Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has been caught in another suspected copyright infringement case after he uploaded photos of some Hello Kitty buns onto his Facebook account.

Last week, Leung uploaded a karaoke video of him singing Beyond’s hit song “Like You” at the anniversary dinner of a pro-Beijing political party. A controversy ensued over whether Leung had applied for the relevant licences before uploading the video. The Chief Executive’s Office admitted that Leung’s action was “not ideal” and applied for a licence after it was uploaded.

On Sunday, Leung uploaded two photos showing Hello Kitty styled buns, saying that he bought them from the Hong Kong Brands & Products Expo, for some primary school students who were coming to the government house to talk about their new year wishes with him.

Leung Chun-ying sparked fresh controversies with the photos of Hello Kitty style buns.
Leung Chun-ying sparked fresh controversies with the photos of Hello Kitty style buns.

However, Scholarism member Agnes Chow Ting said that it could be another potential offence under the controversial new copyright bill – dubbed “Internet Article 23” – to be discussed at the Legislative Council on Wednesday.

“Although these Hello Kitty style buns were made with licences, after the Internet Article 23 is passed, it could be a criminal offense if Leung Chun-ying does not list the sources when he takes photos of the products and uploads them on Facebook. Maybe the Chief Executive is indeed transcendent,” Chow wrote on her Facebook account.

Chow also noted that the Hello Kitty buns would remind people of Leung’s scandalous illegal structures in his house, and said that Leung’s “political wisdom may not even have a lower limit.”

In June 2012, after Leung was elected as the Chief Executive, local Chinese newspaper Ming Pao revealed that Leung’s house on Peel Rise had illegal structures. The scandal came after an illegal basement was found in the house of his opponent Henry Tang Ying-yen in February that year, before the Chief Executive election.

In response, Leung once said that when he inspected the house before buying it, he saw a bedroom filled with Hello Kitty style wallpaper, and this showed he was not the first owner, thus the illegal structures were built by the last owner.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.