'Valet parking' available off Chatham Road | South China Morning Post
  • Thu
  • Feb 26, 2015
  • Updated: 3:39pm
Lai See
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 1:20am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 1:20am

'Valet parking' available off Chatham Road

BIO

Howard Winn has been with the South China Morning Post for two and half years after previous stints as business editor and deputy editor of The Standard, and business editor of Asia Times. His writing has also been published in the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He writes the Lai See column which focuses on the lighter side of business.
 

We've had some follow-up from readers about last week's piece about FedEx and its practice of using its vans as mobile offices while parking them illegally in the street.

We highlighted a spot in Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, but a reader writes to say that another spot used by FedEx vans is outside 7 Austin Avenue, off Chatham Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.

According to our observer, it is parked on a 2-hour parking meter every working day from early morning to late at night.

Austin Avenue is a relatively quiet street, although it has a few bars and clubs. There are parking meters on this street which cost HK$8 an hour. However, we are told these are informally supervised by "valet parking attendants".

The way this works is that if you want to park a car there all day, you have an arrangement whereby you pay these guys HK$20 an hour. For their part, they will feed the meter whenever a policeman or warden is seen approaching.

We have no direct evidence that FedEx plays along with this racket. But most others who want to park in the street find it is advisable to comply with these informal arrangements.

Suffice to say, others find FedEx's continued presence irritating since it is one less parking space for everyone else. As we remarked before, it seems an odd way for a multinational to conduct its business.

That said, another reader has remarked that compared with the likes of SF Express, he views it as the "orderly" display of private business on public grounds, while SF Express regularly converts public space into parcel distribution centres, as in lower Wyndham Street in Central. However you view it, these activities only happen because the police routinely turn a blind eye.

 

Not so happy days

Graham HY Chan & Co, the auditor of listed company Kith Holdings, has informed the company it is resigning. This, according to a stock exchange announcement, is because it says it hasn't been paid for more than 12 months.

However, the announcement expressed this decision more diplomatically, stating it was only taken after "careful consideration of many factors including the professional risk associated with the audit, the level and recoverability of audit fees and their available internal resources in the light of current work flows".

Kith is undergoing some turmoil. Its listing has been suspended and it is in receivership.

The auditor is not the only entity owed money. Kith is being sued in the High Court by Multi-Rainbow for HK$24 million, and it faces a writ from China Rise for amounts of HK$33.3 million and HK$42 million. The Inland Revenue Department is after HK$600,000 from one of its subsidiaries, while a company called Ultimate Dream is suing Kith for vacant possession of the offices used to house its company headquarters in Hing Lung Commercial Building, in Bonham Strand East.

Despite this sombre news, there is a buyer for the company at 38 HK cents a share, which is a 45.7 per cent discount to its last traded price in December 2013 of 70 HK cents.

 

Bing has a good World Cup

Germany's World Cup win, in addition to bringing joy to Germany, was also good news for Microsoft's Bing's prediction technology. Astonishingly, it predicted the winners of all the knockout games including the final. The only result it got wrong was the Brazil vs Netherlands game for third place.

Google also had a good World Cup in predicting the outcome of all the group of 16 games, while it also predicted Germany would defeat Argentina. One key game it slipped up on was in forecasting a win for France over Germany in the quarter-finals.

 

Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to howard.winn@scmp.com

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