Internet abuzz with 'anti-locust' front-page ad drive

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 January, 2012, 12:00am


A group of internet users are set to stoke tensions between Hongkongers and mainlanders by raising money for a front-page advert in a local newspaper to criticise visitors from across the border.

Members of the Hong Kong Golden Forum raised HK$40,000 in five days to fund the advertisement in Apple Daily. The biggest individual contributor gave HK$6,000.

The fund-raising posts on the forum have been made under the title 'Against Locusts'. Locusts is a term used by many disgruntled Hongkongers for mainlanders who they say swamp the city's resources.

Many of the proposed designs for the advertisement contain a picture of the insect. Some refer to what internet users call the 'unacceptable behaviour' of mainland visitors.

Forum organisers said the funds raised would allow them to buy a half-page advertisement on the front page of Apple Daily.

They will continue collecting money until Sunday.

The ad campaign follows a series of rows over the behaviour of mainland tourists and Hongkongers' attitude towards them. Last week, Peking University professor Kong Qingdong branded Hongkongers 'dogs' after footage appeared on the internet of MTR passengers berating a mainland family for allowing a child to eat in a carriage.

Kong has since denied making the remarks to internet TV channel V1, claiming his words were 'maliciously twisted' by the media on the mainland and in Hong Kong.

Users of the forum also criticised mainland women coming to give birth at hospitals in the city and accused mainland tourists of forcing up the price of baby formula. A decision by fashion house Dolce & Gabbana to ban locals from taking photographs outside its store at Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, while allowing foreigners and visitors from the mainland to do so, also inflamed tensions.