Hong Kong politicos began to convert to Telegram, a new and more secure instant messaging app, after leaked WhatsApp messages revealed the pro-establishment legislators’ botched attempt to stall a vote on the government’s political reform package.

But other than security, Telegram’s other selling point is that it allows users to create their own unique stickers, a feature that has become popular with more politically aware Hongkongers.

“Sorry, I came too late!”

After their unsuccessful attempt to make a vote on the government’s political reforms invalid, lawmakers from the Pro-Beijing camp explained to journalists that they walked out of the voting chamber after a communication mishap.

This sticker was a nod to Zhao Ziyang, former secretary-general of Chinese Communist Party, who tearfully told students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989 “We came too late,” a few days before the authorities launched their bloody crackdown on protesters.

lee heung kuk

“Thank you Andy!”

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang was notorious for his hardline approach during 2014’s pro-democracy Occupy protests, telling officers that they did “nothing wrong” when they fired tear gas canisters at demonstrators.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying praised former Police Commissioner Andy Tsang at a meeting this March this year, two months before Tsang retired. The love didn’t end there. On July 1, he was awarded with Hong Kong’s highest honour, the Gold Bauhinia Star, for services to the police force.

andy tsang wai hung

“It’s qilin weird”

Pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip collided with a dancing qilin, a Chinese unicorn, during Chinese New Year in 2015. The incident became the subject of various internet memes.

The winner of the incident was Japan-based beer brand Kirin Brewery. “Kirin” is the Japanese word for qilin. Web users had pledged to start drinking the beer in commemoration of the incident.

kylin qilin kirin

“I will now recap in English”

Chief Superintendent Steve Hui Chun-tak, a spokesperson for Hong Kong police, became an unlikely celebrity during 2014’s pro-democracy demonstrations.

The plethora of non-Cantonese speaking journalists during the protests meant that the police gave announcements in two languages, prompting Hui’s catchphrase “I will now recap in English.”

“I would rather not speak”

Lau Kong-wah, formerly a minister at the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, was one of the five officials who attended a live-streamed meeting with the Hong Kong Federation of Students at the height of the pro-democracy Occupy protests. He did not say a single word during the meeting.

This sticker based on a photo taken in 2012 of Lau’s campaign banners. The photo showed his face being partially obscured by a rubbish bin.

“I love to eat fruit, durian and whatever else”

An anti-Occupy protester rose to fame after he was caught ripping apart street banners on the Mong Kok protest site using a fruit knife.

When asked by TV reporters why he was carrying a knife, he replied: “I love to eat fruit, durian and whatever else.”

“Three words: no comment”

Andrew Fung had a slight gaffe in 2013 shortly before he took on the job as Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s information coordinator. When asked by media if he felt he would make an ideal candidate as Leung’s spin doctor, he responded, “Three words: no comment.”

However, “no comment” consists of four words in Cantonese, not three.


“I’m off work!”

The phrase became well-known after the pro-Beijing organisation Voice of Loving Hong Kong disrupted a public forum held by the Alliance for True Democracy in 2013, forcing it to come to a halt.

One man was heard to shout “I’m off work!” after the forum was terminated.

The phrase has been widely used by pro-democracy protesters to tell those disrupting events to go home.


Additional reporting by Kris Cheng.

Vicky is a British-born Chinese journalist with three years of experience covering UK politics. She previously worked for PoliticsHome and has interned at Sky News and CNN International. She also co-produced and filmed a documentary about the Hong Kong protests for MSNBC, which won the grand student prize at the 2015 Human Rights Press Awards. She has a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Reading and moved to Hong Kong in 2014 to complete a journalism masters at the University of Hong Kong.