Hong Kong Stock Exchange's "money wall" causes uproar

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange has unveiled its new trading floor namely Hong Kong Connect Hall (香港金融大會堂) featuring a host of different money-related Chinese characters but a few seemed to rub people the wrong way.

At a glance, you can see those characters on a wall featuring the Chinese radical "Bui" (貝), which means shell, Chinese ancient money. The use of shell money is attested to in the Chinese writing system.

As Hong Kong's bourse operator, win (贏), earn (賺), goods (貨), buy (購) were featured as it's relevant to the financial context.

However, some negative words like cheap (賤), poor (貧), thief (賊), bribe (賄), loss (賠), failure (敗) were also seen on the wall and later circulated widely on social media and attracting ire on Facebook.

One netizen criticised it's "tasteless" and those words with negative meaning should be removed.

"Money is the source of a lot of worry in this world, so it makes sense to feature negative words!" one Facebook user wrote.

Unrelated characters that contain the particle "Bui", but without using it as a radical – such as "toilet" (廁), were also seen.

Some local brands have quickly jumped on the bandwagon and mocked the HKEX, including Fortune Pharmacal and Tam Chai Yunnan Noodle.

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According to a report by Apple Daily, the HKEX explained, the wordings were chosen by its curator Chinese Museum of Finance (中國金融博物館).

The HKEX Connect Hall, which has a floor area of 30,000 sq ft, is a multifunctional venue that will host listing ceremonies of companies and other related events. It will also have a museum, showcasing the history of Hong Kong's stock market, which started trading in 1891.