The political stance of businesses has become a controversy since a competition between two ‘colours’ – the pro-establishment ‘blue’ camp and the pro-democracy ‘yellow’ camp – emerged during last year’s Anti-extradition Bill movement.
FactWire received multiple complaints and was called on to investigate the links between Lung Mun Cafe chain and Fulum Group. Lung Mun was one of the earliest businesses branded ‘yellow’ but later questioned for bearing the same name with two other stores owned by the pro-Beijing ‘blue’ Fulum Group.
FactWire’s findings contradicted a declaration by Cheung Chun-kit, owner of Lung Mun Cafe, which claimed that he had sold all his shares linked with Fulum without gaining any compensation in September 2019. Although Fulum also said that it had no longer any link with Lung Mun, FactWire found that Cheung is still owning a joint venture with an affiliated person of Fulum, according to the latest Annual Return. The premises of one of the Lung Mun Cafe stores was rented in the name of this company.
Cheung refused to make any comment on the multiple enquiries made by FactWire.
On June 30 last year, Lung Mun Cafe announced on its Facebook page its withdrawal from the ‘yellow business circle’. Despite this, it is still widely considered a ‘yellow’ business.
In 2019, two stores named “Lung Mun Cafe” in Venice Gardens of Tuen Mun and Aberdeen were discovered to be under the Fulum Group. Since then, Lung Mun’s stance has become controversial. At that time, Lung Mun offered an explanation on Facebook stating that the two stores owned by Fulum merely bear the name of “Lung Mun Cafe” but are in fact not related to the stores owned by Cheung, adding that “anyone (any store) can be named Lung Mun” because the name itself was not registered.
This statement made by Lung Mun contradicted official records, which show that the “Lung Mun Cafe” in Venice Gardens was initially owned by Cheung. According to its business registration record, the store was established on May 18, 2018 by Lung Mun Catering Company Ltd., a private company wholly-owned by Cheung.
By referring to the photos posted on OpenRice, a restaurant review website, the content and design of menus in the Venice Gardens store at that time can be seen to match those of Cheung’s other Lung Mun stores.
The premises in the Venice Gardens were rented by Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd., a company shared by Cheung and Fulum. Judicial documents show that it was sued for arrears of rent in June, August, and November of 2019 and in January 2020, and for the arrears of management fee and government rent in October and November 2019, concerning the premises in Venice Gardens. Cheung was the person who signed the lease.
The two contact addresses of Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd., as stated on the Small Claims Tribunal Claim Form, were that of the Fulum Group office and of the store in Venice Gardens.
According to the Companies Registry records, Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd. was co-founded in May 2018 by Cheung Suk-man and Prosperity Catering Management Ltd.. The first directors were Cheung Chun-kit and Xiao Xiaofeng. Its registered office was located in Sheung Wan.
On June 8, 2018, the office address was changed to where Lung Mun Cafe in Venice Gardens was located. Xiao Xiaofeng resigned from her position as director on the same day.
On June 15, 2018, Fulum Investment (HK) Ltd. invested in Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd. and was allotted 70% of its shares, while Cheung Chun-kit owned the remaining 30% that was worth $600,000.
On September 1, 2018, two founders of Fulum Group, Yeung Wai and Yeung Yun-chuen, were nominated as directors of Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd.
On August 11, 2019, the ‘Fujian gang’ who attacked anti-extradition bill protestors and reporters were found gathering at North Point’s Fulum Palace, triggering protestors’ boycott against the businesses of Fulum Group.
The next day, Cheung Chun-kit declared that the stores in Venice Gardens and Aberdeen were not related to him. That being said, he later announced in September that he had transferred his shares belonging to a joint venture with Fulum.
However, in a Ming Pao report published on November 11, 2019, Fulum Group said that Cheung had yet to deal with the relevant administration and documents required for the transfer. Cheung then told Ming Pao that he had spoken with Fulum but had received no response from the group.
In the Ming Pao report, Cheung also said that he thought he would no longer be affiliated with Fulum after the transfer of shares, until an accountant reminded him that he had yet to resign from his position as a director. Cheung thus immediately did so.
In July last year, Cheung said in an interview with the Commercial Radio that there is “only hatred” left between him and Fulum, and no longer any business partnership.
The latest company registration documents Cheung’s resignation on November 4, 2019. However, according to the latest Annual Return of Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd. in May 2020, Cheung is still holding 30% of its shares. Two business names, “Lung Mun Café” and “Lung Mun Cage”, were newly added into 2020’s Annual Return.
On December 11, 2019, Yeung Wai and Yeung Yun-chuen also resigned from their positions as directors. On the same day, they appointed a new director named Zhang Guangcheng, who holds a Mainland China identity card.
The Companies Registry records show that Zhang used to be the director of two other companies related to Fulum. Appointed on December 19, 2019, Zhang became the director of Sun Profit Hong Kong Development Ltd., which runs the Fulum restaurant Cafe CoCo. He then became appointed on May 12, 2020 as director of Union Catering Concepts Ltd. which runs CoCo Kitchen, a hotpot restaurant under Fulum Group as well.
But soon on September 14, 2020, Zhang resigned from all three companies. Yan Zhenlu, also holding a Mainland China identity card, took over Zhang’s previous positions as director of both Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd. and Sun Profit Hong Kong Development Ltd. As for Union Catering Concepts Ltd., it appointed Qiao Jianmu to be the new director.
On the day that Yeung Wai and Yeung Yun-chuen resigned, they transferred their shares of Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd. to Union Man Ltd., where Zhang acts as director. Union Man Ltd. was founded on November 5, 2019, a day after Cheung resigned from Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd.
Sun Profit Hong Kong Development Ltd. was previously wholly-owned by a BVI company named Chung Wong Holdings Ltd., before its shares were transferred to Union Man Ltd. on December 19, 2019. Union Catering Concepts Ltd. is still, as of April 2020, wholly-owned by Chung Wong Holdings Ltd.
Chung Wong Holdings Ltd. was listed as a wholly-owned subsidiary in the 2019 Annual Report of Fulum Group Holdings Ltd. (1443.HK). However, Chung Wong along with Fulum Investments Holdings Ltd. and five other BVI subsidiaries previously stated were no longer shown in the 2020 report. It was the first time since 2014 that BVI subsidiaries were not listed in Fulum’s annual report.
According to Companies Registry documents, Lee Ching-wai is a business partner of Cheung Chun-kit, who owns 10% shares of each of the following companies related to the Lung Mun chain: Tung Lung Catering Ltd., Tsuen Lung Catering Ltd., Tsim Lung Catering Ltd., Hung Lung Catering Ltd., Pao Lung Catering Ltd., Tuen Lung Catering Ltd., Sha Lung Catering Ltd., and LM Cafe Ltd.
FactWire found that Lee is a frequent visitor to the Fulum Palace Chinese restaurant in Jordan. Lee’s companion, Chau Chun-hung, is a friend of Cheung Chun-kit. Chau is also the husband of Yip Hin-ting, a former director of HKers Cafe Resource Sharing Centre who just resigned recently.
Sources said that the gathering which Lee and Chau attend is held regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. From FactWire’s observation for multiple times, they were held in the same room at Fulum Palace each time, accommodating guests a few to 20 guests from the afternoon to night. At least four attendees would be spotted at the gathering each time.
During the Mid-Autumn Festival last year, the guests were seen entering the restaurant’s warehouse unaccompanied to retrieve more than a hundred boxes of mooncakes in total. In addition, the cars carrying Lee and Chau were parked at reserved parking bays at the BP International car park, in the same building where Fulum Palace is located. A traffic cone was placed to reserve the bays before they arrived.
Companies Registry records show that Chau Chun-hung owns “Hung Ting Catering Ltd.” (name translated from Chinese). His wife, Yip Hin-ting, is the former company secretary of “Hung Ting Catering Ltd.” as well as a former director of HKers Cafe Resource Sharing Centre Ltd. along with Cheung Chun-kit. She resigned from both posts on December 5, 2020.
“Hung Ting Catering Ltd.” shares the same email address with a few of Cheung Chun-kit’s sole-owned and co-owned companies, including Hongkongers Interior Decoration Ltd., LM Spa Ltd., C Bro Design Production Ltd., Tsim Lung Catering Ltd., and Sha Lung Catering Ltd.
From FactWire’s research, Chau Chun-hung, Yip Hin-ting, Cheung Chun-kit and his sister Cheung Suk-man all use the same email address at the respective companies where they act as directors.
In regards to the above investigation results, FactWire has attempted to enquire Cheung through various means in the past half year, including via phone, WhatsApp, Facebook, email, and by contacting him in person at Lung Mun Cafe. There are a total of 22 questions directed at him concerning Lung Mun’s relationship with Fulum Group and the doubts on HKers Cafe Resource Sharing Centre’s financial matters (see another story here).
Cheung refused neither to be interviewed nor to comment, as he is involved in a court case in which he is suing a former employee for defamation.
Fulum Group responded to FactWire stating that it no longer has any relationship with Prosperity Winning Catering Ltd., thus no comment can be provided.