Hong Kong in 2015: Here's the News That Went Viral
We take a look back at the local news that spread like wildfire.
Jan 31, Sat: Thousands bid farewell at the funeral of Francis Lam Pou-chuen, the Cantonese voice of Japanese robot cat Doraemon. Many are in tears, remembering how Lam’s voice accompanied them through their childhoods. The funeral hall is filled with floral wreaths in Doraemon-inspired patterns. Six screens show video clips of Lam’s past work. Lam passed away in early January at 63.
Feb 14, Sat: A Sham Shui Po restaurant offers a dinner set for one on Valentine’s Day. Apple Daily visits the restaurant at 7:30pm and finds three men enjoying the set. A staff member says about 15 people made a reservation—they were hoping to seat single men and women together—but many did not show up.
Mar 3, Tue: A dozen books in the Kowloon Public Library about China and Hong Kong’s politics and economy are found to contain yellow notes inside the pages which read: “Fight bravely; Hong Kong will establish its own state” in Chinese. Between the two Chinese lines, “Umbrella Revolution” is printed in English.
Apr 15, Wed: A McDonald’s outlet at New Town Plaza in Sha Tin is forced to close after more than 30 years due to high rent. Snap, a newly formed community organization, puts on “Black Tie at McDonald’s”—a silent protest against the influx of expensive shops in the mall. A group of 20 people from Snap turn up dressed in suits and dresses, bringing plates and champagne glasses to eat on. The McDonalds outlet of New Town Plaza was at one point the busiest in the world. Developers are set to replace it with sneaker shops.
May 9, Sat: After a long night of partying in Stanley, a British expat takes a taxi to his home on Conduit Road. He veers off the path and gets trapped in the forest, injuring his leg. He calls the police, who send a helicopter to search for him. He is found around 200 meters from Lugard Road on the Peak and is airlifted off the mountain.
Jun 23, Tue: At 2am in the morning, a 44-year-old Kwun Tong man is caught stealing lingerie from his neighbors. The residents had installed two network-connected cameras in their home, as lingerie had been stolen four months ago. The camera alerts one of the residents by phone when the man enters their home. Police find the man shirtless and carrying a plastic bag containing a black spaghetti-strap dress, two panties and two bras. He is arrested. The flat shows no signs of forced entry and police suspect he had a key.
Jul 30, Thu: A 65-year-old man does a celebratory handstand outside Sha Tin Court after charges of illegal hawking are dropped and his repair tools returned to him. The man was arrested on June 28 for receiving compensation for his services as a bike repairman: Two FEHD officers had watched him install handlebars and waited until he was handed $10 to cover the cost of parts before taking him away. He says he plans to continue repairing bikes for his neighbors.
Aug 10, Mon: At around 5am an Australian tourist is arrested after allegedly hijacking a minibus on Lockhart Road, driving it through Causeway Bay and along Stubbs Road before abandoning the vehicle. He is found nearby. In court, a magistrate sets bail at $5,000, but the man is unable to pay because he lost his wallet during the joyride.
Sep 4, Fri: A man is sentenced to three months in jail for stealing giant tortoises and turtles from a Yuen Long pet shop in July. The defendant stole an Aldabra giant tortoise worth $55,000 on July 30, then went back the next day to steal more of the same species as well as an East African leopard turtle, altogether worth more than $40,000, but was caught in the act. He says he wanted to bring the first tortoise home as a pet, but when it kept hitting its cage and making noises released it into the Hong Kong Wetland Park and returned to the shop
Oct 8, Thu: A 24-year-old model is convicted of stealing an iPhone during her first date with a chef last December. While on the date the model asked the chef, who claimed to be a restaurateur, to buy her $200,000 worth of gifts from Chanel. When he refused, she asked to borrow his iPhone to call her brother, but then left with the phone. The model acted for herself in court, claiming that accepting expensive gifts is widely accepted in the modelling industry. She says that she took the phone because she required compensation for wasting a whole day with him, and that if she had known he was just a chef she never would have gone on the date.
Nov 24, Tue: A 62-year-old man is sentenced to 20 weeks in prison for charges related to selling pirated discs and pornography in the 1990s. The man used to own four shops selling pornography and pirated goods, but fled to the mainland in 1996 after being charged in Hong Kong. Over the years, he developed a successful wine business in China to support his daughter’s schooling in the US. He explains that he decided to surrender himself because he wanted to return to Hong Kong to take care of his bedridden 90-year-old mother.
Dec 2, Wed: A 65-year-old man appears in court charged with knowingly misleading a police officer. In October the man called for a prostitute to come to his house, but discovered after she left that his Rolex watch, worth $30,000, had been stolen during her visit. Not wanting his wife to discover the reason, he instead told police officers that he had been robbed by two teenagers in the hallway of his building. The judge at his trial tells him off for his dishonesty and asks him to say sorry to his wife at the trial, who accepts the apology in tears. The man is fined $2,000.