Glitch leaves Henry Tang red-faced, but 'all will be right on the night'
Will Clem in Shanghai
Gremlins rained on Hong Kong's parade yesterday when Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen paid a visit to the city's HK$346 million presence at the World Expo in Shanghai.
The two pavilions are intended to show Hong Kong off as a world leader in hi-tech lifestyle solutions and innovations. Tang was visiting the sites ahead of the May 1 opening.
But he was left red-faced when a touch-screen repeatedly failed to respond. He spent a minute trying to operate it before being ushered to another screen. Shortly afterwards, he ended up briefly talking at cross-purposes via an internet link to colleagues in the main pavilion across the Huangpu River, due to a considerable time delay on the system.
However, Tang refused to let the problems spoil his enjoyment of the exhibitions. 'The mood inside was very good. You get to see a very moving multimedia experience,' he said. 'We believe that we will definitely be able to improve these [glitches].' The technical team would be able to use a test-opening period, starting today, to 'strive for full marks'.
Hong Kong is represented at the six-month expo by two exhibitions, one on either side of the river.
In the Urban Best Practices Area, the city's exhibition focuses on 'smart card, smart city, smart life'. The stand opens with a two-minute film introducing Hong Kong's landscape and culture. Visitors then get the chance to interact with the touch-screen portals, which introduce the Octopus card and other uses of smart-chip technology.
The city's main pavilion is in the larger half of the park on the east bank, in the shadow of the China pavilion. The three-storey structure contains a variety of interactive games, a 3D film and a rotating theme exhibition to project the image of Hong Kong as an 'open, inclusive, pluralistic society' with an environmental twist.The pavilion's roof is a woodlands and wetlands garden to highlight the city's country parks.