Newsstand near Causeway Bay Plaza 1 reopens despite FEHD intervention

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10th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) The newsstand located in front of Causeway Bay Plaza 1 was forcibly closed by the Hawker Control team of the FEHD last Friday (7th). The reason behind the closure was that the licensed operator had passed away in March this year, leaving the stand unlicensed. However, on Sunday (9th), the newsstand reopened with Mr. Lee, the new operator, sitting inside and continuing to sell newspapers, cigarettes, and other goods. He stated that immediately after the FEHD team left, he reopened the stand and has been operating it 24/7 ever since.

Mr. Lee explained that reopening the stand was a matter of survival and that he refused to surrender. He declared, “We will not succumb so easily. I will continue my mission and fight to the end. Once the FEHD is gone, I will reopen again.”

During an interview, Mr. Lee revealed that he had been operating the stand on behalf of the licensed owner for approximately two years. After the owner’s demise, he applied for a new license to continue the business. When reporters visited the newsstand, they found it fully operational, with Mr. Lee selling newspapers as before.

Mr. Lee’s decision to reopen the stand is driven by the necessity to sustain himself. He stated, “When the FEHD comes and shuts us down, we reopen afterwards. We have no other choice.” When asked if he was concerned about facing increased penalties for operating without a license, he explained that he had already applied for a new license and had not been granted any temporary licenses by the FEHD.

However, the closure of the newsstand has resulted in significant losses for Mr. Lee, amounting to over 1 million Hong Kong dollars. The majority of the losses come from confiscated cigarette packages, totalling more than 900,000 Hong Kong dollars. Mr. Lee hopes that the judge, during the upcoming court hearing, will return the seized goods to him.

The FEHD stated that the newsstand had not applied for a temporary licence during the processing of the licence inheritance application. Over the past three months, the FEHD had issued 53 warnings and initiated 48 prosecutions against the unlicensed operation of the newsstand. Last Friday, when the FEHD conducted an inspection and found the newsstand still operating, they arrested a woman on charges of selling without a license and obstruction of the street, seizing relevant goods as evidence.