Hong Kong protests: Independent CNY Fair to offer refunds after netizens raise doubts about organiser’s past crowdfunding projects

Pro-protester organiser known only as Steve also stated that donated money remained untouched and that the fair would go on

Nicola Chan |

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The 'Burn with You' independent Chinese New Year Fair will go on as planned, says its organisers.

People who’ve funded the “Burn with You” Fair, an independent Lunar New Year Fair in support of the anti-government movement, can now request for a full refund, according to a post published on the fair’s Facebook page on Wednesday morning.

This came after some netizens raising doubts over the credibility of its organiser who is known as Steve. He has been accused of not delivering products to backers of his two previous crowdfunding projects as promised, as well as taking advantage of protesters in support of the city’s ongoing movement.

“People who hope to get a refund can fill in [the Google form] provided, which will be issued by the end of December,” the statement read.

Hong Kong protests: Independent Chinese New Year fair planned after government bans sale of dry goods at annual Victoria Park ‘flower market’

The page’s administrator also publicised a screenshot showing the accumulated funding, totalling HK$767,883, remained untouched in the third-party crowdfunding website GoGetFunding.

A post on local forum LIHKG published on Tuesday night revealed that Steve had formerly launched two crowd-funding campaigns on Kickstarter for a board game and mini neon sign boards in 2017 and 2018 respectively, which was confirmed by Steve on a Facebook live on Tuesday midnight.

Despite the respective estimated delivery dates being December 2017 and October 2019, a majority of both products’ supporters have claimed on the comment section of the campaigns that they had not received the goods or a refund from the projects’ creator.

Steve said on the Telegram group named “Burn With You Fair Stall Owners” at 10am on Wednesday that a transparent financial report of the Fair would be published today.

Hong Kong protests: Government bans dry goods from Chinese New Year fair; only food and flower stalls will be allowed

He added he would try to reach out to the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants to monitor its capital.

Meanwhile, multiple members in the group remain deeply sceptical about Steve, who has stated that he would continue to run the Fair with other members.

Some have also raised questions over the feasibility of running the Fair, which was set to start on January 17, given that the venue has yet to be confirmed.

Around 120 secondary school students had shown interest in renting stalls at the Fair, Steve told Young Post on November 27, with the majority planning to sell creative goods. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced in November that sales of dry good would be banned from the 15 government-run fair held every year.