Two mainland ticket scalpers have been jailed for two months each after they were caught selling tickets for a show by stand-up comedian Dayo Wong.

Chen Jian, 36, and Chen Ji, 50, pleaded guilty to breaching their conditions of stay in Hong Kong. The pair were caught selling tickets outside the Hong Kong Coliseum in Hung Hom on July 30 by undercover police officers.

Both men came to Hong Kong as visitors at the end of July. At the time, the officers bought two tickets from them at HK$1,800 each, though they had a face value of HK$380 each. The duo were arrested afterwards.

Dayo Wong
Dayo Wong. Photo: Next Magazine.

During the hearing, it was revealed that Chen Jian, a master’s degree holder who worked in the IT sector, moved to Hong Kong in 2008 via the Admission Scheme for Mainland Talents and Professionals and worked in the city until last October. He applied for Hong Kong permanent residency in February. The result of his application may be revealed as early as this month.

According to the defence, Chen Ji was a railroad worker in Shenzhen who earned RMB3,000 (HK$3,450) per month. Chen Ji admitted that he would have received HK$200 compensation from Chen Jian for assisting with the ticket sales.

Magistrate Ho Chun-yiu said at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday that the pair had clearly planned the offence. He warned that they should not commit any crimes in Hong Kong again, or the punishment would be tougher.

Ho said the minimum sentence would normally be three months’ imprisonment, but he reduced it by a month owing to the pair’s guilty pleas and because they were first-time offenders.

Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts
Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts. File

In March, ticket scalping activities for Dayo Wong’s farewell shows sparked a public outcry. It led to calls for the authorities to tighten ticket scalping laws.

In early August, another mainland scalper – Huang Hongjun, 42 – pleaded guilty to breaching his conditions of stay for selling tickets to Wong’s show.

Huang sold the tickets – with a face value of HK$880 – to undercover police officers at HK$3,400 on July 31. He was also jailed for two months.

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.