security concerns.  The exhibition is open to the public at theDesk in the United Centre, Admiralty. Online registration is required beforehand to enforce social …

Business

Chinese sportswear stocks jump after anti-Xinjiang cotton statement

Shares of Chinese sportswear makers extended gains on Friday in hopes of increased sales as leading foreign brands, including H&M and Adidas, faced backlash in China after western countries imposed sanction on the country amid a Xinjiang cotton row. Li-Ning (2331.HK) ended 2.9% higher at HK$51.45 after jumping nearly 11% on Thursday. Anta Sports (2020.HK) rose 5.61%, extending gains of 8.4% yesterday. Chinese consumers boycotted some foreign brands after the US along with the European Union, Canada and the UK announced a joint statement earlier this week for sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights violations in Xinjiang. Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwestern China produces about a fifth of the world’s cotton and supplies the material to many international brands. The anti-Xinjiang statement affected a number of fashion brands in China over Xinjiang cotton. Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M products were removed from major Chinese e-commerce platforms including Alibaba and JD.com, following calls by state media for a boycott over the retailer's decision to stop buying cotton from Xinjiang, according to media reports. Several other international brands, including Nike and Adidas, were also targeted by social media in Mainland China this week. The People's Daily, a Chinese government-backed newspaper, shared an image with the hashtag “I support Xinjiang cotton” in Chinese. This post triggers a boycott on Adidas, News Balance, H&M, Nike and Burberry, brands, which expressed concern about the alleged use of Uighur forced labour in the production of Xinjiang cotton. Adidas, New Balance, H&M and Burberry and their stock prices were lower. Adidas was at $155.71 (HK$1209.7) and H&M $4.56 (HK$35.43), down 5.25% and 3.38% respectively overnight. Chinese celebrities cut ties with brands rejecting Xinjiang cotton. “Me and my company artist - Eason Chan Yick-shun resolutely boycott any action vilifying China, Therefore, we decided to terminate all collaboration …

Society

DSE results to be released via SMS, strict Covid measures in place as exams begin next month

Candidates sitting this year's Diploma of Secondary Education examinations will receive their results through SMS messages in addition to official print transcripts, the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority announced on Thursday.  The text will show the partial name and ID number of the student, subjects and grades. It allows candidates - who might not be able to go to school in-person due to Covid-related reasons - to change their university choices promptly, said Ricardo Mak, Director of Public Examinations at the HKEAA.  The HKEAA will send students a test SMS in June, one month before the DSE results are released.  The exams will take place from April 23 to May 20.  Students waiting for compulsory Covid tests or in lockdown are not allowed to take the exams, and they should inform the Public Examinations Information Centre, the HKEAA said. But there will be no make-up if the students miss their exams, added the HKEAA. The application for absence from exams requires affirmation from the school principal. The HKEAA will then give a grade based on the student's academic performance; the maximum score is 5, the third-highest level after 5** and 5*. "Regarding unusual cases like this, we will assess and tackle fairly and impartially," said Mr Mak. Head of School Examinations and Assessment Margaret Hui said, students who are late for exams because of delayed Covid test results should try to head to the centres and report to the supervisors. But no extra hours will be granted. "Even though they might have less time for paper 1, they might make it to do paper 2. We will use the performance of paper 2 to assess how we can compensate for the loss in paper 1," Ms Hui said. Candidates must fill in the health-declaration form and have their temperature …