Hutchison Whampoa

Lai See

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 November, 2003, 12:00am


Non-native English speakers sometimes choose silly English names. But Lai See tries not to laugh, because the Chinese name of today's ghost writer - given to us by a Mandarin teacher who clearly felt we didn't have much of a future in the language - translates literally as 'strong rice'.

However, we feel we can smile when someone chooses - or is given - an odd name in their native language. Hence our amusement recently at meeting a mainland propaganda official with the given name 'Congming', using the Chinese characters for 'clever'. Clever's parents must have been very proud of him.


Lai See regrets to report there is a serious anomaly in the Bloomberg matrix. The world's largest producer of boring business stories put a story across the wires yesterday that described Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa as a 'Hong Kong-based sports and telecommunications company'.

That was followed later by another version beginning with '(Corrects second paragraph to ports)' - Bloomberg-speak for: 'Oops, we meant ports and telecommunications company.'