HK Pro-Beijing councillor apologises for mistakenly using Youngspiration member’s portrait in messaging app Telegram

DAB District Councillor Elaine Chik Kit-ling used localist group Youngspriation member Regine Yau Wai-ching’s portrait as her avatar, but states she was not pretending to be a localist

Nicola Chan |

Latest Articles

What you need to know about the 2020 policy address

Gaming, not mindfulness, may be the answer to Covid fatigue

Another protest is set to take place on Wednesday night in Central.

On Sunday evening, pro-Beijing Eastern District Council member Elaine Chik Kit-ling was found using localist group Youngspiration member Regine Yau Wai-ching’s portrait as her avatar on Telegram, a messaging app used by tens of thousands of protesters against the extradition bill.

The photo misuse incident was disclosed by Yau on her Facebook page. She posted a screenshot of Chik’s Telegram profile, which showed that Chik’s mobile number was registered with the username marychannn and an avatar of Yau. She also uploaded an audio of a telephone conversation – recorded on the same day – in which she confronted Chik about the incident.

In the recording, Chik said she didn’t use her own portrait because she didn’t wish to reveal her real identity on Telegram. Yau’s picture, she added, was a result of a web search on the messaging app.

A screencap shows pro-Beijing District Councillor Elaine Chik was using Regine Yau Wai-ching's portrait.
Photo: Facebook/Yau Wai-ching

When asked if she was pretending to be a localist on Telegram, Chik denied it, adding that she “didn’t recognise the person in her profile picture was Yau” until her friend asked her why she was using Yau’s photo.

She changed her avatar immediately afterwards, she added.

Eight hours after Yau’s posts, Chik uploaded a video on her Facebook page apologising to Yau, with a status which read she’s “feeling sorry”.

According to SCMP, Telegram was one of Hongkongers’ most downloaded apps this month. It has been used by protesters to exchange information and provide updates on their future plans.

Meanwhile, the Civil Human Rights Front will hold a rally at 8pm on Wednesday at Edinburgh Place in Central. The “G20 Free Hong Kong” assembly will take place a day before US leader Donald Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. The Front is hoping to use the protest to urge the international community to put pressure on Xi and Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to respond to citizens’ demands regarding the extradition bill.

But China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs Zhang Jun said this morning that no discussion of Hong Kong would be allowed at the summit despite Trump’s plan to raise the mass protests with Xi.

Edited by M. J. Premaratne

You might also like:

Hong Kong extradition law: A timeline of events that led to the current mass protests

Hong Kong extradition law: What to do if you are arrested by the police

Hong Kong extradition law: Police under scrutiny following accusations of violence against protesters