Friday 6 February 2009

Chinese Numbers for Rent

It is always interesting to observe how Chinese belief in numerology can influence business decisions.

The landlord of Hong Kong’s long-lived Cantonese opera house, the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point, wanted to increase the monthly rent from HK$200,000 to HK$800,000 according to a news report in The Standard. But instead of a 300 percent increase in rent, he managed to get 249.5 percent.

It’s all in the numbers! Naturally, HK$800,000 is considered a profitable number because of the number 8. But isn’t it interesting that the landlord or/and the tenant avoided the number 7? And all because the monthly rent at HK$699,000 is considered luckier than HK$700,000.

The same superstition is seen at Chinese restaurants. You will never see a group of Chinese diners order 7 dishes. Even if diners know they will be completed satiated with 7 dishes, they will order another dish just to avoid the stigma of having 7 dishes on the table.

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