Pro-democracy Canto-pop singer Denise Ho Wan-see held a concert at Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan on Sunday, attracting an audience of around 3,000 fans and supporters. Ho was originally invited to perform at the same location and on the same date by Lancôme, who scrapped their event after boycott calls from mainland netizens.

On June 5, the cosmetics giant controversially axed the Ho concert over “safety reasons.” Before the announcement, Chinese state media outlet Global Times linked Ho with the Hong Kong and Tibetan independence movements on Weibo. The post led mainland netizens to call for a boycott of Lancôme.

During the concert, Ho spoke of the former missing bookseller Lam Wing-kee, praising him for his revelations last Thursday regarding his eight-months long detention in China. A rally was held in support of Lam on Saturday, a day before Ho’s concert.

Denise Ho singing at Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan. Photo: Denis Ho, via Facebook.

“I think many Hong Kong people would realise that for [Lam] to come out to say all these things in public, he might be in quite a dangerous spot right now,” Ho told HKFP on Monday.

“I thank [Lam] so much for coming out in this dark time,” she added.

Denise Ho concert attracts around 3,000 people. Photo: Denise Ho, via Facebook.

Others present at the concert included social commentator Lee Yi, professional advertiser and writer Bi Ming and People Power party lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen. Ho’s father and brother also attended the event.

Denise Ho singing at Po Hing Fong, Sheung Wan. Photo: Denise Ho, via Facebook.

“We do not need to retreat or become fearful for being suppressed, we do not need to silence ourselves for being told what we can not do,” said Ho. “I will choose resistance, Hong Kong people need to say no to this kind of authority and suppression,” the singer added.

Standing room only at the Denise Ho concert. Photo: Denise Ho, via Facebook.

Ho said that she stopped seeking answers from Lancôme regarding the concert’s cancellation a week ago, reported Apple Daily.

Staff members of the cosmetic giant’s parent group L’Oréal received an internal email at the end of May saying that its President and Director general for Hong Kong, Stephen Mosely, will be retiring at the end of June.

Gene Lin

Gene Lin is a Journalism and Computer Science student at The University of Hong Kong. He worked as a reporter for the 'LIVE: Verified Updates' during the Occupy Central protests. He is also an editor at HKU's first English-language student paper, The Lion Post.