Originally a fishing and trading port, Hong Kong has evolved into a key financial hub where Eastern and Western interests intersect.
Hong Kong has an excellent infrastructure, refined financial networks, a well-educated workforce and a focus on free and fair competition making it a magnet for multinational businesses.
Hong Kong is conservative, and you’re expected to dress formally and be professional.
Locals value punctuality, mutual respect and deference to seniority. Expect associates to invite you to social events – and always accept as this is a good way to build connections. While physical contact is common in social gatherings, it shouldn’t extend beyond a handshake in business settings.
The Asian concept of saving face applies, so avoid embarrassing or confronting anyone. Never present bad news in front of others. And make an effort to contain your emotions. Open displays of anger or irritation create a bad impression.
The languages of business in Hong Kong include Cantonese, Mandarin and English. The larger the company, the more likely English will be spoken. In many cases, a translator is required.
Business hours are usually from 09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday, sometimes with a half day on Saturdays. Men should wear dark suits and avoid bright colours. A woman’s choice of clothing isn’t as restricted, but anything too casual may raise a few eyebrows.
When greeting someone, shake hands, then immediately exchange business cards using both hands as a sign of respect. Gifts are given at first meetings and on important anniversaries. Receive a gift with both hands, but don’t open it in front of the giver.
Expat salaries are high, especially for people in finance or executive positions. Some packages include a housing allowance and medical insurance.
An offshore account can be useful for expats looking to keep some money in a central location, rather than one specific country or region.
Our Expat Bank Account is an offshore account that comes with a range of benefits. These include a Global Money Account to make quick and easy payments across borders, a relationship manager to help you and your family manage your money and online and mobile access so you can take care of your banking, FX and investments wherever you are.
You can set your account up in USD, EUR or GBP and you can hold it alongside other accounts in the country you're leaving or the one you're moving to.
See what people responding to our Expat Explorer Survey think about living in Hong Kong.
There are excellent career development opportunities in a safe and interesting region with a lot of scope to save money and to travel.
All Expat Explorer survey data, including the tips in quotation marks, is provided by HSBC.
All other content is provided by expatarrivals.com, Globe Media Ltd and was last updated in July 2023. HSBC accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.
This information is purely for orientation and to inspire further research, it does not constitute advice and no liability is accepted to recipients acting independently on its contents. The views expressed are subject to change.
Always remember to ensure you're aware of and comply with any laws in your host country or country of origin that apply to gift giving and bribery.