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China deployed "Great Cannon" to take down Hong Kong pro-democracy website LIHKG

PRC and Hong Kong flags (photo by Alan Mak via Wikimedia Commons) China has deployed the so-called "Great Cannon" tool to launch a malware attack aimed at taking offline Hong Kong's popular pro-democracy website LIHKG , according to a report published by AT&T Cybersecurity. The Great Cannon is a "distributed denial of service tool (“DDoS”) that operates by injecting malicious Javascript into pages served from behind the Great Firewall ", the report states. "These scripts, potentially served to millions of users across the internet, hijack the users’ connections to make multiple requests against the targeted site. These requests consume all the resources of the targeted site, making it unavailable," the report adds. LIHKG is an online forum launched in November 2016. During the anti-extradition bill protests it became popular among Hong Kong activists , which used it as a platform to discuss politics and organize protests. On August

How To Eat On A Budget In Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Central Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities for expatriates, not only because of its notorious housing problem , but also due to the price of food and clothing. According to a recent survey, in 2017  Hong Kong was the 9th most expensive location in the world and the 2nd most expensive location in the Asia-Pacific region after Tokyo.  Nevertheless, there are many ways to save money in Hong Kong, if you really want to. Although many Hongkongers claim that eating outside is not much more expensive than cooking at home, in my own experience making your own food will help you save a lot of money. In this post, I would like to share some tips about eating on a budget in Hong Kong. 1- Avoid Convenience Stores Many people are tempted to buy food from convenience stores like 7-Eleven because they think it's cheap and easy. Well, it might be easy to pour hot water into a cup of instant noodles, or heat a prepackaged meal in the microwave, but thi

Why Vegetarian Food In Taiwan And Hong Kong Is Great - And Why The West Should Learn From It

Dougan, a type of dried bean curd (by Bryan [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons ) While I was living in Taiwan and Hong Kong , vegetarian food became a fundamental part of my diet. When I returned to Europe after six amazing years in East Asia, I suddenly realized how difficult it was for me to readjust to a diet where most of the protein intake comes from meat and dairy products. In most of Europe it is hard to find suitable and affordable vegetarian alternatives to meat and fish. Of course, one can eat eggs and pulses. However, eggs   contain a lot of cholesterol. Generally speaking, eating one egg a day is considered safe for most people. One large egg has only about 6-7 grams of protein . But the body needs about  1 gram of protein per 1 kg of body weight  (0.75 grams for people who have a sedentary lifestyle). I personally found that eating more than one egg per day negatively affected me. Pulses are healthy and cheap, but, honestly, I find them quite boring on a daily b

Do China, Hong Kong and Taiwan Have A Common Chinese Culture?

A while ago I had a debate with two guys from South America I met in Hong Kong. They argued that Hong Kong had lost its Chinese culture and identity, complained about the fact that the city had the same kind of buildings and shops, like McDonald's and Starbucks, one can find anywhere in the world, that people behave like Westerners. I disagreed, telling them that behind the surface of modernity, Hong Kong remained culturally Chinese. One of those guys obviously didn't like to discuss with people who had a different opinion than himself - he got upset and stormed out of the room. Talking about Chinese culture is not only in itself a very complex subject, but it is also politically sensitive, because some people mistakenly assume that "Chinese" means Communist Party and People's Republic of China (PRC). So, if you tell someone that Taiwan is culturally Chinese, they might get angry and tell you that China is not Taiwan. I don't see Chinese cul

Hong Kong Population Reaches New Record Due To Immigration From China

Residential high-rise buildings, Hong Kong Island On August 14 the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) released new statistics showing that the Hong Kong population has reached 7 448 900 at mid-2018, an increase of 57 200 or 0.8% from 7 391 700 last year.  From mid-2017 to mid-2018 there was a net inflow of 49 600 persons, of whom 41 000 were One-way Permit holders and 8 500 were other Hong Kong residents. One-way Permit holders is a term that refers to person from mainland China. Mainland residents who wish to settle in Hong Kong must apply for Permits for Proceeding to Hong Kong and Macao, commonly known as One-way Permits (OWPs). The C&SD population statistics measure the Resident Population, which comprises Usual Residents and Mobile Residents. The term Usual Residents refers to two categories of people: 1) Hong Kong Permanent Residents who have stayed in Hong Kong for at least three m

McSleepers - Number of Hong Kong People Sleeping At McDonald's Increases Sixfold

The number of Hong Kong people sleeping at McDonald's restaurants has increased almost sixfold since 2013.  People sleeping in McDonald's outlets, commonly known in Hong Kong as ' McSleepers ' or ' McRefugees ',  are a common sight in Hong Kong, where the presence of McSleepers is usually tolerated by employees.   According to a recent survey by the non-profit organization Junior Chamber International Tai Ping Shan, the number of McSleepers in Hong Kong has risen from 57 to 334 individuals over the period from 2013 to August 2018.  Embed from Getty Images In densely populated Hong Kong there are a a total of 116 McDonald's outlets open 24-hours: 30 in Hong Kong Island, 42 in Kowloon, 40 in the New Territories and 4 on the Outlying Islands. The American food chain provides not only cheap meals, but also free internet and air-conditioning, thus attracting customers from the city's poorest social groups.  Hong Kong-based Wenweipo re

Leader Of Hong Kong Pro-Independence Party Requests More Time To Respond To Government Ban Threat

On July 16 the Hong Kong police notified Andy Chan Ho-tin (陳浩天), the founder and leader of the Hong Kong National Party (香港民族黨, HKNP), that his party might be banned  for threatening China's "national security."  Hong Kong Secretary of Security John Lee Ka-chiu (李家超) said at a press conference that any Hong Kong-based society may be banned in order to protect national security and public order, or to protect the rights and freedoms of others. Protecting national security means safeguarding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the People's Republic of China, he added.  Embed from Getty Images Andy Chan was given 21 days to submit a written reply to the Secretary of Security, explaining why the HKNP should not be outlawed.  On July 26 Mr. Chan told Hong Kong-based newspaper HK01 that the previous day he had sent a letter to the Security Bureau (保安局) requesting to be given 2 months, instead of only 21 days, to respond to the government.  H

Chinese Human Rights Attorney Wang Quanzhang Allowed To Speak To Lawyer After 3 Years In Detention

In August 2015 human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was arrested by the Chinese authorities and charged with subversion of state power. Wang's detention was part of a large scale crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists that has become known as the " 709 crackdown ". The wave of repression that began in July of that year was seen as yet another sign of President Xi Jinping 's desire to tighten the Communist Party's grip on society.  Embed from Getty Images For three years nothing was heard of Wang Quanzhang, and his family did not know what had happened to him. On April 11 Wang's wife, Li Wenzu , sent out a message saying that she had been placed under house arrest . "Last night I was forcibly returned home by Domestic Security," she wrote. "The people who are monitoring us were already at their posts, about 30 of them downstairs ... They include Domestic Security, Neighborhood Committee, and 'Chaoyang Aunties' [women who

Hong Kong Pro-Independence Party Faces Ban In Controversial Application of Societies Ordinance

A Hong Kong pro-independence party may be outlawed if it fails to meet a government request to explain within 21 days why it should not be banned.  The Hong Kong National Party (香港民族黨, HKNP) was founded  on March 28, 2016, by Andy Chan Ho-tin (陳浩天), who was then a 26-year-old engineering and business administration student at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (HKPU). Although the Party did not have more than 50 members, its formation angered the central government in Beijing.  A spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council  told state-run Xinhua that the newly established pro-independence party harmed "national sovereignty and security, as well as Hong Kong's prosperity and stability," and that it violated the Constitution, the Basic Law and relevant regulations.    Embed from Getty Images On July 17 Chan disclosed that two police inspectors went to his home early that morning and handed him a thick pile of documents th

Chinese Websites Sell Fake Hong Kong University Diplomas Even Experts Cannot Detect

Hong Kong University (by Adon3465 via Wikimedia Commons) Chinese websites sell fake diplomas of major Hong Kong universities that even experts cannot recognize as forgeries. According to Hong Kong-based newspaper HK01 , there are a large number of websites in mainland China that sell fake diplomas of Hong Kong's eight major universities. An HK01 reporter asked Chong Yiu Kwong (莊耀洸), a Solicitor and Teaching Fellow at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, and Alexa Chow (周綺萍), a Human Resources Consultant, to examine two diplomas. One was a fake 2017 bachelor's degree in business administration from Hong Kong University (HKU), which the journalist had purchased from a Chinese website for 1,200 RMB. The other one was a real 2014 diploma from HKU. Both Chong Yiu Kwong, who is also a HKU alumnus, and Alexa Chow mistook the fake one for authentic. Ms. Chow explained that there are is no standard for how diplomas should look like. Their layout, colour, size and pa

Hong Kong Must Follow Xi Jinping Thought, Promote Patriotism, Says China-Hong Kong Liaison Office

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (via Wikimedia Commons) In an article published on Chinese state-run news outlet People's Daily on June 28, the Liaison Office of Chinese central government in Hong Kong argued that Xi Jinping Thought  must be applied to the former British colony in order to promote nationalism and solve Hong Kong's "long-term problems". The op-ed quotes a speech that Xi Jinping gave during a visit to Hong Kong in the summer of 2017 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover. "As a special administrative area under the direct jurisdiction of the Central People's Government, Hong Kong has since the day of the handover once again become part of the nation's system of government," Xi had said.  According to the Liaison Office , Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era is "the most recent outcome of Chi

7 Reasons Why Hong Kong Is A Great Place To Live

Hong Kong skyline (by Aris Teon) In 2013 I wrote a post about 7 reasons why it's good to live in Taiwan  based on my one-year experience in the country. Now I would like to talk about another place which I love, and which I have perhaps loved more than any other: Hong Kong. When I was growing up in a small town in Southern Italy, I knew very little about Hong Kong. As a child I remember watching the handover ceremony in 1997, yet at that time I did not really understand much about what was going on. That is my first, vague memory of Hong Kong. Years later, when I was in my early twenties, I watched a short documentary about Hong Kong on Italian television. I was captivated by the energy and modernity of that exotic metropolis. I thought that some day I would like to visit it. However, it was not on my list of priorities. I wanted to go to Japan, mainland China, South Korea, far more than I wished to go to Hong Kong. In late 2011 I decided to go to Taiwan bec