Chickeeduck settles with Sino Group over democratic figure lawsuit

Local | 14 Aug 2020 4:13 pm

The owner of local children's clothing chain Chickeeduck has agreed to a settlement with the mall operator over the lawsuit for displaying a "lady liberty" figure at its Tuen Mun branch, saying he would move the statue to another store in Sha Tin.

A spokesperson of the clothing line said in a statement that the company doesn't wish to continue the legal proceedings and therefore has agreed to move the figure elsewhere.

The branch has removed the figure last night and planned to place it in the clothing chain's branch in New Town Plaza.

Chickeeduck chief executive Chow Siu-lung said he had maintained good relationships with landlord Jade Mate, a subsidiary of Sino Group, in the past 18 years and the shop hadn't been required to ask for permission before placing decorations.

Chow criticized Sino Group management for politicizing the incident, which violates the principle of “political neutrality” for commercial operators.

He stressed that placing the figure in the branch does not break the law.

On Tuesday, Jade Mate filed a writ with the high court to claim that displaying the figure in the store at Tuen Mun Town Plaza breached lease conditions.

Jade Mate demands Chickeeduck Retail (Hong Kong) to remove the figure within 24 hours of any court order to do so, also claiming that it would have the right to enter the store and take the statue away.

At the same time, the landlord wants an injunction against Chickeeduck displaying any items Jade Mate objects to. That would involve "erecting, exhibiting, displaying any wiring, sign, decoration and installing, affixing, putting up or displaying any artwork, exhibit, display, article or material" in the premises.

It also asked for compensation of HK$10,045.

The court case was initially scheduled today but was scrapped due to the settlement.

In June, Chickeeduck's Tsuen Wan branch at D-Park mall displayed a similar figure, causing the landlord to end the lease and order the operator to be out within 21 days.

Chow had D-Park's operator and its management company which is part of the New World conglomerate, of “political suppression”.

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