Class of ’97: Porsche Kong thinks mainland Chinese support can help Hong Kong businesses develop

Porsche Kong lived for 18 years in Sham Shui Po and still goes back to see the stall owners who watched him grow up. He believes Hong Kong will face competition from cities like Shanghai and social unrest if the government doesn’t respond to public opinions

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 10:01am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 10:00am

Meet the class of ’97, born the year of the handover. Their childhoods tell the stories of Hong Kong’s first two decades after the return to China. Some remember Sars, others took part in Occupy. Now, they’re trying to work out what their future holds – and how Hong Kong’s own uncertain future fits into their plans.

Porsche Kong Pak-yin

“I lived in Sham Shui Po for 18 years. Many of the clothing and toy stall owners have been here since I was born and they watched me as I grew up. My family moved to Sha Tin last year, but I still come back to get street food and buy toys for my nieces.

“My brother gave me the name Porsche because he loves cars. I like it because it sounds like “marble ball” in Cantonese. I’m as active and flexible as marbles.

“My parents work in a Cantonese restaurant owned by my mother’s family. One brother runs a car repair shop and the other is in charge of the restaurant.

“I’m taking a higher diploma course in tourism and hospitality management. I think it is a good thing that Hong Kong became a part of China. It is a small place, and [the market] will become saturated one day. With the support of the mainland, people will have more chances to develop their businesses.”

“I’m worried about the race between Hong Kong and Shanghai. The mainland is developing fast, and Hong Kong may lose its competitiveness. Politics is also a concern. If the government does not respond to public opinions and deal with income inequality, Hong Kong will see more social unrest.”