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Recent proposed review of the Pyramid Selling Prohibition Ordinance in Legco

The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau has recently asked for a review on the Pyramid Selling Prohibition Ordinance in Legco and they have set out proposals on how to strengthen the control over pyramid schemes for public consultation.

Currently it was only considered as illegal when the up-line take commissions, forcing their down-line to buy a huge amount of products. The current proposal also aims to tighten the restrictions on grey areas such as companies operating by finding down-lines to pay membership fee and to enlarge the base without product selling.

When asked whether the consultation will touch on grey zones such as Herbalife’s business model and the current business model of Amway, Press Secretary to Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Ms Angela Yip is reluctant to comment on individual cases.

“We have just brought the discussion of pyramid schemes into Legco and we still haven’t finished drafting our consultation document. We will discuss and define the

grey area clearly in the Legco and during the consultation period.”

What do other university students think?

Sophia Tong Oi-lam (Hong Kong Baptist University, Year 2, Chinese Studies)

One of my classmates always tries to persuade me to buy the health products. But the products are too expensive that I’m never interested in them. I think direct selling is a very annoying business. I wouldn’t try the job even I had the chance.

Kwan Ka-kit (The University of Hong Kong, Year 2, Social Work)

I don’t have friends in the direct selling business, but I am not against it. Aslong as I have a thorough understanding of the company and make sure I won’t be cheated, I think I may give it a try.

Wong Lui (Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Year 2, Journalism and Communication)

Direct selling seems to be attractive to university students as it gives them opportunities to earn so much money. But if I see such advertisements or invitations on Facebook, I automatically ignore them because I have no interest in trying to work in direct selling. I don’t think money can really be earned in such an easy way.”

Kwong Chit (The University of Hong Kong, Year 3, BBA Law)

I believe not all the direct selling companies cheat. They just have their own mechanism or system to run the companies legally. I don’t know any friends who are working as distributors, but I don’t like the business and I don’t think I am able to sell people things either.

Editor: Christine Fung