Restaurants in Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong, struggle to survive amid coronavirus pandemic travel curbs – ‘Every day, we wait for customers but they don't come'

Asia's Tech News Daily

Chungking Mansions, Covid-19 started its global rampage, other small subsidies, people in quarantine hotels

Tears well up as Hongkonger Camilla Hung talks about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the restaurant she and her husband have operated for the past seven years.

“We open seven days a week, from 11am-11pm. Every day, we wait for customers but they don’t come,” says Hung.

Hung’s Chinese Restaurant is on the ground floor of Chungking Mansions, the complex of five 17-storey blocks on Nathan Road in the Kowloon district of Tsim Sha Tsui, that’s long been a magnet for tourists seeking budget accommodation and a cheap meal.

Like many of the 40 licensed restaurants in Chungking Mansions, a drop in tourists visiting the city as a result of Covid-19 – made worse by strict quarantine measures for inbound travellers – has taken a toll.

Chungking Mansions, Covid-19 started its global rampage, other small subsidies, people in quarantine hotels

Kalai Slevi prepares a dish at Karaikudi Akka. Photo: Kylie Knott

“We are losing money daily and don’t know how long we will survive,” says Hung, adding trade in the past two years is down more than 80 per cent. “I’m in my 50s … what will I do if we close?”

A few doors down, India-born Kalai Slevi serves dishes from her home country at Karaikudi Akka. She has called Hong Kong home for the past 26 years, and took over the restaurant two years ago, just before Covid-19 started its global rampage. Business is poor, she says.

Chungking Mansions, Covid-19 started its global rampage, other small subsidies, people in quarantine hotels

Raju Alim, manager of The Delhi Club in Chungking Mansions, says a lack of tourists is hurting business. Photo: Kylie Knott

On the third floor is The Delhi Club, an Indian restaurant that has occupied the same spot since it opened in 1987.

“Business in the past year is down 80 per cent,” says Raju Alim, manager for the past 17 years. Tourists once comprised 50 per cent of trade, he says. Many regular expat customers have also left the city.

“There was a tiny bit of help from the government,” he says, referring to last year’s HK$10,000 handout and “other small subsidies”. “But it wasn’t enough to make a difference.”

Chungking Mansions, Covid-19 started its global rampage, other small subsidies, people in quarantine hotels

Raj runs Gorkha Palace in Chungking Mansions. Photo: Kylie Knott

Another restaurateur, Raj, who runs Gorkha Palace, and has been doing business in Chungking Mansions for 23 years, has never seen it so quiet. Bhujel Bijaya of the Sher-E-Punjab restaurant says the same: “Business is so quiet.”

“The pandemic has severely affected businesses as they depend mostly on tourists,” says Dennis Cheung, secretary of the Incorporated Owners of Chungking Mansions, the legal body that represents the 800 different owners of the building, including shops and residential units.

In the first 11 months of 2020, the city’s tourist arrivals crumbled 93.2 per cent year-on-year to 3.56 million. In 2019, a total of 55.91 million people visited Hong Kong.

Chungking Mansions, Covid-19 started its global rampage, other small subsidies, people in quarantine hotels

Bhujel Bijaya of the Sher-E-Punjab restaurant in Chungking Mansions says the pandemic has kept tourists away. Photo: Kylie Knott

Cheung does not have official figures on how many restaurants have closed because of the pandemic, since business owners are, he says, free to transfer or restructure their businesses. But the situation is dire.

While some restaurants are catering to people in quarantine hotels, Cheung says the trade has done little to boost business.

“It doesn’t help much, since restaurants depend mostly on tourists, and those in quarantine are free to choose any restaurant for delivery.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

How BTS's return to in-person concerts is bittersweet for Army in Hong Kong, with the K-pop stars' Los Angeles shows sparking feelings of joy, sadness and envy

As recently as 2019, BTS’s fans in Hong Kong could see the South Korean septet perform in the city multiple times a year, with concert tour dates and appearances at ... Read more »

Beijing leaves antitrust out of 2022 economic goals, focuses on technological development

China’s top policymaking body emphasised the country’s drive for technological self-sufficiency and innovation to address economic growth in 2022, shunning mentions of antitrust and the “disorderly expansion of capital” that ... Read more »

Mark McGowan-themed cereal called State Daddy O's launches

Ever wanted to have breakfast with Mark McGowan? Well here’s your chance. A line of McGowan-themed breakfast cereal has just launched called, wait for it… State Daddy O’s. The boxes ... Read more »

Climate Change: China should bankroll renewable energy transition in other coal-dependent countries, analysts say

China, which has pledged not to build more coal-fired power plants overseas, should financially help other coal-dependent developing countries such as Indonesia – where it has been the biggest foreign ... Read more »

Bubbly, dollars flow for Sydney nightlife king post Covid

Some pubs and restaurants are still dealing with the battle scars wrought by Covid, but for Sydney night life king Justin Hemmes, things are looking pretty dandy. After a rough ... Read more »

[Herald Interview] Owner-chef of Michelin Green Star restaurant values mindful ingredients

Owner-chef Yoon Tae-hyeon of Hwanggeum Kongbat (Kim Hae-yeon/ The Korea Herald)It took becoming a chef for Yoon Tae-hyeon to realize his lifelong dream of becoming a playwright. “My tofu plays ... Read more »

‘We clicked over design theory and shopping': friends who formed a business together on their different skill sets that help them design everything from toilets to a mahjong set

It was in London some 13 years ago that Editecture’s Genevieve Chew and Jacqueline Chak became fast friends. One a chartered accountant with stacks of Vogue hidden in her office ... Read more »

The 10 top breakout K-drama actresses of 2021, from Jung Ho-yeon of Netflix's Squid Game – of course – to My Name and Nevertheless' Han So-hee and Vincenzo's Jeon Yeo-bin

Never before has the Hallyu Wave swept the globe as strongly as this year thanks to thrilling hits like Squid Game, Vincenzo and Beyond Evil, just to name a few. ... Read more »

AIA sells almost US$10 billion of coal-related investments as companies rush to sever ties with the fuel in their bid to go green

AIA Group has sold almost US$10 billion of investments in coal mining and coal-fired power businesses as pressure grows on financial firms to cut ties with the sector. The insurer ... Read more »

Changing work dynamics inject new life into Hong Kong's prime office sector

Covid-19 has driven a well-documented shift in working practices, with work-from-home policies providing flexibility to previously office-bound roles. However, employees are showing signs of missing the social interaction and professional ... Read more »

Rohingya refugees from Myanmar sue Facebook for US$150 billion for failing to stem hate speech

Rohingya refugees sued Facebook on Monday for US$150 billion over claims the social network is failing to stem hate speech on its platform, exacerbating violence against the vulnerable minority. The ... Read more »

Hong Kong stocks jump from 14-month low as China set to inject US$188 billion of liquidity to revive growth

Hong Kong stocks rebounded from near a 15-month low after China’s central bank moved to unleash US$188 billion of liquidity in the financial system to shore up economic growth by ... Read more »

NFT profits mostly go to insiders, study shows, with echoes of once-hot initial coin offerings for cryptocurrencies

Non-fungible tokens are one of the hottest things in cryptocurrencies right now, with the prospect of big gains should the latest collection rise in value. But a new study from ... Read more »

Blackstone, SilkRoad turn Hong Kong's industrial property into a hotspot with 54 per cent jump in investment

Global institutional funds have stepped up their purchases of industrial property in Hong Kong this year by 54 per cent, as Covid-19 continues to support bullish demand for data-centre and ... Read more »

UK business group calls on Beijing to improve market reforms and resume flights between two countries

The British Chamber of Commerce in China has called on the country to engage in greater reform and cultivate a more predictable business environment, in another call by a foreign ... Read more »

Audi ties up with Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent for in-car technology as it eyes young Chinese buyers

German luxury car brand Audi has formed tie-ups with several leading mainland technology companies to leverage their strengths and make its vehicles more attractive to Chinese buyers. Giorgio Delucchi, head ... Read more »

The teapot from hell? Why the Chinese restaurant staple needs a rethink – the traditional design is cheap, leaky and dangerous to handle, so why are we still using it?

The painful memory of my first run-in with this teapot still burns. When I was about 10 years old, my parents taught me the courtesy of pouring tea for everyone ... Read more »

Pinduoduo, NIO among 27 ADRs which could be eligible for secondary listings in Hong Kong -Goldman report

As many as 27 Chinese-American depositary receipts (ADRs) could be eligible for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, with the city likely to embrace companies that want to come home ... Read more »

How to be healthier – physically and mentally – in 2022: 7 tips you can use now, from eating more mushrooms to the best time to fall asleep at night, all backed by science

Working on your resolutions for the upcoming year? Add these seven to the list and you may reduce your risk of depression and heart disease, experience less stress, and even ... Read more »

Squid Game and Parasite tap into public anger over unaffordable housing

Since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted, house prices the world over have gone through the roof. In the fourth quarter of 2019, just before the virus began to spread like wildfire, ... Read more »

US-China tech war: semiconductor links across Taiwan Strait faces political headwind

The long-standing bond between mainland China, the world’s second-largest economy, and semiconductor powerhouse Taiwan faces its stiffest challenge in decades amid increased cross-strait tensions and growing friction between Beijing and ... Read more »

All eyes on China Evergrande, Kaisa as indebted mainland developers face bond repayment deadlines

All eyes are once again on embattled Chinese developers, as they face bond repayment deadlines on Tuesday. Investors will be closely watching if China Evergrande Group, the mainland’s most indebted ... Read more »

Why modern line dancing is an ideal way for hijab-wearing Muslims to stay fit and age well, according to Malaysian mother of four

If you love dancing but your partner doesn’t, line dancing can be the perfect solution. “And if you’re a practising Muslim who is not supposed to get too close to ... Read more »

Hong Kong's ESG bond issuance quadruples to almost US$35 billion as city takes shape as Asia's hub for green finance

Hong Kong is staking a claim as Asia’s green finance hub, as the number and value of bonds related to environment, social and governance (ESG) quadrupled over the past year. ... Read more »

China's five-year green development plan for industrial sector lacks road map, analysts warn

China’s latest five-year development plan targeting the green development of its carbon-intensive industrial sector is a step in the right direction to tackle climate change, but the lack of specific ... Read more »

7 of K-drama's highest-paid stars in 2021 – earnings, ranked: from Now, We Are Breaking Up's Song Hye-kyo, to One Ordinary Day star Kim Soo-hyun and Squid Game's Lee Jung-jae

The Korean entertainment industry is enjoying one of its best years thanks to streaming giants like Netflix (hello, Squid Game), Apple TV and even Disney+, which are all competing against ... Read more »

Didi Chuxing sued by American shareholders over stock plunge caused by Chinese regulatory changes, data-collection inquiry

Didi Chuxing is facing a new problem: angry American shareholders. The operator of China’s dominant ride-hailing app is facing at least two lawsuits filed in courts in New York and ... Read more »

China's regulators suspect Didi's US listing was ‘deliberate act of deceit', a portrayal that shows severity of mistrust, sources say

China’s government regulators suspect the initial public offering by Didi Chuxing in New York on June 30 was a deliberate act of deceit, a characterisation that underscores the severity of the fundraising ... Read more »

Financial intermediaries must be kept in check to avoid a repeat of the 2020 turmoil

Investment funds and asset managers are playing an ever more crucial role in the financial system. They provide funding in areas that traditional banks do not cover, manage and share ... Read more »

Hong Kong's New World Development launches discounted housing in line with city's subsidised Housing Ownership Scheme

Hong Kong property firm New World Development has announced the launch of subsidised homes at discounts ranging from 40 to 50 per cent, aimed at helping lower income groups get ... Read more »

SenseTime shrinks Hong Kong IPO size by 62 per cent to US$768 million, as Chinese tech sell-off undermines valuation

SenseTime, China’s largest artificial intelligence (AI) firm, is trimming its stock offering in Hong Kong by more than half, as sentiment on technology stocks has soured amid a sell-off triggered ... Read more »

Alibaba brings in new CFO in management reshuffle dividing domestic and overseas e-commerce amid Big Tech crackdown

Alibaba Group Holding promoted Toby Xu to succeed long-standing chief financial officer Maggie Wu, and named new leaders to its commerce business, in the biggest management reshuffle for one of ... Read more »

K-drama review: Reflection of You – dreary Netflix melodrama indulges in explosive, but unearned, finale

This article contains spoilers. 2.5/5 stars Romance can easily make us take leave of our senses. Knowing this, the characters in melodramatic tales who are guided by uncontrollable emotion can ... Read more »

Hong Kong stocks face another sell-off as Alibaba paces Chinese tech losses while Omicron, Evergrande stoke risk aversion

Hong Kong stocks dropped to more than 14-month low as Alibaba Group Holding slumped amid a management reshuffle. The spread of Omicron variant and concerns about growing debt default among ... Read more »

Repeat Chinese defaulter Sunshine 100 misses payment on US$179 million of debt and interest

Chinese developer and repeat defaulter Sunshine 100 China Holdings has missed payment on US$179 million of debt and interest payments due Sunday, as higher borrowing costs hit indebted companies across ... Read more »

STYLE Edit: The new Tudor Pelagos FXD, the divers' watch marking the historic, 65-year collaboration between the Swiss watchmaker and the French navy

If you’re looking for a timepiece that can withstand the rigours of the deep, best to get one that has been endorsed by the people who know best. And no ... Read more »

Hong Kong stocks' discount to book values ensnare Chinese funds betting on turnaround

Hong Kong stocks have become a valuation trap for mainland Chinese money managers. The Hang Seng Index’s bouts of dipping below book value this year have failed to fetch bottom-fishing ... Read more »

Is expensive perfume worth the money? What they have that cheaper ones may not, and how to choose the right scent for you

There are a number of decisions to make before choosing a perfume, from finding your preferred quality, intensity and longevity to the brands and notes you like the most. No ... Read more »

TikTok owner ByteDance ramps up e-commerce expansion with launch of Fanno shopping app in Europe

TikTok owner ByteDance has ramped up its expansion into e-commerce with the recent launch of shopping app “Fanno” in selected markets across Europe, as the world’s most valuable technology start-up ... Read more »

Black Sea - part cookbook, part travelogue of author Caroline Eden's journey from Odessa in Ukraine to Istanbul and Trabzon in Turkey – is a gem

After reviewing Caroline Eden’s wonderful Red Sands (2020), about the award-winning author and journalist’s travels through Central Asia, I immediately looked for more by her. In Black Sea (2018), Eden ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic