HK’s ‘net believability score’ will raise your heartbeat

Consulum, the PR agency given US$5.7 million to do a strategic something blah-blah study on relaunching Hong Kong, has handed in its report. A Factwire story reveals that it’s bursting with all the exciting and incisive findings and recommendations you would expect. For example, the Japanese are ‘unreachable’ and find official feel-good blather about Hong Kong particularly unbelievable. And our officials should keep quiet about politics, but pitch this city as great for hiking.

Links to the opinion research summaries are here. Jazzy re-positioning stuff is here, if you can stomach slogans like (I can’t believe this is real) ‘Raise capital. Raise a family. Raise your heartbeat.’

According to Factwire, Regina Ip – previously a skeptic about the PR exercise – has changed her mind after seeing these materials.

When Consulum started its work in mid-2020, the project to restore Hong Kong’s image looked desperate. Eighteen months later, with NatSec and Covid regimes in force, the whole thing seems absurdly irrelevant – almost quaint.

We now have CCP-style PR. Cue the Civil Service College subjecting government employees to ‘In-depth Study of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy for a Brighter Future of Hong Kong’. 

Some weekend reading…

Jerome Cohen on the Chief Justice’s remarks on how Hong Kong still has judicial independence.

From HKFP, an interesting explanation of the business model and economics of food delivery platforms like Deliveroo and Foodpanda, including ‘ghost kitchens’. The platforms clearly offer restaurants access to a bigger market, but also extract rents as rapaciously as landlords. For some restaurants (especially with Covid lockdowns) not playing along isn’t an option.

Samuel Bickett sees selective and protectionist action in the Hong Kong Competition Commission’s investigation into the two main food-delivery services, which are apparently European. (He sees echoes of Mainland discrimination against foreign companies, though this may be reading too much into it. It could just be that the Competition Commission, yet another bloated public-sector bureaucracy, doesn’t have enough work to do.) However, the allegations sound familiar – a bit like past complaints about the two big supermarket chains’ policies toward wholesale suppliers that sell to smaller players that undercut the duopoly.

Samuel Bickett’s appeal comes up on February 8. You can subscribe and donate to him here.

From the Diplomat, signs that Beijing is curbing the more rabid aspects of wolf-warrior diplomacy.

Francesco Sisci on the role of taxation in China’s governance (more interesting than it sounds if you’re into that sort of thing).

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to HK’s ‘net believability score’ will raise your heartbeat

  1. A Poor Man says:

    Speaking of public relations…
    The Po Po Commissioner claims that he attended the birthday party for Witless Hung for public relations purposes. Perhaps the public would have found him to be more credible if he said that he was there to deter guests from raping each other. Wasn’t this reported to have happened after a recent dinner party also attended by the party animal head of the Immigration Department? I wonder how that investigation is progressing.

  2. Din Dan Che says:

    I thought the link to the Civild Service College being taught Xi Jinping thought on Hong Kong was a joke, until I clicked through… and shuddered.

  3. Alexi Bhanja says:

    “Raise capital, Raise a family, Raise your Heartbeat”. I think the last one should have read “Raise your blood pressure”. What a load of cock.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    A) How many times has HK been “rebranded” since 1997?

    B) “The contract was initially valued at around 6.4 million USD but was then reduced to 5.7 million USD, though it nevertheless drew questions from lawmakers about whether the research was worth as much as it had cost. The government refused to provide a cost breakdown, saying that it involved sensitive information.” I suppose the good old “State Secrets” law is now going to be a standby for HKCCPSAR Government agencies here on out.

    So shut the fuck up and accept what we tell you!

  5. Penny says:

    Re that Civil Service talk:
    “About 220 civil servants in the directorate and senior ranks took part in today’s talk. They joined the talk mostly through online access in light of the latest social distancing measures.”
    Wonder how many of them connected and let the blah, blah, blah run with the volume muted while they went off and did something useful.

  6. Pope Innocent says:

    Re: Young Bickett’s appeal, there is precedent in the cases of the smugglers and gold shop robbers of the 90s for a clear definition of reasonable force in relation to police officers. It was called AK47.

  7. David Ogilvy says:


    US$5.7 million doesn’t buy the kind of PR waffle it used to buy.

  8. Hamantha says:

    “Raise the flag of your glorious motherland!”
    -This message brought to you by the Hong Kong Tourism Department.

    /Works better as a command, shouted at close range from a loudspeaker.

  9. where's my jet plane says:

    At least HK can be proud of adding to the pandemic lexicon as a result of the Kwai Chung disaster: Lockdown-Induced Infection

  10. Itisdifficulttoget says:

    re the CJ’s spirited defense, a certain Upton Sinclair quote comes to mind.

  11. Raise Life says:

    Raise life.
    Raise a job.
    Raise a career.
    Raise a family,
    Raise a fucking big television
    Raise washing machines, cars, Compact disc players, and electrical tin openers.
    Raise good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance.
    Raise fixed-interest mortgage repayments.
    Raise a starter home.
    Raise your friends.
    Raise leisure wear and matching luggage.
    Raise a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics.
    Raise DIY and wondering who you the fuck are on a Sunday morning.
    Raise sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, Stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth.
    Raise rotting away at the end of it all,
    Pishing you last in a miserable home,
    Nothing more than an embarrassment
    To the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself.
    Raise your future.
    Raise life.

    Why would I want to do a thing like that?

    With apologies to Irvine Welsh

  12. where's my jet plane says:

    re the CJ’s spirited defense, a certain Upton Sinclair quote comes to mind.
    Or even the one by Mandy Rice-Davis.

  13. Low Profile says:

    So after all those millions, the best advice Consulum can give is: “Shut up about politics and focus on the economy” – which is exactly the strategy the government has been trying without success for years already, so why did they need to pay to be told it? In any case, it doesn’t work because Hong Kong people are not so easily fooled into quiescence.

  14. Chinese Netizen says:

    I raise a beer to you, Raise Life.

  15. Knownot says:

    After a lecture by the Director-General of the Policy Planning Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Miao Deyu, it was found that, of the 220 senior civil servants attending, 112 had become infected by the Xi-Jinping-Thought-on Diplomacy-Virus.

    The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Patrick Nip, said that this was a “clear majority” and an “excellent result”.

    He said the remaining 107 civil servants were found to have antibodies to the virus, and will be quarantined for 21 days, or until the antibodies are sufficiently depleted, whichever occurs later.

    When it was pointed out that his figures did not tally, Mr Nip said they had been checked by the relevant government departments, and were correct.

  16. Mary Melville says:

    Presumably the pep talk was given in putonghua so unless subtitles were provided the inevitably strident and humourless disquisition would have been all but incomprehensible to Canto folk used to a bawdy style of delivery.

  17. where's my jet plane says:

    A well-deserved self-pat on the back for the Customs Department.

    The department said it had set up its first Firearm Detector Dog Team to ramp up its battle against the smuggling of firearms and ammunition into Hong Kong for the sake of preventing terrorist activities and safeguarding national security.

    “With record figures counted in major enforcement areas and the illegal inflow of firearms, ammunition and strategic commodities well intercepted, the review shows remarkable enforcement efficiency and practical efforts dedicated to the safeguarding of national security,” it said.

    So, let’s look at what a brilliant job they have been doing:

    In an annual review of last year, the department said on Sunday that 13 fewer cases, or a decline of 65 per cent, of illegal firearms, component parts and ammunition were detected in 2021 after the law was imposed by Beijing in June 2020.

    Ah! The magic of quoting percentages. A drop of 65% or 13 cases means that the caseload in 2021 was the massive total of NINE – on average one case every 40 days. Some battle.

  18. Knownot says:

    where’s my jet plane –
    I think the figure might be even lower than you suggest.
    65% = 13 cases
    So 100% = 20 cases
    So the massive total is SEVEN.

  19. where's my jet plane says:

    Knownot you are indeed correct.

    I plead temporary brain tiredness. I’d had a hard afternoon trying to unravel the Wuflu figures to see if we unvaccinated wrinklies are to blame for the current troubles. Prima facie it seems not, we aren’t dying of the lurgy nor flooding ICUs – the main problem seems to be with the double/triple vaxxed under-60s.

Comments are closed.