Kiu Sing Plastic Factory (僑星塑膠廠)
York Lo: Kiu Sing Plastic Factory (僑星塑膠廠)
Kiu Sing ad for its polythene shoes in 1958 (WKYP, 1958-6-5)
Kiu Sing Plastic Factory was one of the leading plastic manufacturers in the 1950s and 1960s and was related to Lucky Plastic Factory (see article) covered earlier as its proprietor Jok Yip-wong (祝業旺) and Jok Ying-chung (祝映忠, possibly also went by “Rayston Jok”) are the brother and nephew of Lucky founder Jok Yip-chuen.
From the 1958 ad above, Kiu Sing’s factory was located at 10-12 Wo Hop Street in Shek Tong Tsui while its office was located at 538 Queen’s Road West. Aside from polythene shoes sold under the registered “Star” trademark (Sing in the firm’s name means star and “Kiu Sing” means overseas Chinese star) advertised above, products manufactured by Kiu Sing included soap box, powder box, sugar basin, clothes hanger, shopping baskets and a variety of toys such as helicopters according to the CMA Members Directory in 1958.
By 1959 however, its factory had relocated to 55A Woon Sha Street in Causeway Bay. Although the firm was already producing hundreds of different plastic products at the time, plastic flowers had already become its biggest business at the time and were prominently displayed in its booth at the HK Products Expo that year. Many of its products were exported and were particularly popular in the Southeast Asian markets. (WKYP, 1959-12-21)
In 1964, Kiu Sing managing director Jok Ying-chung was elected chairman of the Chiu Chau Plastic Manufacturers Association. At the swearing in ceremony at the Gloucester restaurant in Central, Jok encouraged his peers to keep innovating as the industry’s profit margins were declining even though total plastic exports from HK grew another 14% in the prior year to HK$472 million and represented 12% of all exports from HK. (TKP, 1964-4-16)
Article and picture of the wedding of Jok Ying-chung and Chan Yuet-ngor in 1960 (WKYP, 1960-4-20)
To differentiate from its competition, Kiu Sing invested heavily in product innovation and developed many innovative products. In 1963, Kiu Sing introduced a plastic brush which could be used for brushing both dry and wet clothing. (WKYP, 1963-5-8) In 1966, Kiu Sing launched an educational toy – a plastic tangram that could be modified to form all letters of the alphabet (A-Z) and ten numbers (0-9). The design received patent within the British Commonwealth with patent number 922700. (WKYP, 1966-7-30)
Left: Jok Ying-chung of Kiu Sing delivering his speech at the swearing in ceremony of the Chiu Chau Plastic Manufacturers Association in 1964 (TKP, 1964-4-16); Right: article about the election of Jok Ying-chung as vice chairman of the Chiu Chau Plastic Manufacturers Association alongside Li Ka-shing in 1971 (WKYP, 1971-3-14)
By 1968, Kiu Sing’s factory had relocated to the 3rd floor of Chun Yee Building in Chai Wan (Xianggang Shi-kuang). As a firm, Kiu Sing Plastic Factory Ltd was incorporated in 1978 and dissolved in 2001.
This article was first posted on 4th May 2020.
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