🌊 Free Tide: Hong Kong Book Fair returns
Annual book fair opens amidst COVID & self-censorship concerns
This will be my last time doing High Tide! To the best of my knowledge, I’ll be handing you off to Cyril over the weekend, and then back to Kyna after that. I’ve had a blast over the past 2 weeks, I hope you have too!
~ Sze Yu
Hong Kong Book Fair returns after one year delay
The annual Hong Kong Book Fair opened on Wednesday morning after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 7-day event, featuring 763 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of publications, is scheduled to continue until Tuesday next week (20 July).
Aside from the long shadow of COVID-19, the event was affected by persistent fears of self-censorship. This years fair is the first since the Beijing-imposed National Security Law came into force last June –critics fear the law could be used to limit free speech in books and literature. Readers on Wednesday noticed far fewer books penned by opposition figures (paywalled) on display than in past iterations of the event.
For citizens who have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccines, 10,000 free tickets will be given out on July 14 and 15. The remaining 15,000 free tickets will be distributed from July 16 to 20, with 3,000 free tickets each day. The tickets will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis, and vaccinated citizens must enter the hall before midday.
Coronavirus in Hong Kong
New cases: 3 (imported)
Total cases: 11,956 cases so far (75 active cases, 212 total deaths, 11,669 total recovered)
Lalamove considers shifting US$1B IPO to HK
Chinese on-demand logistics and delivery firm Lalamove may shift its IPO from the United States to Hong Kong over concerns with new Chinese regulations. The company filed for a US IPO last month, but as domestic regulators continue to crack down on firms chasing overseas listings, it is now evaluating the benefits of a switch to Hong Kong.
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Yuen Long district councillor arrested for Facebook post
Former Yuen Long district councillor Ho Wai-pan was arrested on Wednesday for criminal intimidation charges from a post on his Facebook page uploaded in March last year. The post, which included a photo of a knife, described a sweep Ho said he was planning to conduct against illegal gamblers in a Tin Shui Wai public housing estate.
Ho was taken away by police from his Tin Shui Wai home at about 7am and announced his resignation several hours after.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam has proposed a new quota system that would help facilitate quarantine-free business travel with mainland China (paywalled). The system would only be open to vaccinated travelers.
Hong Kong solicitor Selma Massod has announced her candidacy in upcoming Law Society elections. Masood refused to label her political stance, saying she wants to be the “face of hope” as the city is “at a crossroads.”
Secretary for Security Chris Tang defended the three top officials who violated social-distancing guidelines, saying the three had ‘sacrificed family time’ for the work-related dinner. “[A]fter working tirelessly every day, we all hope to spend time with family. But why do we have to sacrifice time for our families on these gatherings? Because this indeed is a crucial part of our work,” he said.
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