A special Hong Wrong/Huffington Post cross-feature.
“It’s made in China so we don’t trust it would even blow up properly.”
Sirius Lee (his real name) has few concerns over the safety of the crude-looking, 40-socket USB charger he purchased for HK$500 from the mainland. The contraption sits in a mesh of cables at a mall near the main Occupy Central protest camp in Admiralty. Over the past week, over 2,000 people have entrusted their phones and tablets to 22-year-old Lee and his team of 30 friends, who man the “Recharge Corner” in shifts.
Should the police move in, Lee’s team can escape rapidly into the metro system after pulling down an “emergency sign” that tells people who to contact to retrieve their phones.
Smartphone-addicted Hong Kongers at the protest camp are so grateful for the free service, they have given food and chocolates to the team. The only hostility they have experienced so far is from an anti-Occupy Central activist, wearing a facemask, who emerged from the metro and began heckling them. But Lee was prepared. “We sang the Happy Birthday song… It is one of our strategies to confuse those people!” he said. It worked. The baffled agitator left in embarrassment.