Karen Zhang

Karen Zhang

Karen is a contributor to Inkstone. She is a senior reporter at the South China Morning Post.

First human-to-dog coronavirus transmission reported in Hong Kong
A pet dog in Hong Kong may have caught the coronavirus from its infected owner. A Pomeranian belonging to a Covid-19 patient in the city has contracted the virus, the city’s health authorities confirmed on Wednesday. (What is Covid-19? Where did the coronavirus come from? Here’s what we’ve learned so far about the coronavirus.) The dog has repeatedly tested positive for having a low level of the virus since Friday last week. The infection is likely to be the first case of human-to-animal transmission of the disease, experts said, but animal lovers need not worry about their pets or their own health. “These test results suggest that the dog has a low level of infection, which was also found i
Hong Kong media mogul arrested over anti-government protest
The Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai was arrested on Friday in what a pro-democracy lawmaker has called “political persecution.” Lai, a publishing tycoon known for his anti-Beijing activism, was arrested for his role during the anti-government protests that swept Hong Kong last year. The police have also accused him of intimidating a reporter for a competing newspaper in 2017. A police source said the 71-year-old was held as part of an operation targeting those involved in a march on August 31 last year amid unrest sparked by a now-withdrawn plan that would have allowed the transfer of criminal suspects from Hong Kong to mainland China. Protesters against the bill feared that it would erode
Illegal wildlife traders evade consequences as pangolins face extinction
Sometime in the middle of 2017, Hong Kong businessman Wong Muk-nam disappeared without a trace. The 62-year-old owned a plastic trading factory in Guangdong, according to a friend who lives in the southern Chinese province but refused to reveal his name. “We were chatting on WeChat, but suddenly he was out of reach,” he recalled. “No responses to messages, phone calls. It was really unusual because he always responded quickly.” Then Wong’s name turned up as a key suspect in an international syndicate smuggling pangolin scales and ivory from Africa. According to mainland court documents, Wong and his associates smuggled at least three shipments of more than 4.4 ton of pangolin scales worth $
Hong Kong ends KTV shows by middle-aged women after protests
In China, “dama,” which literally means big mama, is a derogatory term used to refer to middle-aged women. They’re commonly portrayed as rude, boisterous and fans of group travel as well as square dancing. For years, so-called dama performers have been singing and dancing in a park in Hong Kong. But these shows have effectively been banned after protesters accused the women of staging noisy, indecent performances.  The government said on Tuesday it would stop accepting applications from those who wanted to perform at two public entertainment areas at a park in the Tuen Mun neighborhood, which is close to mainland China. An estimated 10,000 people joined the demonstration over the weekend ag
Blood smuggling could fuel sex-selective abortions in China
Chinese parents-to-be are smuggling blood across borders to identify the sex of their unborn babies – possibly leading to terminations of unwanted female fetuses and a widening gender imbalance. Men outnumber women by 31.6 million in China, according to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, partly because of a cultural tradition that favors sons. China imposes a two-child limit on families living in major cities. In 2003, authorities banned any test to identify the gender of a fetus for non-medical purposes, although abortion is still common. An underground trade in blood tests is thriving in Hong Kong, according to the South China Morning Post. In March, a 12-year-old g
Inkstone index: Hong Kong’s illegal wildlife trade
$71 million: the value of illicit wildlife products seized in Hong Kong in five years between 2013 and 2017. The semi-autonomous Chinese city has become a hotspot for wildlife trafficking thanks to its proximity to the vast Chinese market. Between 2013 and 2017, a total of $71.4 million worth of wildlife products – including live and dead animals – with a weight of 1,600 tons was seized in the city, according to a recent study by environmental advocacy ADM Capital Foundation. The amount of ivory, pangolin scales and rhino horns seized has potentially stemmed from the deaths of 3,000 elephants, 65,000 pangolins and 51 rhinoceroses, the study says. Hong Kong, a former British colony that retu
Personal data of 9.4 million Cathay Pacific customers hacked
Cathay Pacific Airways has discovered unauthorized access to the personal data of 9.4 million passengers managed by the airline and its subsidiary Hong Kong Dragon Airlines. Although the data leak was discovered in March, the airline only disclosed the breach in a statement late on Wednesday night. The compromised data included passengers’ names, nationalities, dates of birth, telephone numbers, emails, physical addresses, passport numbers, identity card numbers, frequent flier program membership numbers, customer service remarks and travel history. In addition, about 860,000 passport numbers and 245,000 Hong Kong identity card numbers were accessed without authorization. The airlines said 4
Tap here to buy the world’s most trafficked mammal
One of China's top online shopping sites has a problem with an endangered scaly mammal. At least a dozen online stores on Pinduoduo, the third-largest Chinese e-commerce platform, have been found to be selling scales from the pangolin, the world’s most trafficked mammal. Sales of raw pangolin scales, which are said in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce swelling and increase lactation and blood circulation, have been banned by China’s State Forestry Administration since 2007, except at designated hospitals and approved pharmaceutical companies. But the South China Morning Post found that the scales of this endangered creature were available on the e-commerce site under the commonly used n
A beautiful Hong Kong through an award-winning lens
An amateur photographer from Hong Kong has been voted the winner of the People’s Choice award in the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year competition. Daniel Cheung Sung-lok started shooting just five years ago. His winning photograph, titled “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” shows a girl in a red dress running through an illuminated world. See more photos by this Hong Kong photographer in our gallery, above.
Gay books pulled from Hong Kong library shelves
Two male penguins fall in love and build a family together with the help of a friendly zookeeper. A teddy bear named Thomas who’s always known in their heart that their name was Tilly. A toddler spends the day playing hide-and-seek with his daddies.  These books – And Tango Makes Three, Introducing Teddy, and Daddy, Papa and Me – are three of the 10 titles featuring same-sex parents and other LGBT themes which have been hidden away from public view at Hong Kong’s public libraries, after months of pressure from an anti-gay-rights group.   The pressure group, the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group, celebrated its achievement on Facebook on Monday, after Ho