Although organised prostitution is illegal, the industry had always been under the influence of triads to recruit economically disadvantaged women who otherwise would never enter the profession voluntarily.Until the 1980s, most Hong Kong underground sex establishments were run by gangsters. The Cantonese name of the street, 擺花 (pai fa) literally means "flower arrangement", possibly because of presence of numerous stalls in the area in the mid-19th century, selling flowers From 1884 to 1887 many brothels were declared by the Government to be unlicensed and closed down.The Government Flying Service has made available 31 short air tour videos of various locations around Hong Kong and these can be viewed here; Kong Tourism Board has several videos available on its Discover Hong Kong website News Channel; Hong Kong live 24 hours a day through the Transport Department's webcams.
They are disowned by Chinese society, whilst they are but parasites on foreign society.
The system of buying and selling female children and of domestic servitude with which they must be identified is so glaring an abuse of legitimate Chinese domestic servitude that it calls for corrective measures entirely apart from any considerations connected with the general body of Chinese society.
Tanka women who worked as prostitutes for foreigners also commonly kept a "nursery" Tanka girls specifically for exporting them for prostitution work to overseas Chinese communities such as in Australia or America, or to serve as a Chinese or foreigner's concubine.
A report called "Correspondence respecting the alleged existence of Chinese slavery in Hong Kong: presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of Her Majesty" was presented to the English Parliament in 1882 concerning the existence of slavery in Hong Kong, of which many were Tanka girls serving as prostitutes or mistresses to westerners.
Consequently, almost every "protected woman keeps a nursery of purchased children or a few servant girls who are being reared with a view to their eventual disposal, according to their personal qualifications, either among foreigners here as kept women, or among Chinese residents as their concubines, or to be sold for export to Singapore, San Francisco, or Australia.
Those protected women, moreover, generally act as protectors each to a few other Tan-ka women who live by sly prostitution.To attract attention, brothels were displaying large street number plates, and the area became known as "Big Number Brothels".Andrew and Bushnell (2006) wrote extensively on the position of women in the British Empire and the Tanka inhabitants of Hong Kong and their position in the prostitution industry, catering towards foreign sailors.They invaded Hong Kong the moment the Colony was opened, and have ever since maintained here a monopoly, so to say, of the supply of Chinese pilots and ships' crews, of the fish trade, the cattle trade, and especially of the trade in women for the supply of foreigners and of brothels patronised by foreigners. kept mistress of foreigners here, belongs to this Tan-ka tribe, looked down upon and kept at a distance by all the other Chinese classes.It is among these Tan-ka women, and especially under the protection of those "protected T;in-ka women, that private prostitution and the sale of girls for purposes of concubinage flourishes, being looked upon by them as their legitimate profession.These Tan-ka people of the Canton river are the descendants of a tribe of aborigines pushed by advancing Chinese civilisation to live on boats on the Canton river, being for centuries forbidden by law to live on shore. These Tan-ka people were the secret but trusty allies of foreigners from the time of the East India Company to the present day.