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How to get a Hong Kong bank account (for Hong Kong’s Scheme $6000)

How to get a Hong Kong bank account (for Hong Kong’s Scheme $6000)

If you happen to have a Permanent ID card from Hong Kong, you will probably have heard about the Hong Kong Government’s plans to give HK$6000 (about £500) to those who hold such a card. Amongst all the other hurdles us international types would have to jump (having the right card at the right time), there’s at least one major caveat: to actually get the money, you either need to have a Hong Kong-based current or savings account, or collect a cheque from a nominated Hong Kong post office and cash it at a particular bank.

Fortunately, I’ve got an email from the Bank of China in London (Chinatown branch) who say:

“We have been informed that we can open the account for UK residents who hold the Hong Kong Identity Card. We are still waiting for confirmation from Hong Kong on when we can start the account process.”

So they’ll let me know when the process starts, and I can let you know if you’re interested!

Inside a Hong Kong village…

Inside a Hong Kong village…

Apparently, Hong Kong is all a twitter about the sit-in demonstrations (complete with riot police and pepper spray) that have been taking place as the Hong Kong Legislative Council rubber-stamped a decision to build a high-speed railway line through Hong Kong to China, demolishing ancient villages in the process. (Interestingly, the official Chinese news state agency thinks the protestors barely deserve half a sentence in their report).

Anyway, cnngo.com had a photo-essay featuring the village at the heart of the railway line, and it’s rather striking how it looks an awful lot like the village my parents grew up. Even if I haven’t been back there in 20 years.

Oh, while we’re here, 50 reasosn why Hong Kong is fab. Now if only I spoke Cantonese…

7m people in Hong Kong. Not one Chinese person?

7m people in Hong Kong. Not one Chinese person?

According to Wikipedia, Hong Kong has 7 million citizens, 95% of whom are Chinese.

According to this BBC News report about Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels escalator system – the “longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world” – there’s not a single Chinese person who could talk about the system. The reporter’s Australian, who interviews another non-Chinese person about the escalators and how they’ve revitalised previously run-down parts of Hong Kong.

It’d be like going to San Francisco, doing a report on the trams there, and only being able to find one Chinese person to interview.

I know it’s not so much racism as the reporter, desperate to file a story, just using her personal contacts to find SOMEONE to interview … but when they said it was one country two systems, they should have said one country, two communities…

UPDATE: The evil former flatmate and Asian-ophile Mr. Fenn took it upon himself to lodge a complaint with BBC News on my behalf (while changing a few details. Like my gender) and the official word from the BBC is:

“There was no intention to give the impression that we were ignoring the views of the residents of Hong Kong. You are right that the reporter was
not herself Chinese – but she was used because she is the BBC’s reporter in Hong Kong and therefore best placed to do the piece. As you also saw we only felt there was space in the piece to hear from one other person – and as it happens, the best interview she obtained on the subject was with the chap who ran the restaurant chain.”

“However I take your point on board – and accept that we should perhaps have made more of an effort to hear something from Chinese residents about the escalator system.”

Hong Kong slang terms

Hong Kong slang terms

A basic list of common terms used in Hong Kong

Always handy – even if it does have an Amero-centric view of it all. Then again, hey, the guy’s American Canadian. Give him a break.

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