THE elderly leadership in Beijing had better watch out, or they'll end up spending all their yuan on Amway Nutrilite vitamins and DishDrops washing-up liquid. The reason: Amway Asia Pacific is recruiting Jing Shuping - a 75-year-old director of CITIC and longtime member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - as a director. Amway, remember, is the ''network marketing'' - don't say ''pyramid selling'' - outfit where friends sell their friends everything from lipstick to car wax, spurred on by big sales incentives which turn enthusiastic bank clerks into big money earners. It's done huge business in Hong Kong, and the flotation of Hong Kong-based Amway Asia Pacific means for the first time it's possible to see just how huge. Last year, Amway had local sales of $461 million, according to its prospectus. And if the company was being floated here instead of New York and Australia, its $8.2 billion market capitalisation would make it Hong Kong's 47th-largest listed firm - about the same size as Peregrine Investments, Shanghai Petrochemical or Kowloon MotorBus. The arm being floated has a vast army of 400,000 distributors across the region, and no one will be surprised to find it's using Merrill Lynch to raise $1.1 billion because it wants to move into China. Getting Mr Jing on the board is a good start. It is also taking on Eoghan McMillan, ex-chairman of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange and previously Arthur Andersen's top accountant in the territory, plus Jack So of SHK Properties and formerly executive director of the Trade Development Council. Their colleagues, no doubt, are already loaded up on DishDrops. ''Socialism with Chinese characteristics'' means Amway will be welcomed with open arms, according to the prospectus. And its evangelism for self-advancement and 100 per cent American philosophy should ensure it does well. Amazing. Twenty years ago the mere mention of Amway would have caused Chairman Mao to fall out of bed with fury. New stock THIS has been a record year for new issues at the stock exchange, and not just companies. In the listing division, there have been at least five babies born to staff or their spouses. Nice to know they have more on their minds than shares. Kenneth Koo, soon-to-depart deputy head, has been responsible for one of these new issues. His Brazilian wife Gigi launched Dominique earlier this year. And Angela, wife of much-photographed listings boss Herbert Hui, has now gone through the nine-month registration period. This new issue is scheduled in four days' time and is known to be a girl who is going to be called Colleen. Herbert's first child was born about two years ago and named Colin. ''Good Scottish names,'' he said yesterday. ''I'm a fan of the Scots.'' Impatent GOOD news for those who saw yesterday's recipe for edible chopsticks but are afraid of infringing the patent. Patent lawyer Graeme Hall of Deacons says even if protected, Section 60(5)(a) of the Patents Act 1977 excludes acts done in the home which are not commercial. Another suggestion comes from Hal Archer of Pokfulam, who points out that upmarket European restaurants already provide edible chopsticks, although most diners regard them as bread sticks. Flat note OVER at stockbroker HG Asia, Alan Hargreaves is taking his life into his hands and going to run the New York office. New York is where the money is coming from these days. He'll remain an executive director and will be able to keep closer contact with Smith Barney, the US brokerage which owns about 20 per cent of HG Asia. Alan has been taking some ribbing. Despite HG Asia telling its customers to buy Hong Kong property stocks, he's selling his flat. Non-events INTERNATIONAL Events, the company offering unofficial ''hospitality packages'' for the Rugby Sevens in March, got its tickets from the overseas allocation, its London office said yesterday. However, overseas tickets are supposed to be sold with travel packages and have restrictions on transfers. Anyone thinking about spending $260,000 on a top-of-the-range package to entertain their biggest customers may be interested to hear the Rugby Football Union (RFU) remark: ''I hope the people who agreed to buy these packages from this company are not letdown on the day.'' International Events has been cold-calling almost everyone in town over the past few weeks. Among those called was Stuart Leckie, director of Wyatt Co. Stuart didn't buy one of the packages in the end. He's probably already got his seat for the event fixed up. After all, he's the RFU chairman. Horse sense RIVER Verdon sure is a smart horse. It's got a telephone. If you don't believe it, look in the blue phone book.