China Beat Archive


Date of this Version


Document Type



2012 March 20 in The China Beat


Copyright 2012 Sebastian Veg.


When Peking University Professor Kong Qingdong’s diatribe on Hongkongers and their lingering colonial infatuation swept over the Internet in late January, the widespread and growing uneasiness about mainland Chinese in Hong Kong suddenly had a face. Triggered by a viral video of a Hongkonger telling off a mainland family in the subway because their daughter was eating dry instant noodles, Kong’s interview sparked a wave of predictable but nonetheless justified outrage in Hong Kong. It took place against the background of the annual mainland shopping spree over Chinese New Year (in a previous episode, Dolce and Gabbana staff in Tsim Sha Tsui sparked protests by telling passers-by that only mainlanders were allowed to take pictures of the shop) as well as growingly acrimonious debates over mainland women giving birth in the emergency rooms of Hong Kong hospitals in order to secure permanent residency for their children, and over Guangdong-registered vehicles’ right to drive freely in Hong Kong. It was followed by a counter-campaign in Apple Daily and other Hong Kong newspapers depicting mainlanders as locusts looting Hong Kong, pushing up property prices and free-riding on the—albeit minimal—welfare provided by the SAR government.