CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
Feb 2001 to May 2001 - I started applying jobs with multinational corporations (overseas) in the field of mobile communications.
14th May 2001 - A letter was sent to Richard Li of Hong Kong’s Pacific Century Cyberworks applying for a job in the proposed venture. No more communication was made. But it did not stop there. For almost three years, my sensitivity and intuition woke me up and inspired my fear of ideas being stolen by him and his cronies. In retrospect, all hell broke loose after the letter. It was like telling gangsters that their is an opportunity and more to come to make big money.
May 2001 to Nov 2001 - Similar letters were sent to other companies (overseas) applying for jobs.
Nov 2001 - I decided to do Stoneaxe myself.
Nov 2001 to Feb 2004 - Different business plans and executive summaries were sent to VCs (overseas) and private investors (local and overseas) covering Stoneaxe. Some included the addition of the advanced materials project (called SX Auxiliary back then).
Feb 2004 to Apr 2004 - Presentations were sent to VCs (overseas) and private investors (local and overseas) selling the Rocket and Ship Venture.
19th May 2004 - Rocket, Ship and Highway Venture started listing on eBay.
Jun 2004 to Jul 2004 - E-mails were sent to various VCs, venture consultants, corporate finance firms and investment banks (overseas) informing the existence of such a venture.
Jul 2004 to Aug 2004 - I started using LinkedIn network.
Jul 2004 to Aug 2004 - I finally realised that the market is so rigged that getting funding is impossible. E-mails were sent to various media in the hope that this extraordinary story will be covered.
BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO HONG KONG - THE DARK CITY
To understand Hong Kong, one must realise that it is an experimental city run apparently by the chief executive Tung Chee Wha, someone designated by Central Government of China with no accountability to HongKongers at all. The new and unfitting ruling class and the general public without the slightest sense of citizenship or community (result of more than 100 years of colonial rule) are what constitute this society.
The mishandling of SARS which ultimately inflicted 299 deaths here, and the subsequent tactic (usual) of delaying the investigation hoping that this fiasco may fade away best illustrate their incompetence. Tung finally got rid of the health secretary reluctantly but only after severe pressure from the legislators and media, in fear of another mass protest that may “destabilise” Hong Kong. The government functioned more like a system of collective irresponsibility. It was also reported that certain minutes of Hospital Authority (the agency responsible to tackle with SARS) made during the epidemic had gone missing. How convenient.
In terms of economy, almost all the crucial activities are controlled by a few property developers headed by the tycoon Li Ka Shing. This monopoly is a result of intended protection of vested interests, i.e. lack of real competition. Any kind of anti-competitive or monopolistic behaviour is not regulated or punished. And the protection of intellectual property is minimal, only slightly better than mainland China as shown in the non-existence of any major legal case in this area. It’s really and essentially a heaven for robber barons.
Its heavy (getting heavier as shown in the economic gifts sent by the Central Government and the fact that HongKongers like them very much and start taking them for granted like paupers) reliance on mainland economy also means that Hong Kong Government needs to do what is ordered by the Central Government with which Li Ka Shing has highest-level ties.
As shown in the case of awarding of Cyberport project to PCCW without tender a few years ago, it was reported that Richard Li (previously described in the media as the son of Hong Kong. The more accurate title should be, in my opinion, the dark prince of Hong Kong) have some game marinated for a few days so that he can cook it to curry-flavour with some female government officials. Getting the deal is like asking candies from uncles and aunties. The Cyberport project is currently making hefty returns on the property development side (a joint project) for the Government and PCCW but a complete failure when it comes to its intended purpose as IT hub. Most importantly, Cyberport was the only valuable asset when PCCW started listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange through acquisition of another public company Tricom Holdings which was owned by another tycoon Oei Hong Leong (fled to Singapore after the unfortunate incidents of going against the Lis by making hundreds of millions of Hong Kong dollars off Richard Li in the Tricom deal and got beaten up).
Almost all the government’s long-term economic policies to revitalise this city have failed. As a result of all these, Hong Kong has started malfunctioning as the gateway to China. Its role in China and the World is diminishing and the HongKongers know this very well. The imminent global depression will further weaken its status and this is something they do not know yet.
The above is my true and fair judgement on Hong Kong. It has changed dramatically from alright to worst in three years after the showing of their collective character.
It is ridiculous that what I want to do has anything to do with politics or Hong Kong in general. I was not, is not and not going to be a political activist. I have not joined any political party, nor have voiced any political opinion in public (not even letter to the editor). I have not even joined any protest (big and small). None of my family members have joined politics before (except one of my brothers having a post in a half-government agency). The fact that I am talking about politics reveals how deep-rooted and serious the problem is.
For further information, please check www.webb-site.com for other reports on Hong Kong’s ills. Since past performance is not necessarily good indicator of what one may do in the future, the influential people involved and the fact that almost anyone here can be bought or manipulated, I have reservation when it comes to anyone seeking opinion from Mr. Webb directly (for the record, I also sent a notice to him but no reply so far). This case does need some serious digging to unearth the truth, no shortcut whatsoever. And outsiders will be best suited to this task. It is my belief that a probe into PCCW and media (local or even foreign, it’s that well known) is very likely to reveal some of the truth. The media know but what can one do when one is expecting handouts of advertising dollars from the vested interests. My story is almost a public secret here.
PEOPLE I SUSPECT TO BE INVOLVED
1. Richard Li of Pacific Century Cyberworks or PCCW (a company listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and ADR on New York Stock Exchange). What I mentioned above is just tip of the iceberg, I am sure some digging will reveal even more reckless acts (relevant or irrelevant to this case).
2. Li Ka Shing of Hutchison Whampoa (one of his many public companies and is his international flagship, a company listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange). It’s well known here that he is the shadow governor. Being Asia’s richest businessperson does have its influence in city of population 6.8 million. I will never underestimate such person’s second survival instinct - to protect his offsprings. The award of Cyberport, the mainland’s approval and the banks’ funding of acquisition of Hong Kong Telecom (previous telecom monopoly) by PCCW are fine examples.
3. Hong Kong Government - not acts of individual officer but systematic abuse of power. From Tung Chee Wha, the chief executive to Donald Tsang (which was reported to be checking PCCW’s stock price constantly a few years back. Such behaviour was, in my opinion, totally inappropriate for a top-ranking government official) the chief secretary and down to other officers such as Frederick Ma the secretary for financial services and treasury who is previous employee of PCCW. To them, I am the sacrificial lamb to their masters and cronies.
4. The Fungs of Li & Fung (a company listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange) - just a haunch, but I will not be surprised at all. They are totally capable of this.
5. Other people (within and outside Hong Kong) that work with the above people or just want to simply profit from it.
It is likely that the above-mentioned may collaborate and do some under-the-table deals to capitalise on the opportunities individually and apparently. It is classic corruption at the highest level. I am sure they are currently taking this “sue me if you can” attitude as I am currently in a less-than-satisfactory financial situation. They have this fixation that they can get away with it.
And the fact that although I cannot obtain a dollar of funding (private and public) for my tech projects, I am still in fear of my companies’ names being trademarked by someone else shows how severe and conspiring it is.
At this time when globalisation is at its full strength and capital is abundant, it’s viable ideas that are in short supply and can be worth billions. These ideas once capitalised can provide immense edge to corporations or societies or more usually privileged few.
As shown in Hong Kong’s internet euphoria back in February and March of year 2000 (laughable, isn’t it? US’s internet bubble deflated in March of the same year), the respected Li Ka Shing sought all the exemptions to list his internet flagship tom.com (which had no business at all, not even a patchwork) hastily on Hong Kong Stock Exchange so that he could seize capital from market immediately. As long as their is a theme invented, there will be someone trying to capitalise on it in the biggest way with no regard of it as a business in the long term. Unfortunately, in this case, I am the provider of such themes.
This case is in some aspect like industrial espionage except that usually it’s the people disadvantaged in competition that will resort to this type of dirty trick. Since Hong Kong is run by an incompetitive monopoly with no idea of how to be ruling class, they are bound to perpetrate this just because they can. It is just a way of life here.
To summarise and clarify my case, I will say there are 7 ways plus one to control and thus influence human societies (ranked in terms of effectiveness):
1. War - use of troops to conquer a nation. It’s used rarely these days because of the serious side-effects.
2. Money - it’s the king in all capitalistic societies.
3. Gangs - indispensable people to do some dirty work.
4. Law - used for good reasons or bad.
5. Religion or something similar - controlling of thought in the longest term. Less effective these days.
6. Media - powerful, isn’t it.
7. Unspeakable - despicable users of such know that what one sees is not what one will get.
And the extra one is:
0. Justice - in the general sense and only meaningful when there is the most blatant and extreme opposite existing. Usually no one cares about it but once installed, it’s the most effective of them all.
This is all about justice at the end. It is the story of a financially-disadvantaged but educated man being systematically and collectively ripped off by certain privileged and reckless people. The contrast of me and the person(s) involved just cannot be more absurd and sensational when it is reported.
C. T. Au-Yang
Address: Flat D, 11th Floor, 7 Shan Kwong Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
More than 200 brief notes were sent to various newspapers, news-sites, magazines, investigative journalists and freelance journalists around the world via e-mail/fax. Just 3 requested for more detailed information (what is published here and some more were sent only at their request) and were provided. I have no idea about the progress or if there is any investigation going on at all. Just in case no one took notice of it, I am currently publishing the story here.
Please feel free to contact me if:
1. there is anything you know regarding this scandal such as information, intelligence and evidence (anonymous will be fine, whistle-blowing is way better than silence),
2. you want to do investigative work about it.
Au-Yang Cheong Tak