• HSBC Hong Kong

HSBC Hong Kong (Photo : HSBC Hong Kong/Facebook)

If Facebook “likes” are the basis in declaring who won in an ongoing father versus son battle in Hong Kong, the clear winner is Joshua Wong. The “likes” on his Facebook page are more than 305,000, while that of his father, Roger Wong, a measly 3,002 “likes.”

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The two influential figures in Hong Kong are engaged in an online battle spurred by HSBC’s placing of two rainbow-colored replicas of the bank’s iconic lions that guard the multinational lender’s headquarters in Hong Kong, the HSBC Main Building Plaza. The replicas are the creation of a Hong Kong artist to promote inclusiveness and tolerance.

HSBC Hong Kong, on its Facebook page, explained that the two lions – named Stephen and Stitt – stand for courage and prosperity as well for pride and unity. The lender explained: “We've draped our two lions in the rainbow colours to show support for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community‎. Show your support by spreading this message with family and friends. Also, drop by to visit them at the HSBC Main Building while they're still here. #HSBCPride”

However, the rainbow colors of Stephen and Stitt did not sit well with Roger Wong who began an online campaign against the HSBC initiative, Time reported. He called the two lions “disgusting” and warned of hurting the feelings of HSBC clients. The campaign, which has so far gathered 1,800 signatures, asked HSBC not only to remove Stephen and Stitt but also for the bank not to grant benefits to gay partners of its workers and not support LGBT causes.

Besides Roger Wong’s Family School SODO Concern Group, those behind the online petition include Parents for the Family Association, Overturning LGBT Agenda and Next Generation Orientation, South China Morning Post reported.

As of Monday night, the signatures they collected was 1,200 short of their target 3,000 names. Once they reach 3,000, the group said they would hold a protest right in front of the rainbow-colored lion replicas. HSBC customers have mixed reaction to Stephen and Stitt, based on postings on HSBC’s Facebook page.

Joshua Wong, founder of Demosist, a social progressive political party which supports the legislation of a Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance, said he personally supports HSBC’s LGBT initiative.