Lancome scandal

Show goes on for Denise Ho with free Hong Kong concert after Lancome scrapped her event

Canto-pop singer who joined pro-democracy Occupy movement invites ‘all daring people’ to five-hour programme on Sunday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 June, 2016, 1:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 June, 2016, 11:03am

Canto-pop singer Denise Ho Wan-sze has announced she will host a free concert in Hong Kong this Sunday, two weeks after cosmetics giant Lancome called off a planned performance following sharp criticism the entertainer drew from mainland internet users.

Ho’s concert is to be held in the same neighbourhood, on the same day and at around the same time as the one originally planned by Lancome.

Lancome’s mini-concert was part of a two-day programme co-organised by the cosmetics giant and eight shops in an area of Sheung Wan called PoHo, referring to Po Hing Fong and Tai Ping Shan streets. Both the programme and mini-concert were cancelled.

She wants answers: Denise Ho urges L’Oreal boss in Hong Kong to explain concert cancellation

Ho was vilified on the mainland for taking part in pro-democracy Occupy movement protests in 2014. Her Lancome event was cancelled on June 5 after Beijing newspaper Global Times slammed the cosmetics brand for “inviting a Hong Kong independence advocate”.

Posting on her Facebook page on Wednesday, Ho announced her performance on Sunday would start at 3.30pm and that the five-hour programme in PoHo titled “The Beauty of WE” would begin from 12pm.

Ho wrote that she, as well as cafes and handicraft shops in PoHo, invited “all daring people who share their belief to respond to suppression and fear with music, culture, individuality and firmness”.

Leather, pottery and floral workshops are to be held that day, with discounts offered at the shops, she added.

The singer said the programme would be “free from politics, slogans, banners, placards, organisations ... and big conglomerates”. She said she would elaborate live on Facebook at 10pm on Wednesday.

Since June 5, L’Oreal’s spokeswomen in Paris and Hong Kong had not responded to the Post’s inquiry regarding Ho.

Economist Andy Kwan Cheuk-chiu, of the ACE Centre for Business and Economic Research, said the cosmetics group’s silence showed its eagerness to protect its mainland business.

According to L’Oreal’s recent annual reports, its profit in Hong Kong doubled from 42.7 million in 2011 to 87.9 last year. But during those five years, its profit in the mainland grew even faster from 139.4 million in 2011 to 320.7 million last year – almost four times that of Hong Kong’s figure.

L’Oreal’s cosmetics sales in the Asia-Pacific region also grew by more than half, from 3,619.5 million in 2011 to 5,463.5 million last year.