Telum Talks To... Enoch Yiu, Chief Business Reporter, South China Morning Post
You have more than 25 years of experience in the media industry. What motivates you to keep going?
I have enjoyed reading newspapers since I was little, so I wanted to find a job that allows me to read newspapers on a daily basis! After working as a reporter for almost three decades, I never feel bored, as I learn something new every day from various interviewees or announcements from the government and private sector. I also enjoy working in the media industry because I can see the results of my efforts quickly. Within a few hours after an interview, I can finish the story and get it edited. The story will then be published online and in the newspaper the next day. The job also allows me to connect with people around the world which is really exciting.
What are the top three topics you will be watching for the rest of the year and into 2022?
The three key topics I’ll be watching are FinTech, Greater Bay Area (GBA), and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).
The Hong Kong government has introduced various measures to promote FinTech. Now, we have eight virtual banks and four virtual insurance companies, while traditional banks and insurers have been investing more in their digital platforms. The Covid-19 pandemic has led to increased digitisation and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority is also exploring if the city should have a digital currency called ‘e-HKD’.
Also, the GBA project integrates Hong Kong, Macau and nine Mainland cities in Guangdong Province to create an economic powerhouse. There are a lot of new initiatives and infrastructure projects in the area.
And lastly, ESG is also essential for sustainable development as governments, manufacturers, and financial players examine the opportunities and challenges related to climate change, emissions and other issues which impact society.
Being the author of "They Mean Business: 50 exclusive interviews with Hong Kong top executives", you have interviewed top leaders in the business community and beyond. Who remains on the top of your list that you would like to write an exclusive story about? And why?
I would say Charles Lee Yeh-kwong, former chairman of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. Charles and other Hong Kong business leaders helped Mainland companies go public in Hong Kong by listing as H-shares in 1993. We are approaching the 30th anniversary of the first H-share listing in Hong Kong, and it has remained one of the most important reforms in the local stock market. Nowadays, over 80% of market capitalisation and daily turnover is related to Mainland companies. Mr Lee was also the former chairman of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority and established the mandatory retirement scheme in Hong Kong in 2000. Now the MPF covers 4.5 million accounts with HK$1.2 trillion in assets. He was also the former chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, an annual performance event that would reach its 50th anniversary next year. He can share his experience in these critical projects, which have played a vital role in Hong Kong's development as an international financial centre.
You are also the author of "Serving with Passion: stories of established catering brands in Hong Kong". What makes a brand stand out as an interesting read for your audience?
Maxim's Caterers would be the one, as it is the largest single restaurant group in Hong Kong while its story also reflects the city's catering industry. The story of Maxim's reflects how a business that started in 1956 as a restaurant in Central run by two brothers has now grown into an F&B group with 1,700 outlets in Hong Kong, Mainland China, and other Asian markets. The business is also a model of good succession planning, considering that the grandson of the founder now expands the company on a wider scale with a range of restaurants in different cuisine, mooncakes, and coffee shops.
What should PRs do to build a trusting relationship with you?
Public relations professionals act as a bridge between their corporate clients and journalists. By providing background and data for the journalists, the PRs can help the reporters be better prepared for the interviews. In addition, they can narrow the gap between the companies and the journalists. The interviewees may want to promote their brands or services, while the journalists want newsworthy stories. The PRs have to perform a balancing act in order to manage the expectations on both sides.
What makes a good business journalist? Any tips for aspiring reporters?
Hard-work, preparation, curiosity, accuracy and the ability to meet deadlines will be the key to success.