Chris Edwards is the co-founder of luxury ride-hailing app Go Lux. Born in the UK and raised in Hong Kong, Chris has lived and worked in different countries across the globe, but eventually made his way back to the SAR to set up his businesses. Over the past few years, he’s managed to build a solid portfolio as a full-time entrepreneur. This is life in Hong Kong, from Chris’s point of view.
Night and Day
I used to live on Staunton Street. It just got to the point where everybody called you out. I came out all the time. After that I moved to Sai Kung, which was literally the polar opposite. I got a couple of dogs. I love it out there.
I’m in Clearwater Bay now, slightly closer to the office. I love the greenery. We went kayaking last Sunday. We have a big kayak, we put our dogs on it. We do a lot of hiking as well. I’m not sure if I would move back to the city. My fiancée would have different ideas, but I like where I am to be honest.
I love the flexibility of Hong Kong, I really do. I love the fact that you can be in the nightlife district and then 15 minutes later, you can be on the beach. Hong Kong is changing all the time, which is good for business. It’s really easy to set up a business, good to find clients. It’s competitive, which is always good, it pushes you to try more. Service is generally good. People are really hard workers. But whether or not they have the work life balance, I don’t think they do.
A Hong Kong Minute
I think Hong Kong’s faster paced than London or New York to be honest with you. It’s an easier place to do business. It’s much easier to set up a business here. It probably is much less competitive than London or New York as well. For both my companies, it’s much less competitive here.
I’m just trying to think of an industry where it’s more competitive in Hong Kong. Maybe banking?
Being an expat or western local in Hong Kong, that’s like being in a bubble. Well, Hong Kong is a bubble anyway, so if you’re a westerner in Hong Kong, that’s like a bubble in a bubble. So do we ever truly experience Hong Kong? As much as we possibly can, but if you know the language you can sort of know a lot more about Hong Kong.
I’ve been here 22, 23 years now, but “Can you speak Cantonese?” — that’s always the first question. And I hate it. I hate that that’s the first question, because it makes me look bad. But we were just on the cusp of the change [in education curriculum]. A couple of years after us, you had to learn Mandarin. But even the ESF schools, they don’t teach Cantonese. It’s only Mandarin. Mandarin is mandatory, but not Cantonese. Cantonese was not even an option in our school. You could learn German, Mandarin, Spanish, French but no Cantonese.