Connect with us

Tech News

10 things Hong Kong does better than anywhere else

Published

on

Hong Kong has 1,251 skyscrapers -- more than double that of New York City and Singapore.

Hong Kong has 1,251 skyscrapers — more than double that of New York City and Singapore.

While most cities are using steel and aluminum scaffolding, Hong Kong stands by bamboo. The city has 1,700 registered bamboo spidermen.

While most cities are using steel and aluminum scaffolding, Hong Kong stands by bamboo. The city has 1,700 registered bamboo spidermen.

 Try saying "ci sin zi zyu di zi zyu si ci zyu zi syu zi." The Cantonese tongue twister means "a crazy spider's spider web sticks on a tree branch." The four zi in the sentence all share the same tone but have two different meanings.

Try saying “ci sin zi zyu di zi zyu si ci zyu zi syu zi.” The Cantonese tongue twister means “a crazy spider’s spider web sticks on a tree branch.” The four zi in the sentence all share the same tone but have two different meanings.

Home of Bruce Lee, divine dim sum, lofty buildings, loftier real estate prices and — in spite of all those buildings — easy access to incredible stretches of great outdoors.

It’s been more than 15 years since the British handed Hong Kong over to Chinese rule but little has changed.

Hong Kong remains a competitive and independent city, consistently ranked as one of the world’s best places to live.

But don’t take our word for it.

Here are 10 things this great city does better than anywhere else.

1. Tonal talents

Native English speakers who’ve managed to learn Cantonese from scratch: give yourselves a pat on the back.

The language has a total of six to nine tones, depending on where you’re hearing it, compared to English’s zero tones.

No other Asian language comes close. (There are four tones in Mandarin, five in Thai and six in Vietnamese).

That’s kind of like saying one English word can be pronounced six different ways and have at least six different meanings.

Locals like to say this makes us particularly good at music (certain karaoke sessions have proven otherwise) and studies have shown there’s some truth to this.

To add to the complexity — and fun — of the language, Cantonese is a dialect with new slang invented everyday and many words aren’t used in written communication.

Intimidated?

Check out Carlos Douh’s YouTube channel, the Internet’s most entertaining Cantonese language teacher, for quick and easy Cantonese lessons.

2. Staying alive

Don’t wanna get murdered?

Come to Hong Kong!

The city not only has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, it ranks third in a list compiled by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2011 of places with the least homicides.

Hong Kong — with an intentional homicide rate of 0.2 per 100,000 people in the last 16 years — only lost out to Monaco and Palau, where there have been zero recorded murders.

When you consider that Hong Kong has a population of more than 7 million crammed into a city of 1,104 square kilometers, while Monaco only has about 36,000 people and idyllic island nation Palau about 20,000, Hong Kong definitely triumphs as the safest city in the world.

3. Getting you there

Hong Kong is really good at getting you where you need to go.

The public transportation system is famous around the world for its efficiency and profitability, making Hong Kong one of the least car-dependent cities, with only about 710,000 registered vehicles.

In particular, the MTR Corporation that operates Hong Kong’s subway system is so good at what they do they run other city’s trains as well, including operating sections of subway lines in Beijing, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, London and the whole of Melbourne and Stockholm’s underground networks.

4. Building into the sky

When you’ve got a heck of a lot of people and very little land, what do you do?

Hong Kong’s solution is to stack them up on top of each other, inside tall buildings.

Once the city started doing it, it couldn’t stop.

Hong Kong now has 1,251 skyscrapers and high-rises, the most in the world, creating a dramatic skyline.

There’s the bamboo-like Bank of China by renowned architect I.M. Pei and the 490-meter International Commerce Centre (Hong Kong’s tallest), the latter of which will become a gigantic art piece at the hands of sound artist Carsten Nicolai during Art Basel Hong Kong 2014.

MORE: Life inside the densest place on earth

Hong Kong\'s scaffolders dangle precariously on bits of bamboo.
Hong Kong’s scaffolders dangle precariously on bits of bamboo.

5. Daredevil construction

Most of those skyscrapers were built using bamboo scaffolding, an old craft that involves tying long pieces of sturdy bamboo together to form a freestanding grid structure for workmen to hang out on.

Daredevil scaffolders dangling precariously on bits of bamboo suspended in midair, with a small harness for support, are a common and heart-stopping sight in Hong Kong’s streets.

While most other cities are using steel and aluminium scaffolding, Hong Kong stands by bamboo, even establishing a licensing system through the Hong Kong Construction Industry Council.

There are now more than 1,700 bamboo scaffolders registered with the Construction Workers Registration Board.

6. Letting you keep your money

As a financial center that’s historically been seen as the gateway to the Chinese market, Hong Kong is a great place to make money.

What truly sets it apart is that residents actually get to keep most of the money they earn.

With one of the lowest salaries tax rates in the world, capped at 15-17% and no sales tax or VAT, Hong Kong is an attractive place to work and play.

The profits tax rate is the same for foreign and local companies at a low 16.5% and there’s no capital gains tax in Hong Kong.

That doesn’t make the local government a charity case though.

Property and shares trade keep the government flush — Financial Secretary John Tsang estimates an HK$12 billion surplus for this year.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the salaries tax rate. The error has been corrected.

\
“Is that you, Bruce?”

7. Kung fu movies

Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Maggie Cheung, John Woo, Wong Kar-wai … the list of Hong Kong’s cinematic heavy hitters goes on.

For a relatively small city (population 7 million) tucked away in a far corner of East Asia, Hong Kong sure has produced a lot of Hollywood-worthy stars.

But it’s the city’s kung fu movies that are the most recognized.

“Enter the Dragon,” “Fist of Fury,” “Once Upon a Time in China,” and “Drunken Master” are just a few of the classics that come to mind.

Much of the city’s cinematic martial arts glory is due to the efforts of one legendary movie mogul: Sir Run Run Shaw, who passed away at the age of 107 in January.

Shaw put Hong Kong movies on the map by inventing and popularizing kung fu genre films in the 1970s and pushing co-productions such as “Blade Runner.”

Despite all that clout Shaw never got to work with Bruce Lee, as the kung fu superstar was offered a better deal by rival Golden Harvest early in his career.

8. Soft landings

One of the most impressive sites for Hong Kong visitors is the airport.

Most love the efficiency, the fast connection to the city through the Airport Express, and the frequent traveler system that allows jet setters to use a fast lane through immigration.

The airport is one of the most lauded in the world, winning nearly 40 awards from international operations since it opened in 1998 and ranking atop Skytrax’s World’s Best Airport list for eight years in a row.

Sure, it’s recently been toppled from the throne by Singapore’s Changi Airport.

But Hong Kong handles more passenger traffic, 53 million passengers in 2011.

Take that, Singapore.

9. Foodie-ism

Hong Kong: 7 million people, 15,000 restaurants.

This is a city of unashamedly camera-toting, food-blogging, lip-smacking gourmands.

And while we don’t have the restaurant density of New York City, our diversity is staggering.

Foodies here will have lunch at a three Michelin star restaurant and dinner at a street-side dai pai dong hawker stall.

Our cha chaan teng diners can whip up fantastical East-meets-West dishes, considered sacrilegious anywhere else in the world — ever tried a syrup-slathered French toast filled with satay beef slices?

Or instant noodles dressed in a cheese sauce?

No? You haven’t lived.

Take it from this city of people who are very good at eating.

10. Partying so hard the neighbors want in on it

First time visitors to Hong Kong’s party area, Lan Kwai Fong, might think they’ve entered a time warp, suddenly appearing in Ibiza or Cancun at 9 p.m. on a Friday night.

The area crams more than 100 bars, restaurants, clubs and shops into just a few short streets (and in the high-rises along the streets), which themselves are nearly always crammed with expats, flight attendants and other 9-to-5 refugees.

Neon lights blur into happy hour signs, which blur into fridges filled with garishly colored vodka jelly shots.

Come special events, such as the Rugby Sevens or New Year’s Eve, the area gets ridiculously, lung-crushingly crowded.

Lankwaifong.com claims it’s “Hong Kong’s premiere dining and entertainment destination,” which makes it sound somewhat more sophisticated than it really is.

But for turning a rubbish Tuesday workday into a heady, beery, feels-like-Friday evening, where you’re guaranteed to meet someone you know, there’s no place like it.

It’s so successful that Chinese cities are asking Lan Kwai Fong Group to re-create the nightlife districts in their cities, namely Lan Kwai Fong Chengdu and Lan Kwai Fong Wuxi.

 MTR Corporation, which operates Hong Kong's subway system, is so good at its job it now runs other cities' trains as well.

MTR Corporation, which operates Hong Kong’s subway system, is so good at its job it now runs other cities’ trains as well.

 With one of the world's lowest salary tax rates and zero sales tax, Hong Kong is great about letting you keep your hard-earned money.

With one of the world’s lowest salary tax rates and zero sales tax, Hong Kong is great about letting you keep your hard-earned money.

 Is that you, Bruce? When it comes to kung fu films, Hong Kong is the undisputed champ. "Fist of Fury," "Once Upon a Time in China," and "Drunken Master" are classics that make regular appearances on "world's best martial arts films" lists.

Is that you, Bruce? When it comes to kung fu films, Hong Kong is the undisputed champ. “Fist of Fury,” “Once Upon a Time in China,” and “Drunken Master” are classics that make regular appearances on “world’s best martial arts films” lists.

It's not even dark and the place is already hopping. Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong area crams more than 100 bars, restaurants, clubs and shops into just a few short streets.

It’s not even dark and the place is already hopping. Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong area crams more than 100 bars, restaurants, clubs and shops into just a few short streets.

 Hong Kong came third in a global ranking of places with the least homicides. But given that Palau Island and Monaco are at least 200 times smaller in population, it's fair to say Hong Kong wears the global safety crown for major cities.

Hong Kong came third in a global ranking of places with the least homicides. But given that Palau Island and Monaco are at least 200 times smaller in population, it’s fair to say Hong Kong wears the global safety crown for major cities.

 We hear the disapproving "tsks" coming from New York foodies out there. But where else in the world can you enjoy a Michelin-starred dim sum meal for less than $10, whimsical fusion foods and the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy?

We hear the disapproving “tsks” coming from New York foodies out there. But where else in the world can you enjoy a Michelin-starred dim sum meal for less than $10, whimsical fusion foods and the best Italian restaurant outside of Italy?

 Ranking first on Skytrax's World's Best Airport list eight years in a row, Hong Kong's Airport is indeed a dandy. Sure, Singapore's Changi Airport recently knocked it from its throne. But Hong Kong handles more passenger traffic -- 53 million passengers in 2011.

Ranking first on Skytrax’s World’s Best Airport list eight years in a row, Hong Kong’s Airport is indeed a dandy. Sure, Singapore’s Changi Airport recently knocked it from its throne. But Hong Kong handles more passenger traffic — 53 million passengers in 2011.

source:http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/20/travel/10-things-hk-does-best/index.html?sr=fb042214hongkong8pStoryGalPhoto

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Industry

THE FINTECH REVOLUTION IN INSURANCE

Published

on

Advancing technology has collided with longstanding customer issues to create a series of deep, lasting, systemic challenges for insurance. How will these trends impact insurers’ businesses and the industry overall?

The rise of fintech, changing consumer behavior, and advanced technologies are disrupting the insurance industry. Additionally, Insurtechs and technology startups continue to redefine customer experience through innovations such as risk-free underwriting, on-the-spot purchasing, activation, and claims processing.

The report from Deloitte Global examines forces that are disrupting the insurance industry and presents four possible scenarios for the future. We explore:

  • Changing the channel: Partnerships with product makers and distributors, and embedding insurance into other products and services may enable customers to select products that best fit their lifestyle.
  • Underwriting by machine: Technology advancements including AI innovations and algorithms will likely individualize risk selection and pricing, and customers can select products based on a wider range of price points.
  • Rise of the flexible product: Time-flexible, event-driven, modular and adjustable coverage may evolve to accommodate life stage, lifestyle, and wellness changes among consumers.
  • E-Z life insurance: Given the growth and shopping patterns in emerging markets, insurers who introduce flexible term products, and master digital distribution without compromising underwriting are likely to win in the marketplace.

Read the report to understand what the future holds for the insurance industry.

Key Contact

Neal Baumann

Neal Baumann

Global Insurance Leader

Neal leads Deloitte’s Global Insurance practice and is the US insurance consulting leader. He has 20 years of experience advising financial services and insurance company clients on corporate and comp… More

Continue Reading

Business

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK RUNS BLOCKCHAIN HACKATHON

Published

on

A team from EY triumphed in a 48-hour European Investment Bank (EIB) hackathon designed to find ways to use blockchain technologies to redesign the transaction processing of commercial paper.

The EIB brought together 56 coders from 15 countries in 12 teams for the hackathon, run alongside the bank’s annual forum dedicated to treasury issues.

While the conference was running, the coders were locked in an adjacent room, trying to prove that blockchain tech can improve the transaction process of commercial paper – a short-term financing instrument that is used worldwide in treasury operations and still relies on an ‘archaic’ and complex process.

In the pitching session, the EY team won the contest with an effort that taps a combination of blockchain, robotics and business AI tools to optimise the issuance process and reduce the number of exchanges between the EIB and its counterparties while maintaining each one’s role within the ecosystem.

The EY team won a EUR5000 cash prize and a contract with the EIB to further develop its solution into a proof of concept.

Alexander Stubb, vice president, EIB, say: “There will be major gains from the use of new technologies such as blockchain, generated from the simplification and streamlining of existing financial processes. The new perspectives opened up by digitalisation and Distributed Ledger Technology must be assessed and we must all be ready to make use of them and embark on this new venture.

“As the EU’s financial arm, we decided to be on the active side, learn by experience and make things happen, to be a facilitator and join with our banking partners to pave the way for tomorrow’s financial industry.”

Separately, Barclays is planning a hackathon that will see coders use blockchain technology for post-trade processing of derivatives contracts. The event will take place over two days in September in London and New York, according to Coindesk.

Continue Reading

Industry

GOOGLE NEVER REALLY LEFT CHINA: A LOOK AT THE CHINESE WEBSITE GOOGLE’S BEEN QUIETLY RUNNING

Published

on

More information is leaking out about just how Google is planning to re-enter the Chinese market with a mobile search engine application that complies to the country’s censorship laws.

The Intercept first broke this story when a whistleblower provided them documentation detailing the secret censored search project (codenamed Dragonfly). According to them, an overlooked Google acquisition from 2008 — 265.com — has been quietly laying down the foundation for the endeavor.

In order to run a business in China, tech companies are required to obtain a Internet Content Provider license from the Chinese government. As it’s difficult for foreign businesses to obtain this license, Google has long partnered with Chinese IT company Ganji.com. Back in the early years of Google.cn, Google actually operated directly off of Ganji.com’s license, even claiming the Chinese company was temporarily running its search engine. Facing intense scrutiny from the Chinese government and the media over this license arrangement, in 2007 Google formed a legitimate joint venture company with Ganji.com — the Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co.

Because of the necessity of that license, Google has maintained that joint venture and has been operating in China under the name Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. ever since. Even after the shut down of Google.cn, Google’s Chinese advertising enterprise has been operating under the joint venture company as well as, low and behold, 265.com. A whois search of the 265.com domain name, which provides a record of the current domain registrant information, pulls up Beijing Guxiang Information and Technology Co. as the registrant organization.

A significant number of Google employees are reportedly none too happy about Google’s project complying with Chinese censorship laws. This most recent news, that the company has long been collecting data for a moment just like this, surely won’t make morale among these workers any better.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 671 other subscribers

Advertisement

Trending

%d bloggers like this: