Stephen Vines

Stephen Vines

Stephen Vines is a Hong Kong based writer and journalist. He has worked in Asia for The Guardian‚ The Daily Telegraph‚ and The Independent‚ and was a consultant editor for The Asia Times.

Latest from Stephen Vines

The View | In Hong Kong, public consultations are effective – at keeping the public at bay

The recent land supply consultation, which was pre-empted by the chief executive’s reclamation proposal, only deepens people’s cynicism over the government’s intention to engage the public.

24 Oct 2018 - 10:31PM

The recent land supply consultation, which was pre-empted by the chief executive’s reclamation proposal, only deepens people’s cynicism over the government’s intention to engage the public.

In Hong Kong, public consultations are effective – at keeping the public at bay
The View | Hong Kong’s ban on e-cigarettes is absurd. If vaping is as bad as smoking, why hasn’t tobacco been outlawed?

The new ban is based on flawed arguments. Young people are also at risk from carbohydrates, trans fats and fast food, so is the Carrie Lam administration going to intervene in all these markets, too?

17 Oct 2018 - 10:39PM

The new ban is based on flawed arguments. Young people are also at risk from carbohydrates, trans fats and fast food, so is the Carrie Lam administration going to intervene in all these markets, too?

Hong Kong’s ban on e-cigarettes is absurd. If vaping is as bad as smoking, why hasn’t tobacco been outlawed?
The View | Unilever’s David vs Goliath battle was a victory for minority shareholders, but was it the best outcome?

While shareholders’ quest for short-term profit is understandable, the long-term well-being of the company as well as the greater public good could at stake.

10 Oct 2018 - 10:41PM

While shareholders’ quest for short-term profit is understandable, the long-term well-being of the company as well as the greater public good could at stake.

Unilever’s David vs Goliath battle was a victory for minority shareholders, but was it the best outcome?
The View | Elon Musk: a visionary leader, or a liability for Tesla’s legacy?

Tesla has been spared a plunge in its share price after an SEC lawsuit was settled out of court, but it continues to face a challenge familiar to all companies dominated by a larger-than-life founder: protecting its legacy.

3 Oct 2018 - 10:33PM

Tesla has been spared a plunge in its share price after an SEC lawsuit was settled out of court, but it continues to face a challenge familiar to all companies dominated by a larger-than-life founder: protecting its legacy.

Elon Musk: a visionary leader, or a liability for Tesla’s legacy?
The View | Why gold is not glittering yet for investors although all signs point to an impending market downturn

Gold, the traditional safe haven in times of market downturn, seems to be performing poorly despite the US-China trade war, political instability in Europe and currency depreciation in emerging markets.

26 Sep 2018 - 10:33PM

Gold, the traditional safe haven in times of market downturn, seems to be performing poorly despite the US-China trade war, political instability in Europe and currency depreciation in emerging markets.

Why gold is not glittering yet for investors although all signs point to an impending market downturn
The View | Immigration is good for business, not a burden, in Hong Kong and the rest of the world

Hong Kong need only look to its own history to discover the truth in the reams of research that highlight the benefits of immigration to society.

19 Sep 2018 - 10:32PM

Hong Kong need only look to its own history to discover the truth in the reams of research that highlight the benefits of immigration to society.

Immigration is good for business, not a burden, in Hong Kong and the rest of the world
The View | Why consumer boycotts of US brands in China might hit Chinese companies the hardest

If a patriotism-fuelled boycott of US products in China gets under way, the Chinese companies behind these brands would be the worst affected.

29 Aug 2018 - 10:31PM

If a patriotism-fuelled boycott of US products in China gets under way, the Chinese companies behind these brands would be the worst affected.

Why consumer boycotts of US brands in China might hit Chinese companies the hardest
The View | Trump gets it right (for once): quarterly corporate earnings reports need to go

The US should replace three-monthly filings with half-yearly reports and stop driving executives to prioritise short-term goals.

22 Aug 2018 - 10:31PM

The US should replace three-monthly filings with half-yearly reports and stop driving executives to prioritise short-term goals.

Trump gets it right (for once): quarterly corporate earnings reports need to go
The View | Why Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Michael Dell welcome shareholder money but not accountability

Innovative business leaders struggle with some of the challenges inherent in leading public companies – from shareholder expectations to short sellers.

15 Aug 2018 - 10:38PM

Innovative business leaders struggle with some of the challenges inherent in leading public companies – from shareholder expectations to short sellers.

Why Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Michael Dell welcome shareholder money but not accountability
The View | Marmalade – however you eat it and wherever you get it – is something we owe to global trade

Chinese exports of marmalade to the US are small and unlikely to be decisive in the trade war, but marmalade is itself a product with a uniquely global production history, showing how much we benefit from international trade.

9 Aug 2018 - 6:05AM

Chinese exports of marmalade to the US are small and unlikely to be decisive in the trade war, but marmalade is itself a product with a uniquely global production history, showing how much we benefit from international trade.

Marmalade – however you eat it and wherever you get it – is something we owe to global trade
The View | As Kit Kat, Starbucks and Posh Spice rulings show, intellectual property is big but bittersweet business

As the importance of trademark protection to the global trade agenda grows, Hong Kong’s rule of law advantage over mainland China is apparent.

1 Aug 2018 - 10:34PM

As the importance of trademark protection to the global trade agenda grows, Hong Kong’s rule of law advantage over mainland China is apparent.

As Kit Kat, Starbucks and Posh Spice rulings show, intellectual property is big but bittersweet business
The View | DJ like Goldman’s next CEO, paint like Churchill, golf like a deal-maker – a good leader has hobbies

David Solomon’s unusual pastime shows how having a life away from work need not be a detriment to success, whereas Elon Musk’s thoughtless comments in the aftermath of the Thai soccer team’s rescue show that a narrow focus on work can be bad for business.

25 Jul 2018 - 10:47PM

David Solomon’s unusual pastime shows how having a life away from work need not be a detriment to success, whereas Elon Musk’s thoughtless comments in the aftermath of the Thai soccer team’s rescue show that a narrow focus on work can be bad for business.

DJ like Goldman’s next CEO, paint like Churchill, golf like a deal-maker – a good leader has hobbies
The View | The forgotten casualty of the trade war is you, the consumer

The focus has been on how producers and markets would be affected, even though consumers, some of whom are getting carried away by the nationalist fervour whipped up, will bear the brunt of the higher prices.

18 Jul 2018 - 10:33PM

The focus has been on how producers and markets would be affected, even though consumers, some of whom are getting carried away by the nationalist fervour whipped up, will bear the brunt of the higher prices.

The forgotten casualty of the trade war is you, the consumer
The View | Hong Kong’s public annuity scheme offers the elderly no bang for their buck and ignores the poor

Hong Kong’s public annuity scheme offers a lower return on investment than other financial instruments, does not account for inflation and fails to tackle elderly poverty.

11 Jul 2018 - 10:28PM

Hong Kong’s public annuity scheme offers a lower return on investment than other financial instruments, does not account for inflation and fails to tackle elderly poverty.

Hong Kong’s public annuity scheme offers the elderly no bang for their buck and ignores the poor
What Henry Ford, George Eastman and Kazuo Kashio had in common – the ability to find the market gap

The most successful brands in history share the ability to fill a gap in the market with a pre-existing invention.

4 Jul 2018 - 10:30PM

The most successful brands in history share the ability to fill a gap in the market with a pre-existing invention.

What Henry Ford, George Eastman and Kazuo Kashio had in common – the ability to find the market gap
The View | Hong Kong civil service opens the door wider for older workers – but not before time

The Hong Kong government’s move to raise the retirement age for more civil servants is laudable, but a far bigger change in policy measures and work practices is needed if Hong Kong is to cope with its ageing population.

27 Jun 2018 - 10:28PM

The Hong Kong government’s move to raise the retirement age for more civil servants is laudable, but a far bigger change in policy measures and work practices is needed if Hong Kong is to cope with its ageing population.

Hong Kong civil service opens the door wider for older workers – but not before time
Opinion | MTR management’s buck-passing over railway scandals a lesson in how not to handle a crisis

The lack of accountability displayed by the MTR Corporation’s leadership is rooted in it being a listed company whose major shareholder is also its regulator.

20 Jun 2018 - 10:54PM

The lack of accountability displayed by the MTR Corporation’s leadership is rooted in it being a listed company whose major shareholder is also its regulator.

MTR management’s buck-passing over railway scandals a lesson in how not to handle a crisis
The View | Dear hedge fund investors: you’re probably not the next George Soros

The reason hedge fund managers’ profits continually grow, even as the hedge funds themselves consistently fail to deliver, is that investors tend only to remember the highly publicised cases of ‘money gods’ who netted huge sums in unusual circumstances.

13 Jun 2018 - 10:57PM

The reason hedge fund managers’ profits continually grow, even as the hedge funds themselves consistently fail to deliver, is that investors tend only to remember the highly publicised cases of ‘money gods’ who netted huge sums in unusual circumstances.

Dear hedge fund investors: you’re probably not the next George Soros
The View | As Disney’s swift cancellation of TV show ‘Roseanne’ reveals, racism is bad for business – and companies are increasingly waking up to the fact

Companies open themselves up to regulatory pressure, advertiser boycotts and damage to their reputations if they appear to support racism.

6 Jun 2018 - 10:30PM

Companies open themselves up to regulatory pressure, advertiser boycotts and damage to their reputations if they appear to support racism.

As Disney’s swift cancellation of TV show ‘Roseanne’ reveals, racism is bad for business – and companies are increasingly waking up to the fact
The View | Hong Kong’s decision to shut out Mong Kok street performers shows government-business relations are a mess

The closing of the Sai Yeung Choi Street South pedestrian zone shows that Hong Kong’s ‘pro-business’ politicians clearly favour some types of business over others.

30 May 2018 - 10:36PM

The closing of the Sai Yeung Choi Street South pedestrian zone shows that Hong Kong’s ‘pro-business’ politicians clearly favour some types of business over others.

Hong Kong’s decision to shut out Mong Kok street performers shows government-business relations are a mess
The View | More money in football means more scandals, less local connection

Stephen Vines says Fifa head Gianni Infantino has had a less scandal-plagued run than his predecessor, but his grand plans for new global club competitions will mean more corporate dollars and a loss of the local feel fans crave.

23 May 2018 - 10:43PM

Stephen Vines says Fifa head Gianni Infantino has had a less scandal-plagued run than his predecessor, but his grand plans for new global club competitions will mean more corporate dollars and a loss of the local feel fans crave.

More money in football means more scandals, less  local connection
The View | Dismal returns of MPF’s low-fee fund are a symptom of the scheme’s overall mediocrity

Tinkering with the Mandatory Provident Fund won’t do much, the scheme itself needs to go.

16 May 2018 - 11:12PM

Tinkering with the Mandatory Provident Fund won’t do much, the scheme itself needs to go.

Dismal returns of MPF’s low-fee fund are a symptom of the scheme’s overall mediocrity
The View | Elon Musk’s ‘bonehead’ moment shows tensions between visionary CEOs and short-sighted shareholders

It’s hardly unusual that an entrepreneur like the Tesla and SpaceX CEO would clash with investors, who have become conditioned to expect near-term reward in their dividend payments.

9 May 2018 - 10:45PM

It’s hardly unusual that an entrepreneur like the Tesla and SpaceX CEO would clash with investors, who have become conditioned to expect near-term reward in their dividend payments.

Elon Musk’s ‘bonehead’ moment shows tensions between visionary CEOs and short-sighted shareholders
The View | Public consultation on land supply is doomed to fail, just like the ones before it

Public consultations serve to delay action that needs to be taken, and in the case of land and housing issues, that action should be to take on powerful vested interests, including the Fanling golf club.

2 May 2018 - 11:06PM

Public consultations serve to delay action that needs to be taken, and in the case of land and housing issues, that action should be to take on powerful vested interests, including the Fanling golf club.

Public consultation on land supply is doomed to fail, just like the ones before it
The View | Expect the unexpected? ZTE and Starbucks’ experiences offer sobering lessons for business owners

Recent events have separately dealt blows to ZTE’s supply chain and Starbucks’ reputation, bringing home the challenges of running a business in these uncertain times.

25 Apr 2018 - 10:33PM

Recent events have separately dealt blows to ZTE’s supply chain and Starbucks’ reputation, bringing home the challenges of running a business in these uncertain times.

Expect the unexpected? ZTE and Starbucks’ experiences offer sobering lessons for business owners
The View | Spotify’s IPO was a success. Never mind that it’s a loss-making company

While most companies go to market to raise money, with its DIY listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Spotify is asking the market to be a loss funder. That’s far from unusual in hi-tech stock listings.

18 Apr 2018 - 10:37PM

While most companies go to market to raise money, with its DIY listing on the New York Stock Exchange, Spotify is asking the market to be a loss funder. That’s far from unusual in hi-tech stock listings.

Spotify’s IPO was a success. Never mind that it’s a loss-making company
From Mark Zuckerberg to Harvey Weinstein, founder CEOs can become too big to fail

Companies that have been built and thrived on the force of their founders’ personalities struggle when these people become a liability and have to be shunted out

11 Apr 2018 - 10:30PM

Companies that have been built and thrived on the force of their founders’ personalities struggle when these people become a liability and have to be shunted out

From Mark Zuckerberg to Harvey Weinstein, founder CEOs can become too big to fail
The View | With its huge reserves, Hong Kong should consider a cash ‘inheritance’ for its young people  

Giving one-off budget ‘sweeteners’ is not an effective way of sharing the wealth. With no public spending reform or universal pension scheme, the next best way may be a publicly funded ‘inheritance’ for, say, all who have turned 25.

4 Apr 2018 - 10:34PM

Giving one-off budget ‘sweeteners’ is not an effective way of sharing the wealth. With no public spending reform or universal pension scheme, the next best way may be a publicly funded ‘inheritance’ for, say, all who have turned 25.

With its huge reserves, Hong Kong should consider a cash ‘inheritance’ for its young people  
Nothing beats equities; a hundred years of history proves it
The View | Investors in Li Ka-shing companies now face the big unknown of second generation leadership

Conglomerates built by charismatic tycoons often don’t fare so well under second generation leadership who’ve been groomed for the role but lack street smarts

21 Mar 2018 - 10:25PM

Conglomerates built by charismatic tycoons often don’t fare so well under second generation leadership who’ve been groomed for the role but lack street smarts

Investors in Li Ka-shing companies now face the big unknown of second generation leadership