Is it just me or do some Hong Kong companies seem to have a complex about their roots? Like the Asian immigrant kids who try to divorce themselves from their race to blend in with their host country, some Hong Kong brands are pretending to be things they are not. Take Japan Home Centre - it was founded by two savvy Hongkongers. I say "savvy" because while the stores look unassuming, just like Starbucks, they are everywhere and will, in HK$30 increments, bleed your bank account dry. You go in looking for an emergency loofah holder and come out with a set of mugs, two plants, a box of binder clips in an array of pastel hues and a random beckoning-cat figurine. (You forget the loofah holder). Note that when anti-Japanese tensions flare up, the company sheepishly posts signs outside its stores explaining how it is, in fact, not Japanese. Another culprit is home appliances brand German Pool - you know, the one with the Deutsche flag as its logo. It doesn't hail from Germany, of course. It was started in To Kwa Wan. It's a similar story with Shanghai Tang. I guess "Hong Kong Tang" doesn't have the same ring to it. To be fair, Hong Kong isn't the only offender. South Koreans love anything plastered with an Eiffel Tower, leading countless brands to masquerade as the epitome of Parisian chic. Bakery chain Paris Baguette is ubiquitous in Seoul, but is, you guessed it, Korean. The Hong Kong Beer Co's straightforward name gets my stamp of approval. The Sevens Stout and Dragon's Back Pale Ale are glimmers of homespun pride. I'm not saying slap pictures of dragons, phoenixes and dim sum steamers onto every local product, but we should at least represent the 852.