Lai See
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 August, 2014, 1:16am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 August, 2014, 1:16am

Superpower weddings


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 received a press release from HighLife Asia, which operates a luxury concierge service out of Shanghai for those that need private jets, VIP luxury shopping and so on. The firm is branching out and has started Highlife Asia Weddings.

"With China becoming the world's next superpower and the increasing household wealth of more families, couples from across the country have the disposable income and thirst to purchase flamboyant wedding props," we're told. Highlife's founder and chief executive Mark Byrne says that the wedding industry in China is changing "with brides wanting more than just a regular banquet and carbon copy decorations that have been seen at multiple weddings." He says that his firm can provide a "rich and valued experience to create a wedding that will be memorable for years to come and earn valuable face for families."

We don't think that rich mainland Chinese have had any difficulty in creating memorable weddings. Take the case of Xing Libin, a coal mine boss from Shanxi province, who a few years ago lashed out 70 million yuan (HK$87.8 million) for his daughter's wedding at Sanya, Hainan Island. To cater for the guests, he booked out the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and Hilton Hotel, according to the website China Whisper. Three planes were leased to fly in the guests and the numerous stars who performed.


Illegal parking in Tung Chung a danger to cyclists

Following our reports of illegal parking chaos in Mui Wo, we hear from readers that it is rampant in Tung Chung. A reader writes with what is now an all too familiar refrain: "The issue of cars illegally parked in the Tung Chung area is reaching epidemic proportion and the police are either oblivious to the problem or incapable of tackling the problem."

The area attracts a number of cyclists, particularly on the roads near and around Disneyland. Illegal parking has contributed to several accidents involving cyclists. Police are reluctant to intervene and don't seem to regard ticketing illegally parked vehicles as part of their job.


Sino changes procedures

The Sino Group, which manages the Centrium in Wyndham Street, Central, has been in touch about the fire in the building last week. On Monday July 21, a car caught fire in the fifth floor car park and the fire brigade was called. While there was no danger to the building occupants, the lifts were frozen, causing some unease to those on the upper floors, some of whom decided to evacuate the building. Since the building management had evacuated its office, nobody could contact them to find out what was going on, and the management didn't inform people.

Lai See has been pestering Sino to explain why the tenants weren't informed as to why the lifts were frozen and whether they were planning to change their procedures in future. Tenants may be reassured to learn that Sino says in its email; "We take safety seriously." It goes on to say they are changing their procedures, which would seem to suggest it now recognises they needed improving.

"While the sprinkler and fire alarm systems are in full compliance with the relevant fire services regulations and requirements, we are making enhancements to the systems to ensure tenants and visitors are fully aware when there is a fire in the building," it said. "At the same time, we have reviewed our procedures in case of emergency, and stepped up training where appropriate. We have also invited representatives from the Fire Services Department to hold safety talks to familiarise the property management team and tenants with fire precautions and what to do in case of a fire."


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Superpower weddings

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