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  • Oct 24, 2014
  • Updated: 8:10am
NewsHong Kong

Chinese parents hire investigators to spy on their children studying in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 December, 2013, 6:26am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 December, 2013, 6:26am

Rich mainland parents are paying thousands of Hong Kong dollars to private investigators to spy on their children studying in Hong Kong, including PhD students and kindergarteners.

Four detective agencies said they handled on average "a few" to "a dozen" week-long investigations for mainland parents every month.

"The number has more than doubled compared to a few years ago," said Kar Liu, a private eye at Wan King On Investigations.

Philic Man Hin-nam, founder and director of Global Investigation and Security Consultancy, an all-woman detective agency, said that mainland student cases accounted for about 40 per cent of the more than 100 requests made by parents last summer for information on their children.

The majority of family cases were instigated by Hong Kong parents who had reason to fear their children were involved with drugs or being led astray.

"Many mainland students studying in Hong Kong are single children from rich families," Liu of Wan King On Investigations said. "Those parents attach great importance to their children's behaviour."

In 2003, two-thirds of Hong Kong's 2,819 mainland students were postgraduates, according to statistics from the University Grants Committee. Last year, the number of mainland students had ballooned to 10,956. Close to one in six were younger than 18 years of age when their studies commenced.

Parents were understandably curious about what their children were doing, Liu said. Typically, a team of three agents monitor a student, taking photos and reporting back to parents daily. They are sometimes requested to monitor the nannies charged with taking children across the border to kindergartens, or to put devices in schoolbags to keep tabs on children's locations.

Costs ran from several thousand Hong Kong dollars to "no upper limit", depending on how detailed and how long the client wanted an investigation, the detectives said.


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If the kid can't be mature enough to make sure they complete their degrees or PhDs honestly and understand that they have enough fucken fortune to be born into a privileged environment, then maybe the parents should just recall the child back and make them work.
I'm 27 now and had to waiter full time to put myself through uni so that I could eventually provide something better for my parents and also start providing time and money to charities now that I have the fortune of building a little wealth.
If having everything paid for while you spend years just studying doesn't help, maybe working might make you realise how fortunate you already are, or maybe most Chinese parents don't see that pampering and spoiling your kids is pretty much also killing them.
They should be spying on them in the USA, where male Chinese students have a tendency to kill their girlfriends.
The negative word is 'spy'. It is good that the parents care enough to do this. Then they would be aware of problems before they get too serious.
What is annoying is that the article tries to make a false impression that Hong Kong parents wouldn't do the same.
The only difference is that they don't have the resources to hire an investigator, but yes there are a lot of parents in HK who are just as overbearing as mainland ones. It's sad, really, that some parents are so unconfident over their own children's abilities to become an adult.
They do?
It is more troubling for me not that parents hiring detectives to spy on their children but more that the parents aren’t able to supervise their children themselves.
For the Hong Kong parents mostly weighted down by two incomes for their mortgage, and for mainland parents mostly burden their children with objectives other than education. These parents are all delinquents themselves in not providing proper care for their children.
Only change of the fundamentals by the parents could they be real parents (again).


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