Heard on Telum: Covering financial news in the new normal
Despite COVID-19 and the recent introduction of the National Security Law, Hong Kong continues to be a magnet for corporate listings and high finance. Telum Media hosted its first Cantonese-language webinar talking to three prominent financial journalists - Sina Finance Global’s Maggie Luo, the South China Morning Post’s Peggy Sito and The Wall Street Journal’s Jacky Wong. They discussed how they have been adapting to reporting during COVID-19 and the hot financial topics they are keeping an eye on in the Greater China region.
· Business as usual: Journalists in the finance sector in Hong Kong have not seen a COVID-19 slowdown, In fact, COVID-19 and abundant finance stories is making now a busy time for financial reporters.
· Making new contacts: With everything going virtual, it is much easier to schedule an interview, but online meetings lack the human touch.The panellists felt that with fewer networking events and meetings in-person, building new relationships with spokespeople was harder.
· All about good content: Simply having a COVID-19 angle does not make a story. Good preparation, solid background information and an interesting news angle remain critical to a successful PR pitch. Journalists will be only interested in preparing a story if the materials they receive from PRs are sufficient and have solid background information.
· Non-COVID-19 topics: While COVID-19 dominates headlines, relevant non-COVID-19 story angles and news provide a welcome break for readers
· Reporting in Mainland China: There are several subject matters that are sensitive to report on in Mainland China, but not so much in the realms of business and finance, e.g. stories focused on the business rather than politics-related angles can be covered.
· Secondary listings: Many companies listed overseas have returned to Hong Kong to seek a secondary listing, galvanising the local stock market. The trend is set to carry on in the second half of the year, which also supports the office rental market and its occupancy rate.
· The age of apps: More and more consumer attention is focused on mobile phone screens. Apps by Alibaba, Bytedance, Tencent and Meituan-Dianping, among others, are expected to benefit massively.
· Learning online: Companies like Alibaba have moved their offline courses and education content online, which is well received by students and parents in Greater China, so the popularity of online education will expect to continue.
· FinTech: FinTech in Hong Kong is less developed than in Mainland China, as the government has placed more emphasis on the development of SMEs and micro businesses. However, following the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's approval of eight virtual bank licenses last year and more consumers transitioning to online banking, Hong Kong will see a boost in FinTech activity.