Hong Kong entrepreneur builds career on China experience
Photo: Sino-US.com
More people hailing from Hong Kong are now coming to universities in the Chinese mainland. As far as Jinan University in Guangzhou is concerned, nearly 60,000 graduates are from Hong Kong. This year, 14 alumnus of the university got elected into the District Councils of Hong Kong.
About 20 years ago, Tsang Si-Ziu had been assigned by a Hong Kong-listed company to the Chinese mainland and lived there for over 18 years. During the period, he commuted between Hong Kong and mainland to acquire bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After that, Tsang came back to Hong Kong to start his own business.
Tsang, as the chairman of Jinan University’s alumni association, has spared no effort in promoting its events. According to him, there are many Hong Kong students now attending the university and many of them may come back to Hong Kong to find a job.
He’s an expert on local laws and policies in the Chinese mainland and has quite an experience communicating with local governments. Tsang got into the company in 1994, and relocated to its mainland office in 1996. Toiling between the two areas, he could hardly feel any clear distinction before and after the year 1997.
He remembers the day when Hong Kong was handed over to China. He was playing Mahjong with relatives while the ceremony was broadcast live on TV. “We all shouted in excitement, with no emotional ups and downs. It’s just the rainy weather and the tears of Chris Patten’s daughter which made people emotional,” he recalled.
Tsang worked for the Correctional Service Department when he was young. In his memory, when Hong Kong was run by the UK, more people would take civil service examination, and it was not difficult to be selected. “I would work 7 hours while spending three hours on commuting per day. I would take the first boat in the morning and the final boat in the evening five days a week,” Tsang sighed. About the work, two or three guards including him would need to patrol one hundred cells, double check and double lock.
That period was gray for him. He still remembers being cursed by a prisoner when he tried to wake him up and talk with him just because he himself was too bored.  
He was with the Hong Kong Disciplined Services until he was 24. He gave up the position as civil servant in 1981. And before he was employed by the listed company, he did several jobs. After Tsang visited the Chinese mainland, he began to develop new ideas about life. “I decided to retire early and became an entrepreneur,” he said.
Tsang said he was rebellious when he was young. After working in Chinese restaurants, a plastic factory, paint factory, second-hand car sales, real estate and insurance, Tsang intermittently came back to school and acquired his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He then turned into an academician and lawyer, and he believes everything happens for a reason.
When asked if there was anything significant after the 1997 handover, Tsang said in his personal life, there was no direct influence. However, in his perspective, the significant difference is that the perception of superiority of Hong Kong citizenship has begun to change. Now, many Hong Kong firms are recruiting local managers for their Chinese mainland branches. 


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