Hong Kong Law & Crime

Hong Kong gov’t orders pro-Beijing newspaper to remove giant sign on building following complaints

A Hong Kong government department has ordered a Wan Chai building to remove an outdoor signboard belonging to Chinese state-owned newspaper Ta Kung Pao within 30 days, following complaints.

Residents filed complaints to the Buildings Department about the sign and the large LED screen outside Kuo Wah Building on Hennessy Road. Wan Chai district councillor Clarisse Yeung’s office also received the complaints and has been following up with them.

Kuo Wah Building

Kuo Wah Building. Photo: Google Maps.

The building, erected in 1962, was previously home to the newspaper before it moved out.

The Buildings Department confirmed with Yeung’s office on Wednesday that, although the LED screen was in line with the building’s plans, the sign violated the plans and was installed without prior approval being obtained.

Work to demolish the sign must begin within 30 days and it must be completed within 60 days, the department stated.

Kuo Wah Building

A Buildings Department staff member pasting notices inside the Kuo Wah Building. Photo: Clarisse Yeung.

Yeung said the illegally constructed sign affected the safety of passers-by.

“As a media organisation, Ta Kung Pao should put public interests first, and not promote itself using unlawful means,” she said.

Susi Law, a community officer at Yeung’s office who has been following up with the issue, said she supported the department in enforcing the law quickly.

“Although the LED screen did not violate building rules, the light pollution it creates is serious. Therefore, we hope Ta Kung Pao will care about the feelings of affected residents, workers, and drivers in the area,” she said.

Hong Kong gov't orders pro-Beijing newspaper to remove giant sign on building following complaints