Phila Siu

Phila Siu

Senior Reporter, Hong Kong

Phila is a contributor to Inkstone. Over the years he has reported on a range of issues - including human rights, security, politics, society and sports - in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia, Tha

iland, Vietnam, Rio de Janeiro, Europe, Macau and mainland China.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Mandarin, Cantonese
Areas of Expertise
Hong Kong, China, Asia
Hong Kong’s new security law puts social media giants in a tough spot
The Hong Kong authorities could block social media giants if they refused to hand over user data to the police under a new national security law, analysts said, describing a worst-case scenario that could drive global internet companies out of the Asian financial center. The world’s leading social media firms, including Google, Facebook (and its messaging app WhatsApp), Twitter, Telegram and LinkedIn, have so far presented a united front against such requests.  Their announcements to hit pause on processing requests by Hong Kong authorities for user data came a week after Beijing imposed the security law that critics feared could be used to crack down on dissent in the city. The former Briti
‘I will never go back’: the Hong Kong protesters hiding in Taiwan
One of about 200 Hong Kong protesters believed to have left for Taiwan after social unrest erupted last year, Jack Chan (whose name has been changed at his request) has no idea what the future holds. Chan, in his 20s, headed to Taiwan after Hong Kong police started looking for him regarding his involvement in a serious offense during the city’s anti-government protests. Sitting in the Taipei flat he shares with seven other Hongkongers, all participants in the protests, he declined to say what he did, but admitted he supported violent means because peaceful protests had proven futile. “I want to tell my family that I am sorry for all the trouble I have brought them. They never scolded me, but
Boy, 12, went to report on a Hong Kong protest. The police detained him
Hong Kong police held a 12-year-old boy who was reporting for a student news service as anti-government protests returned to the city’s streets over the weekend.  The boy was released without charge on Sunday evening, but his mother later said police had threatened to arrest her if the boy was spotted at future protests. The Hong Kong protest movement was largely subdued by the coronavirus pandemic, but with the city reporting no local cases for 23-straight days, anti-government demonstrators have recently become more active. On Mother’s Day, crowds gathered at malls to chant slogans and sing protest songs while others tried to block roads with burning trash cans. Hong Kong police made a mas
Detained Hong Kong bookseller sentenced to 10 years
Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai has been found guilty of providing intelligence overseas, almost five years after he was first detained by Chinese authorities. Gui was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and deprivation of political rights for five years by a Chinese court on Monday. A statement by the Intermediate People’s Court of Ningbo said Gui would not appeal at the end of the trial. Gui, a Swedish national, ran Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong – an outlet known for selling gossipy titles about Chinese Communist Party officials.  He was one of five booksellers who disappeared in 2015. The Monday court statement also said Gui “agreed to restore his Chinese citizenship” in 2018, a move B
Can Beijing’s golden child be more than the world’s casino capital?
Macau-born graphic designer Cheang Chi-wai remembers starting high school after the Portuguese colony was returned to China on December 20, 1999. The 31-year-old was taught the Chinese national anthem, attended regular flag-raising ceremonies, and was reminded constantly that he was Chinese and had to learn to love the motherland. “Before the handover, I had absolutely no sense of my identity,” Cheang said. The Portuguese were in control of Macau since 1557, but acted mainly as administrators in the decades before the city’s return to China.  Their colonial rule had been weakened significantly by a communist-fomented riot in December 1966, which left real political power largely in the hands
Will another ‘sorry’ calm Hong Kong?
It was seen as her last chance to stop a snowballing political storm. But other than an apology, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam offered little of substance at a press conference on Tuesday. It was the third time in four days that Lam sought to pacify a large swath of the city’s population, after she pulled the brakes on a bill seen as blurring the lines between the semi-autonomous region’s independent judiciary and mainland China’s government-controlled courts.  March organizers said 2 million people took part in a protest on Sunday to demand the bill’s withdrawal and Lam’s resignation. That evening, she issued a statement apologizing for “disappointing many citizens.” The bill, if pushed thr
Your clothes are increasing made in this South Asian country instead of China
When Chinese businessman Leo Zhuang Lifeng arrived in Bangladesh in 1997, the country was still an economic backwater with inadequate infrastructure. Zhuang headed to the capital Dhaka to set up garment factories, taking advantage of the low labor costs and abundant supply of workers. “Back then, there was a lack of daily commodities. It was not even easy to buy instant noodles,” said Zhuang, managing director of the LDC Group, which now employs about 20,000 workers in the country. “But Bangladesh has gone through tremendous changes over the years, though of course you cannot compare those changes to what China has experienced.” His factory compounds were so big they resembled villages. Ther
Hong Kong businesses to close up shop for a day to join protests
Hundreds of businesses in Hong Kong have vowed to shut up shop for a day on Wednesday to allow workers to join another protest against a plan to allow extraditions of criminal suspects to mainland China. As of Tuesday afternoon, a growing, crowdsourced list of nearly 1,000 businesses, including bakeries, toy stores and snack shops, said they would close their doors the day when the city’s legislature is set to debate the proposed extradition bill. Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, has refused to budge on the plan despite a massive march protesting against it on Sunday. Some companies said they hoped more businesses would follow suit to protest the bill – which would allow criminal suspects t
Hong Kong subway reverses ban on ad showing a gay couple holding hands
Hong Kong’s subway operator has pulled a marketing U-turn, reversing its ban on a Cathay Pacific advertisement featuring a same-sex couple and allowing it to be displayed at metro stations across the city. In a response to the South China Morning Post, the MTR Corporation’s advertising handler – the French company JCDecaux – said the advert can now be displayed at subway stations. The reversal came in the face of heated criticism of the ban, and less than 24 hours after the Post revealed that both MTR and the city’s airport had banned the advert because of its same-sex content. “We have been in contact with the relevant advertising agency and have just confirmed to the advertising agency tha
The 95-year-old grandmaster keeping a kung fu legacy alive
In a quiet dojo in the center of Hong Kong, the dull rhythmic thuds of hands striking wood ring out, first slowly, then gradually increasing in pace. The lightning jabs, from a flurry of angles on a wooden dummy – come from Wing Chun master Ip Chun, 95, son of the legendary Ip Man. What Ip lacks in glamor and folklore of his father, renowned as the master of kung fu star Bruce Lee, he more than makes up for with his vitality. Hs weekly schedule, eight classes totaling 15 hours, on top of regular teaching trips to south China, is hectic for most people his age. “The principle of using softness to subdue power is something that you can apply in life. It’s a spirit you can use at work and in o