The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has covered up negative Chinese characters associated with money after they were unveiled on a wall at its newly opened Connect Hall.

The exchange closed its iconic trading floor after 30 years of operation last year and opened the new hall last week. But media outlets soon noticed characters related to the Chinese radical bei/bui () on the wall not only contained positive messages about money, but negative characters as well.

They included “greed” (貪), “proceeds of crime” (贓), “bribe” (both 賄 and 賂), “compensate” (賠), “thief” (賊), and even “toilet” (廁).

Photo: TVB screenshot.

As of Monday, the characters – which amounted to around a quarter of all characters – had been covered up with styrofoam plates.

Previously, the exchange said the characters were chosen by the Chinese Museum of Finance. It said the museum also had a similar wall which did not avoid negative characters, so as to represent the uncertainty which surrounds money.

從網上見到呢張圖,係交易所今日開幕嗰個「香港金融大會堂」其中一幅用「貝」字部拆成既牆…… 我而家真係好想去參觀下呢個大會堂,仔細觀摩一下仲有咩字啦……#藝術識條鐵 #關公識條鐵#賄 #賂 #賊 #贜 #負 #資 #賤 #貪…

Posted by 羅健熙 Lo Kin Hei on Tuesday, 20 February 2018

“The construction of the exhibition centre is a systemic work that requires constant improvement and renewal,” a Stock Exchange spokesperson told HKFP at the time. “The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has listened to various opinions, and will modify and perfect the exhibits on the bei-character wall.”

Kris Cheng

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.