Lai See

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 June, 2004, 12:00am


At his company's Hong Kong listing debut ceremony last Thursday, Mengniu Dairy chairman Niu Gensheng demonstrated that his talents extend beyond the milk market to co-ordinating news coverage.

When a CCTV reporter solicited an on-the-spot interview with the boss of China's third largest dairy firm, Mr Niu told the reporter that he should first interview the head of his company's listing sponsor, Morgan Stanley.

Then he asked the CCTV reporter to talk to the representative of another sponsor, BNP Paribas Peregrine.

Used to following instructions from above, CCTV duly complied.


After a briefing by the mayor of Changchun last week, Hong Kong tycoons on a tour of northeast China were driven to the spectacular 83 sq km, man-made Jingyuetan National Forest. Planted in 1934 during the Japanese occupation, the visitors walked for 30 minutes through a pine forest to a man-made lake also created by Japanese engineers to provide the city with drinking water. There the tycoons could momentarily forget the weighty issues of unemployment and overproduction of steel.


Journalists travelling with the tycoons had the pleasure of knowing, briefly, what it is like to be a leading cadre.

At the end of the visit to Jingyuetan National Forest, their bus was treated like the limo carrying a visiting head of state. The bus was escorted by a black limousine of the People's Armed Police, its siren wailing.

Dozens of police were mobilised along the 10km route back to the hotel to stop thousands of cars, ensuring journalists had a smooth ride. Even in the afternoon rush hour, the journey took less than 20 minutes without a single stop.

Trapped motorists could not be reached for comment.