Prisoner On The Run After Escaping From Hospital

November 16, 2018

NewsStandOnline.Net (16-November-2018): Police have launched a massive manhunt for the prisoner, who is from the Dominican Republic and is described as being 5ft 5in tall and dark skinned.

A police source said the man complained of feeling sick this morning, and was taken to Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam. Officers realised he was missing after they took him to the toilet about 8.30am.

“He was arrested on Wednesday as he possessed a suspected fake ID card,” the source said. “He claimed he was sick on Friday morning, so the force escorted him to the Queen Mary Hospital for treatment.

“Police officers realised he had escaped from the toilet at 8.34am.” Police have set up roadblocks and are searching for him in the area surrounding the University of Hong Kong, which is nearby.

Prisoner On The Run After Escaping From Hospital

It is not the first time police have had to recapture prisoners after they have escaped from custody in a Hong Kong hospital.

In June 2015, an 18-year-old facing trial over drug trafficking, and an alleged acid attack on a family of three, managed to unshackle himself and escape from two police officers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He was recaptured 10 hours later.

That same month, a 14-year-old boy who had been arrested for breaching a curfew order escaped at Tuen Mun Hospital. He was rearrested in the hospital that day.

Alibaba-Backed Babytree Cuts Size Of Hong Kong IPO

November 15, 2018

NewsStandOnline.Net (15-November-2018): Alibaba-backed online parenting firm Babytree Group launched an initial public offering of up to US$281 million in Hong Kong yesterday, far below what the Chinese company had hoped to raise, as weak markets force firms to scale back their funding ambitions.

Babytree plans to sell about 250 million shares, or 15 percent of its enlarged share capital, at a price range of HK$6.80 to HK$8.80 (86.82 US cents to US$1.12), giving it a potential valuation of up to US$1.87 billion.

That is below the company’s US$2 billion valuation in late May when e-commerce giant Alibaba invested US$214 million in Babytree.  Babytree had originally aimed to raise US$1 billion in its initial public offering, but falling markets forced the company to lower its target.

Asked why the company opted to launch its IPO in such weak markets, Babytree founder and chairman Wang Huainan said “our listing [plan] is not to achieve a high valuation in good markets or to desperately take the company public in bad markets”.

“It’s actually a proactive strategic move as we believe a listed Babytree will have more development options than a private Babytree. The listing will bring us way more benefits than remaining as a private firm,” Wang told a news conference.

Babytree is the latest firm to drastically scale back its funding ambitions in Hong Kong, although the financial hub remains on track to become the world’s top IPO center by volume.

Alibaba-Backed Babytree Trims Size Of Hong Kong IPO

The recent performance of IPOs has been poor, in part because of weak markets rattled by a China-US trade war and concerns about slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index is down 14 percent this year.  Alibaba exercised its anti-dilution right to buy shares in Babytree’s IPO in order to keep its stake at 9.9 percent, according to one of the sources.

Online travel website Tongcheng-Elong has also cut back the size of its planned IPO while Tencent Music Entertainment, Tencent’s (00700.HK) music streaming arm, put its own IPO plans on hold after a steep market sell-off in October.

Babytree said in its prospectus that it is China’s largest maternity and child-focused community platform with around 139 million monthly active users in 2017.  It had revenues of 407 million yuan (US$58.56 million) in the first half of 2018, up 12 percent from the same period a year ago, according to its prospectus.

Its profit increased 37 percent to 123 million yuan in the first half of this year.  Babytree plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to expand the business by getting new users and improving user engagement and generating more quality content, the prospectus said.  Babytree has hired China Merchants Securities, Haitong International and Morgan Stanley as joint sponsors for the IPO.

Cathay Apologizes Over Data Breach But Denies Cover-Up

November 14, 2018

NewsStandOnline.Net (14-November-2018): The top two executives at Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific today apologized for the firm’s handling of the world’s biggest airline hack that saw millions of customers’ data breached but denied trying to cover it up.

The CEO and chairman also said the crisis “was one of the most serious” in the embattled firm’s history and would act differently in a similar situation in future.

The pair were summoned to the city’s legislative council to explain to lawmakers why it had taken five months to admit it had been hacked and the data of 9.4 million customers compromised, including passport numbers and credit card details.

Lawmakers slammed the delay as a “blatant attempt” to cover up the incident and thereby deprive customers of months of opportunities to take steps to safeguard their personal data.

Cathay Apologizes Over Data Breach But Denies Cover-Up

However, Chairman John Slosar said: “I’d like to make it absolutely clear that there was never any attempt to cover anything up.”  He added: “I see it as one of the most serious crises that our airline has ever faced.”

Earlier he had read a statement to the LegCo in which he said: “I must personally apologize directly to you and the people of Hong Kong.”  It emerged this week that the breach was the result of a sustained cyber attack for three months.

The airline had discovered suspicious activity on its network in March and confirmed unauthorized access to certain personal data in early May but did not make it public until October 24.

CEO Rupert Hogg explained the company needed time to establish the nature of attacks, contain the problem and identify stolen data, but said they “did regret the length of time” it took.