Hong Kong

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中華人民共和國 香港特別行政區 (Chinese)
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (English)
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of
the People's Republic of China
Hong Kong flag
Hong Kong Coat of Arms
flag emblem
Official language Chinese ( Cantonese or Standard Chinese ), English
Head of state Xi Jinping
Head of government Chief Executive
Carrie Lam
surface 1106.7 km²
population 7,524,100 (mid-2019)
Population density 6890 inhabitants per km²
gross domestic product
  • Total (nom.)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nom.)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 362.7 billion ( 36th )
  • $ 480.6 billion ( 44th )
  • $ 48,451 ( 17. )
  • $ 64,199 ( 11. )
Human Development Index   0.949 ( 4th ) (2019)
currency Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
National anthem China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China March of the Volunteers
Time zone UTC +8
License Plate HK
ISO 3166 HK , HKG, 344
Internet TLD .hk and . 香港
Phone code +852
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Hong Kong , abbreviation: HK ( Chinese 香港, Pinyin Xiānggǎng , Jyutping Hoeng 1 gong 2 , Yale Hēunggóng , English Hong Kong  - "Fragrant Harbor", abbreviation:), is a metropolis and special administrative zone on the south coast of the People's Republic of China in the estuary of the Pearl River . With over seven million inhabitants on 1106 square kilometers and an important economic and financial sector, Hong Kong is one of the world's cities . 95 percent of Hong Kong's residents are of Chinese descent with predominantly Cantonese as their mother tongue .

Hong Kong was occupied by the United Kingdom during the First Opium War in 1841 and declared a British Crown Colony by the Treaty of Nanking in 1843 . For many Chinese , the British colony was a place of refuge from the Chinese Civil War from 1927 to 1949. In 1997, sovereignty was handed over to the People's Republic of China. Since then, Hong Kong has been a Chinese special administrative region while maintaining a free market economy and high internal autonomy . This principle of one country, two systems was contractually agreed in the joint declaration on Hong Kong . Meanwhile, however, China has been accused of increasingly breaking this promise, which has led to ongoing protests .

The most densely populated areas are the Kowloon Peninsula and the north of Hong Kong Island , separated by the narrow Victoria Harbor . The New Territories include the original hinterland north of Kowloon, which makes up the largest area of ​​Hong Kong, and most of Hong Kong's 263 islands. The largest island in Hong Kong is Lantau Island , near which is Hong Kong International Airport on Chek Lap Kok Island .

The population growth and the small buildable area in Hong Kong led to large-scale land reclamation through embankment in the sea and the creation of a skyline of skyscrapers . After several planned cities were established in the second half of the 20th century, half of Hong Kong's residents live in the New Territories.

Hong Kong is considered one of the cities with the highest cost of living in the world .


The name Hong Kong is derived from the Cantonese pronunciation [ hœ́ːŋɡ̊ɔ̌ːŋ ]. The official name is Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (中華人民共和國 香港特別行政區, Jyutping Zung 1 waa 4 Jan 4 man 4 Gung 6 wo 4 gwok 3 Hoeng 1 gong 2 Dak 6 bit 6 Hang 4 zing 3 keoi 1 listen (Cantonese) ? / i , English Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China ). Audio file / audio sample


Geographical location

Urban Kowloon
View from Tsim Sha Tsui to Hong Kong Island (2013)
Kowloon Waterfront, Hong Kong, 2013-08-09, DD 03.jpg
MTR Kowloon Station - Union Square, West Kowloon (2013)
Rural New Territories
View over Cheung Chau.JPG
View over the Tombolo of Cheung Chau (2013)
Tai Long Wan 2010.jpg
Beach bay Ham Tin Wan near "Big Wave Bay" - Sai Kung (2010)

Hong Kong is located at the mouth of the Pearl River in the South China Sea. The area of ​​Hong Kong extends over a very irregularly shaped peninsula and 263 islands, the most important of which are Lantau Island (147.2 km²), Hong Kong Island (78.6 km²), Chek Lap Kok (14.6 km²) and Lamma Island (13.9 km²), Tsing Yi (10.7 km²), Cheung Chau (2.4 km²) and Peng Chau (1.2 km²) are. The territory is in Hong Kong Iceland, Kowloon , the New Territories and Outlying Islands (dt .: offshore islands divided).

Of the 1104 km² land area, only about 25% are built on. A significant part of the built-up area was created through land reclamation in Victoria Harbor and in the New Territories. Since 1887, 68 km² of land area has been added. This is mainly due to the very mountainous relief with many steep slopes; only in the north of the New Territories are there larger plains. The highest point is the Tai Mo Shan in the New Territories with 958 m. More well-known is the Victoria Peak , with 552 m the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island and a popular excursion destination. The 495 m high Lion Rock on the border between Kowloon and New Territories is one of the most striking natural monuments and Hong Kong's local mountain.


Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Hong Kong
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 18.6 18.6 21.5 25.1 28.4 30.4 31.3 31.1 30.2 27.7 24.0 20.3 O 25.6
Min. Temperature (° C) 14.1 14.4 16.9 20.6 23.9 26.1 26.7 26.4 25.6 23.4 19.4 15.7 O 21.1
Precipitation ( mm ) 24.9 52.3 71.4 188.5 329.5 388.1 374.4 444.6 287.5 151.9 35.1 34.5 Σ 2,382.7
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 4.9 3.5 3.1 3.6 5.0 5.4 7.5 6.7 6.1 6.3 6.1 5.9 O 5.4
Rainy days ( d ) 5.6 9.5 10.5 11.7 15.5 18.8 17.8 17.4 14.8 8.1 5.7 4.3 Σ 139.7
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: WMO , www.wetter.de

The climate of Hong Kong is subtropically humid with an average annual temperature of 22.5 ° C, rainfall of 2,382.7 mm and 10 humid months. Winter from January to March is mild to warm and dry, summer from April to September is hot and rainy, while autumn (October to December) is warm and dry. There is a regular risk of typhoons in summer; a typhoon on September 18, 1906 with a simultaneous tidal wave killed around 10,000 people.


Population structure and numbers

Ethnic groups in Hong Kong
Ethnicity Men Women total
Chinese 3,237,938 3,514,264 6,752,202
Filipinos 10,926 173.155 184.081
Indonesian 1,792 151.507 153,299
Whites * 37.016 21,193 58.209
In the 17,665 18,797 36,462
Nepalese 13,188 12,284 25,472
Pakistani 10,388 7,706 18.094
Thai people 1,336 8,879 10,215
Japanese 4,970 5,006 9,976
Other Asians 7,827 11,762 19,589
Other 32,316 36,670 68,986
total 3,375,362 3,961,223 7,336,585
Note : * "White" or '白人' - in the official statistics
Source : Official statistics 2016
Demography & age structure
Population pyramid Hong Kong 2016.png
Hong Kong's Age Pyramid , 2016
Hong Kong Population Graph.svg
Demographics since 1960, Hong Kong

The colonizable territory of Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world after Monaco with around 16,000 inhabitants per km², with the population density of the entire territory being around 6,900 inhabitants per km².

The population has roughly quadrupled in the last seven decades (from 1.7 million in 1945 to over 7.442 million in 2016) and a thousandfold in 160 years (from 7,500 in 1841). The number of children per woman is 1.19, the second lowest figure in the world before Macau . Population growth has declined sharply for 20 years: in 1996 it was 4.54 percent and fell to 0.56 percent by 2016.

The average life expectancy in the period from 2010 to 2015 was 83.4 years (men: 80.3, women: 86.3), making it one of the highest in the world.

The immigration rate is declining: According to estimates, 7.76 immigrants per 1,000 inhabitants immigrated in 2002, compared with 2.14 in 2016. Around 95 percent of the population are Han Chinese . Over 500,000 foreigners live in Hong Kong. Most are from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Pakistan. Most of the foreigners from the Philippines and Indonesia are women who are mostly employed as domestic help.

Despite the high population density, Hong Kong is one of the greenest metropolitan regions in Asia, which in turn is due to the area's mountainous topography . Much of the area is so mountainous and steep that it cannot be built on and is therefore overgrown with trees and bushes. Most of the population lives in mostly very small apartments in high-rise buildings and skyscrapers; Single-family houses are expensive and are very seldom built because of the mountainous conditions and also for nature conservation reasons, as around 40% of Hong Kong's land areas are used as nature parks (郊野 公園 / 郊野 公园, jiāoyě gōngyuán , Jyutping gaau 1 je 5 gung 1 jyun 2 , English country park ) and nature reserves (生態 保育 區 / 生态 保育 区, shēngtài bǎoyùqū , Jyutping sang 1 taai 3 bou 2 juk 6 keoi 1 ) are designated.

Development of the population

The following overview shows the number of inhabitants according to the respective territorial status. Up to 1891 these are estimates, then mostly census results . In addition to a complete survey, a sample-based partial survey has also been carried out regularly since 1976. All information prior to 1898 does not include the areas or population of New Kowloon and the New Territories , which only became part of the administrative area of ​​Hong Kong after the Beijing Convention was signed (¹ census result, ² partial survey):

year Residents
1841 0.007,500
1851 0.033,100
1861 0.119,300
1871 0.124,200
1881 0.160,400
1891 0.221,400
1901 ¹ 0.283.205
1911 ¹ 0.456.739
1921 ¹ 0.625.166
1931 ¹ 0.849.751
1941 1,640,000
1945 1,700,000
year Residents
01951 2,265,000
0March 7, 1961 ¹ 3,129,648
0March 9, 1971 ¹ 3,936,630
01976² 4,402,990
0March 9, 1981 ¹ 5,109,812
01986² 5,495,488
March 15, 1991 ¹ 5,674,114
March 15, 1996² 6,412,937
March 14, 2001 ¹ 6,708,389
0January 1, 2006² 6,864,346
June 30, 2011 ¹ 7,071,576
June 30, 2016 ¹ 7,336,585
year Residents
June 30, 2018 ² 7,451,000
June 30, 2019 ² 7,524,100


Language skills in Hong Kong
language 1997 2017
English 38.1% 53.2%
Cantonese 95.2% 94.6%
Mandarin 25.3% 48.6%
Note : The percentages do not result in 100%, because most people are multilingual .
Source : BBC News, 2017

The two official languages ​​of Hong Kong are English and Chinese , with Chinese not being defined in the relevant Article 9 of Chapter I of the Basic Law . The prevailing in Hong Kong Cantonese and Mandarin , also called Standard Chinese are so regarded officially as a language in two versions, both of which are to be regarded as an official language in Hong Kong. Both variants of Chinese are written in the Chinese script . In Hong Kong, however, as in Macau and in contrast to other parts of the People's Republic, traditional traditional characters are used.

There are also characters that are used exclusively in Hong Kong, which the Hong Kong government has summarized and regularly updated in the so-called Hong Kong Supplementary Character Set , abbreviation HKSCS. The Cantonese of Hong Kong differs from the Guangdong Cantonese among other things in that, in addition to a high number of Anglicisms, there is often a colloquial language change between English and Chinese. English is widely understood. For historical reasons, English is not widely spoken among the older population.

Standard Chinese is becoming more and more widespread due to increased integration with the mainland. Next to English, Japanese is the second most popular foreign language in Hong Kong. In contrast, French, Spanish, German or other European languages ​​have very little popularity among the general population.


Almost every religion is practiced in Hong Kong. Due to its British colonial history as a hub in Southeast Asia and gateway to China, people from different parts of the world and of different faiths who settled in Hong Kong have built their temples and places of worship here. The Confucian , Taoist and Buddhist world views dominate the Chinese population ; more than 10% of the population (mostly ethnic Chinese ) are Christians , including around 540,000 Catholics , of which 360,000 are Catholic Chinese. Accordingly, there are also a large number of religious sites of different worldviews.

The most important Buddhist temple in Hong Kong is the Temple of the Ten Thousand Buddhas (萬佛寺 / 万佛寺, Wànfó Sì , Jyutping Maan 6 fat 6 Zi 6 * 2 ) in Sha Tin , which is located on a hill. The walls of this temple are adorned with around 12,800 Buddhas donated by believers in the city and abroad, on which twelve artisans worked for ten years. On the island of Lantau Island is the Buddhist Po Lin Monastery with the Tian Tan Buddha , one of the world's largest seated Buddha statues on the whole globe. The Ling-To Monastery is one of the three most important Buddhist monasteries in Hong Kong.

Also of interest are the numerous small temples that are wedged between the skyscrapers in Central and Kowloon , such as the largest Man Mo temple - in Chinese Wenwu temple - (文武 廟 / 文武 庙, Wén Wǔ Miào , Jyutping Man 4 Mou 5 Miu 6 * 2 ) Hong Kong, which is dedicated to the Taoist gods of literature and martial arts and is located in one of the most traditional neighborhoods of Sheung Wan, on Hollywood Road 124-126, on the island . This temple is ugsl among the local people of Hong Kong . also known as "Man-Mo Temple of the Tung Wah Hospital Groups " -東華 三 院 文武 廟 / 东华 三 院 文武 庙- as the temple administration is run by this charitable organization . Most of the temple complexes in Hong Kong are usually organized under the umbrella organization of the "Chinese Temple Committee" (華人 廟宇 委員會 / 华人 庙宇 委员会, English Chinese Temples Committee ).

One of the more than 102, mostly small Tin Hau temples (天后 廟 / 天后 庙, Tiānhòu Miào , Jyutping Tin 1 hau 6 Miu 6 * 2 ), which can be found in various places in Hong Kong , is located near Market Street in Yaumatei district in the northwest of Kowloon and is consecrated to the Taoist patron goddess Tinhau , Tianhou according to the Chinese pronunciation , who is particularly popular as a patron saint with seafarers and fishermen , whereas the huge Wong Tai Sin Temple , a little north of Mongkok , is because of its miraculous Healing Powers and Divination is the most visited temple in Hong Kong. The four most famous Taoist temples in Hong Kong include the Man Mo temple in Sheung Wan, the Wong Tai Sin temple in Kowloon, and the oldest Tin Tau temple in Hong Kong in Sai Kung (佛堂 門 天后 古廟 / 佛堂 门 天后 古庙, English Joss House Bay Tin Hau Temple ) and the Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin (車 公廟 / 车 公庙, Chēgōng Miào , Jyutping Ce 2 gung 2 Miu 6 * 2 , English Che Kung Temple ).

The most important mosque in Hong Kong, the Kowloon Mosque and Islamic Center , is located on Nathan Road in Kowloon, right at the south end of Kowloon Park , while the St John's Cathedral , the largest Anglican church in Hong Kong, is located in the Central District ; it was built in 1849 and is now in the middle of trees in the shade of the Bank of China Tower . In contrast to the mainland, Christian religious communities are not organized in a Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association .


Hong Kong Central Library.jpg
Hong Kong Central Library, Causeway Bay 2012
HK University.JPG
University entrance east portal, University of Hong Kong 2012

Schooling is compulsory for children aged 6 to 15. Most children are sent to preschool from 3 years of age . Hong Kong's school system and its structure is modeled on the British system . The primary education starts with 5 to 6 years and lasts for 6 years. The formation of secondary ( English secondary education ) is in junior form (3 years) and senior form divided (2 years). Approximately 90% of children go through school through all secondary education to take a state exam (HKCEE). After passing it, a Certificate of Education will be issued. For a university education , another two years of high school education must be completed and a numerus clausus examination for admission to the university.

Compulsory education has been free in Hong Kong since the 1970s. There are fees for further training. Many private institutions also promise higher quality education at higher prices for compulsory schooling. The language of instruction is Chinese ( Cantonese ), and English is usually chosen as an optional second language .

In addition to public schools, there are private and international schools in Hong Kong. Some of the better known include:

Hong Kong has eleven universities and two academy institutes that also offer bachelor's degree programs. Because of the high demand for higher education, there are a large number of other institutions offering higher education courses. The oldest university is Hong Kong University, founded in 1910 . There are also, for example, the Chinese University of Hong Kong , Hong Kong University of Science and Technology , Hong Kong Polytechnic University , City University in Hong Kong and Lingnan University.

There are also over 67 public libraries in Hong Kong, of which the Hong Kong Central Library, which opened in 2001, is the largest with its 12 floors and 33,800 square meters. It cost HK $ 690 million to build .

Living situation

alternative description
Victoria Harbor
Part of the north coast of Hong Kong -
view from Victoria Peak 2011
Hong Kong Kowloon Bay MTR.JPG
Mark IV blocks of flats (1969) - Lower Ngau Tau Kok (II) Estate (before demolition and rebuilding in 2012), 2004
Exterior modules of air conditioning systems of a modern apartment block in Hong Kong, 2002

According to international consultancy Mercer , Hong Kong is one of the cities with the highest cost of living in the world. Nowhere in the world is the average cost of housing as high as in Hong Kong. The building area is limited, but there are enough buyers for expensive luxury apartments, which is where real estate companies make the most money. Even for the middle class, condominiums are often unaffordable.

In Mercer's ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Hong Kong ranks 71st out of 231 cities worldwide in 2019. Hong Kong was thus behind comparable Asian cities such as Singapore (25th place) or Tokyo (49th place), but ahead of all the cities examined on the Chinese mainland.

Public housing

When the Chinese civil war ended with the proclamation of the People's Republic of China in 1949 , a large wave of migrants from China began to what was then the British crown colony of Hong Kong. The mostly destitute migrants settled in large areas with huts made of wood and sheet metal, which were scattered throughout the territory. The safety and hygiene conditions were catastrophic and fires kept coming back. After a fire that broke out in Shek Kip Mei (North Kowloon) at Christmas 1953 raged for several days and left more than 50,000 people homeless, the colonial administration decided to temporarily relocate the hut residents to multi-storey concrete houses in order to ensure both fire safety and hygienic conditions to improve. This was practically the beginning of the public housing program in Hong Kong. The first eight Mark I houses were already completed at the end of 1954, in Shek Kip Mei , to provide a home for those who had been made homeless by the fire.

The living space per family was 20 square meters, sanitary facilities had to be shared with other families and cooking facilities were located outside the apartments. Numerous such houses were built by the end of the 1960s, with the improved versions Mark II and Mark III offering little more comfort. Practically all life took place on the streets, which were used for the numerous stalls. In 1965 high-rise residential buildings were built, starting with the Mark IV series (e.g. Lower Ngau Tau Kok (II) Estate). These offered each apartment its own sanitary facility and a balcony. At that time, a million people lived in the apartments of the public housing program.

In 1971 the Wah Fu Estate , the first public-housing block of flats designed as a self-contained community, was completed. This offered the residents shopping centers , a bus station and other community facilities. In 1972, the colonial administration launched a program that would create living space for around 1.8 million people over the next ten years. This program was later extended to 1987.

First of all, many of the Mark I – II houses were renovated . However, the measures proved to be insufficient, so that large high-rise buildings were built with space for shops and shopping centers on the ground floors. Here, sanitary facilities and a kitchen were integrated in every apartment. This is the pattern that blocks of flats are built to this day, although the standards in terms of living space, infrastructure and equipment of the apartments have steadily increased. In 1981 the number of people living in apartments under the public housing program reached two million. In 1985 it was decided to demolish the apartment blocks built in the 1960s, which no longer met the standard. The renovation work on the old Mark I – II buildings was completed in 1991. One year later, the first Harmony Blocks , the new generation of public housing residential buildings, were completed.

Despite the high level of construction activity for the creation of living space, it was not until the early 1980s that the last hut districts were dissolved. In 2001, the last concrete houses in Sha Kok Mei , which temporarily provided living space to the victims of the 1953 fire, were demolished. The Mark I – III houses have now been almost completely demolished and replaced by high-rise buildings; the few remaining specimens are in turn inhabited by almost destitute immigrants from the People's Republic.

The public housing program is still the most important producer of living space to this day; in some areas of Hong Kong, the proportion of housing created by the Public Housing Authority is well over 70%. According to government figures, there were more than 220,000 people on the waiting list for the public housing program in 2014 , with an average waiting time of up to three years.

After the income level of large parts of the population has risen sharply in recent decades, the Public Housing Authority is increasingly turning the tenants of the apartments into owners. It is hoped that ownership of their living space will give the aging Hong Kong residents more security.

Cage People

In the metropolis of Hong Kong, over 1.3 million people are economically and socially marginalized. According to the aid organization Misereor , hundreds of thousands of people lived on this as so-called cage people in 2017. This is the name given to Hong Kong residents who live with several people in a room that is divided by lockable cages or wooden boxes. The cages serve as individual residential units , are around two cubic meters in size and some are stacked on two or three floors. Whole families live in the cages, share a toilet with six other families, wash their laundry there by hand and sleep on top of each other. There is no privacy or retreat. Extreme conditions prevail in summer when temperatures in Hong Kong are around 40 degrees.

The history of caged homes began with rapid population growth in the 1950s and 1960s. Many apartments have been divided into mini-dwellings, also called shoeboxes, by the owners. In 2013, the Hong Kong government estimated that around 177,000 people were living in inadequate conditions. A trend reversal is not in sight, as many of the cage dwellings are operated illegally.

New Towns

From the 1970s, the Hong Kong government systematically built planned cities, the so-called New Towns , in the New Territories. The main goal was to relieve the extremely tense housing situation in Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The infrastructure of the New Towns was provided by the state and the apartments there were also built to a significant extent by the state. In 2016, almost half of Hong Kong's population lived in the nine existing New Towns .

Relationship with mainland Chinese upon return

HK firework20070701.JPG
Fireworks to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the return, July 1, 2007 Victoria Harbor
Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor.jpg
The Shenzhen Bay Bridge ( Route 10 ) has been connecting Hong Kong with Shenzhen since 2007

According to Western media reports, the relationship with the mainland Chinese is still characterized by tensions, but by an unquestionable acceptance of the cultural and national affiliation to the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong is often praised by not a few western media and entrepreneurs as the most liberal market economy in the world. Such reports ignore the fact that the proportion of millionaires and billionaires in Hong Kong is higher than anywhere else, but that income is blatantly unevenly distributed. Nowhere in China is the poverty rate as high as in Hong Kong. Around 20 percent of Hong Kong's population live below the poverty line . In the whole of China, the poverty rate was only 3.14 percent in 2016. However, the legal definition of poverty in Hong Kong and the rest of the People's Republic is different due to different costs of living, among other things. According to official statistics, people in Hong Kong who earned less than half the median income were poor. For an individual in Hong Kong, the poverty line in 2016 was HK $ 4,000 (around US $ 512) per month. The poverty line in the People's Republic of China was 2,300 yuan (about US $ 350 according to the official exchange rate) per year in 2016 .

In 2016, the number rose to 1.35 million people living in poverty in Hong Kong. Around 30 percent of Hong Kong residents lived in a social or socially subsidized apartment in 2017. 40 percent of Hong Kong residents receive social assistance. These have only been around since the early 2000s. The maximum rate for social assistance recipients in 2017 was the equivalent of around 500 euros. Almost half of the social assistance benefits are waived for a bed in a cage that those affected have to share with up to seven other people. These people live in great poverty.

With an average of 51.5 hours, Hong Kong has the longest working hours in the world. Nowhere in China are there more strikes than in Hong Kong. According to official statistics, the median monthly income in May / June 2017 was HK $ 16,800 (≈1920 euros). However, income is distributed extremely unevenly. The labor market is heavily geared towards work in the service sector and office jobs, with requirements and remuneration showing a wide spread. In 2016, for example, a maximum of 600 euros was paid for simple office work, which hardly finances the apartment rent. On the other hand, managers of banks and multinational corporations received an average fixed salary of around 20,000 euros per month, health insurance coverage, pension provision, grants for rent and school fees for their children, etc. as well as memberships in exclusive clubs.

The majority of office workers in public administration, banks and insurance companies earn around 3,000 euros a month. Of greater interest are non-monetary benefits. International companies tend to give their employees more vacation, have a five-day week, require less overtime, often pay in the event of illness and also offer greater job security. Those who come out of university at the age of 22 or 23 could calculate in 2016 in Hong Kong with a starting salary of around 1,500 to 1,700 euros. This is lower than in mainland China, which is why young people are increasingly leaving Hong Kong, especially for Shenzhen . The majority of managers also earn roughly the same gross amount as in mainland China.

With financial support from the national government in Beijing for social benefits, the Hong Kong local government is trying to reduce the great inequality. In particular, parties closely related to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were able to push through the introduction of a minimum wage in the Hong Kong Legislative Council in 2011, which since 2015 has been an hourly wage equivalent to EUR 3.59 or EUR 1,466 a month. Long beyond the British colonial rule, Hong Kong workers had no rights whatsoever. The Hong Kong Employment Ordinance has only been regulating minimum labor law provisions since 2014, but does not yet comply with the employment contract and occupational safety laws applicable on the mainland.

In contrast to the rest of China, there was no statutory health insurance requirement in Hong Kong to this day. However, most employers in Hong Kong now pay additional premiums for private health insurance. (As of 2017) Statutory old-age provision was only introduced in Hong Kong in 2000. Since then, companies in Hong Kong, as everywhere in the People's Republic of China, have been obliged to make contributions to a state pension fund.

The CCP itself is banned in Hong Kong based on the Sino-British Joint Statement on Hong Kong, which will run until 2047 . However, so-called “pro-Beijing parties” now make up more than half of the parliamentarians in the Legislative Council , the legislative assembly of Hong Kong. In fact, pro-Chinese parties in Hong Kong get a majority of the vote, both from the general public and from Chinese-born entrepreneurs.

Ideological issues, little willingness to pass social laws and the constant formation of new parties have led to the fact that “anti-Beijing parties”, which call themselves the “democratic camp” and are largely financed by international corporations in Hong Kong, steadily gain votes and support lost the population. In contrast, the “pro-Beijing parties” are increasingly being financially supported by the Chinese business community in Hong Kong. Against this background, many protests and calls for more democratic participation in Hong Kong are primarily directed not against Beijing, but against social injustice and, above all, against the electoral system that exists in Hong Kong, in which corporations have a direct influence on MPs.

In early 2019, the government introduced law that would have allowed suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China. Protests against this have been taking place in Hong Kong since June 2019 . On June 16, 2 million people demonstrated against the planned extradition law.


Prehistoric time

According to archaeological research , people have lived in this region for around 5,000 years. Neolithic artifacts indicate the influence of North China Stone Age cultures such as the Longshan culture . Certain stone engravings are dated to the Bronze Age ( Shang Dynasty ). Artifacts from the 6th to 3rd centuries BC BC ( Warring States Period ) show cultural affinity with neighboring Guangdong .

Chinese Empire

During the Han Dynasty , the area of ​​what is now Hong Kong was settled by Han Chinese . During the Tang Dynasty , the Guangzhou region was an important trading center and the Hong Kong region and present-day Shenzhen served as a port. The first major migration from northern China began during the Song Dynasty .

After the Yuan dynasty took power over Hong Kong as a result of the Mongol Wars, immigration from the north increased, but the region remained relatively isolated and lived from fishing and pearl farming. In 1517, the Portuguese trader Fernão Pires de Andrade landed on the south Chinese coast, probably in Hong Kong, where a few larger settlements are documented for that time.

After the fall of the Ming Dynasty , what is now Hong Kong fell to the Xin'an District (Bezirk安縣 / 新 安县, Xīn'ān Xiàn ).

British Crown Colony

Historical map from 1841
HMS Wellesley and Squadron in Hong Kong.jpg
British warships in Hong Kong harbor before the attack on Amoy , painting around 1841
Lai Afong, Three Coolies, Hong Kong.jpg
Coolies in Hong Kong Harbor, studio shot around 1880

The British East India Company first came to China in 1699 . In 1711 a permanent trading post was established in Guangzhou . The British introduction of opium into China led to the First Opium War and the occupation of Hong Kong in 1841. A year later, with the Treaty of Nanjing , China had to officially cede the area to the United Kingdom. In 1843 Great Britain declared Hong Kong a British crown colony , which from then on was administered by a governor . In addition to its extraterritorial status as a contract port , Great Britain acquired further areas in China through unequal contracts . The Chinese government has been forced to lease port cities to Britain, France, Russia, Germany and Japan for between 25 and 99 years. In this way Great Britain won Kowloon ( Beijing Convention 1860), the New Territories (1898 Convention on the Extension of Hong Kong Territory ), Weihaiwei (1898) and another 235 islands for 99 years.

For the British Empire , Hong Kong developed into an important military base and exchange center in East Asia. Hundreds of thousands of cheap Chinese workers were forcibly brought to Hong Kong to develop and expand industry. From the middle of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, the city developed into the second most important transshipment point in the illegal pen trade , after Macau , whereby the population rose from 33,000 to 879,000 between 1851 and 1931, 95 percent of whom were Chinese.

For a long time, the colony remained in the shadow of greater Shanghai , where Great Britain also occupied extraterritorial territories until 1949. An enormously profitable value reached the colonial powers through the rigorous use of all natural and human resources. The British colonialists in particular reduced labor costs across China, such as in India , Singapore and other parts of the former British Empire, through child labor .

Anti-colonial strike poster in Hong Kong, 1925

As early as 1899, a year before the Boxer Rebellion , the Chinese revolted in national resistance against the occupying power in Hong Kong. The reason for this was the construction of the railway from Kowloon to Canton ( Guangzhou ), through which Great Britain tried to expand its influence to other Chinese areas. All uprisings were bloodily suppressed. The largest unrest since the May Fourth Movement (1919-1924) broke out in 1925 after the May 30 massacre , when British police used firearms and killed several Chinese students in an anti-colonial demonstration in Shanghai. The massacre was the prelude to one of the largest mass movements in China. Like a wildfire, protests spread across the country and culminated in the 16-month Canton-Hong Kong strike .

In this strike, the National People's Party of China (Kuomintang) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) united in a united front for the first time . All Chinese in Hong Kong were asked to stoppage, boycott English goods and leave the city. In the first week of the economic blockade, 50,000 Chinese left Hong Kong, and another 250,000 followed at the end of July. According to contemporary witnesses, Hong Kong resembled a ghost town between August and December 1925. The canton-Hong Kong strike severely weakened the economic and political influence of Great Britain in China.

World War II and post-war period

The hoisting of the Union Jack and the flag of the Republic of China at the cenotaph to celebrate the liberation from the Japanese occupation , Hong Kong 1945

Immediately after the outbreak of World War II in East Asia, Hong Kong was attacked by the Japanese army led by Sakai Takashi . The Battle of Hong Kong lasted two and a half weeks, during which the British had to hand over the city to the Japanese. With the surrender of Japan on August 16, 1945, the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong ended .

Although Great Britain had promised the Republic of China (1912–1949) in 1943 to give up all unequal contracts and privileges in the ports on the Chinese coast, the British broke their promise to invalidate the forced lease after the end of the war. Now a race for control of Hong Kong began: Chiang Kai-shek had underground fighters smuggled into Hong Kong who were to take over the city after the Japanese had withdrawn. Winston Churchill , however, had already sent a naval squadron to China, which entered the port of Victoria on August 30, 1945 . Great Britain thus restored its control over Hong Kong.

Chiang Kai-shek thereupon uttered the sentence, which was much noticed at the time: "The Chinese people and their government, whether nationalists or communists, can never accept a forced agreement that violates the Chinese territorial and administrative integrity."

At the end of the Second World War, Hong Kong was largely destroyed. After the People's Republic of China was proclaimed in 1949, hundreds of thousands of Kuomintang supporters also fled to Hong Kong, and many foreign companies relocated their representations from Shanghai to Hong Kong.

Difficult relationships

The economic embargo imposed on the People's Republic of China by the US and its allies in the early 1950s also had a negative impact on trade and reconstruction in Hong Kong. Only after the sanctions were lifted did Hong Kong experience an unprecedented boom and develop into one of the strongest economies in the world.

In the early 1960s, resistance to British colonial rule grew again as a result of major social inequalities . Tensions peaked during the 1967 Hong Kong riots, with many deaths and injuries.

After Mao Zedong's death , his successor Deng Xiaoping began to open up China economically to other countries through special economic zones such as Shenzhen, which is adjacent to Hong Kong to the north . Since the 1980s, almost all production companies from Hong Kong migrated to China. The city developed into a pure trade and service center.

Reintegration negotiations

British colonial flag of Hong Kong until June 30, 1997

Talks began in 1982 between the Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China on the future of the territory. The British side under Margaret Thatcher had originally hoped that opening up policies in China could lead China to accept British rule over the area. The opposite was the case: The People's Republic of China insisted not only on the return of the area leased for 99 years, but also on the complete return of the territories that had been forcibly ceded in the Treaty of Nanking . The Republic of China (Taiwan) also shared this point of view . Irrespective of this, the return of Hong Kong had already been confirmed ten years earlier by a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations .

Deng Xiaoping developed the doctrine known as One Country, Two Systems . This doctrine paved the way for the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong , signed on December 19, 1984 between the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom. It stipulated that Hong Kong was to become a Special Administrative Region of China ( SAR) on July 1, 1997 . In July 1989, Hong Kong citizens were officially informed by the British government that they were not entitled to permanent residence in Great Britain despite having a British passport. At the end of 1993 the Sino-British talks on Hong Kong broke off for a short time after 17 rounds of negotiations, as there was disagreement about the introduction of future voting rights for the newly established Hong Kong Legislative Council . In June 1994, the current governor, Lord Chris Patten , issued a decree on the future electoral system.

On July 1, 1997, after 156 years of British colonial rule, the People's Republic of China assumed sovereignty and control over Hong Kong. Since then, Hong Kong has been a special administrative region with a high degree of autonomy.

Various measures by the Chinese central government to gradually undermine this autonomy led to the umbrella movement in 2014 and ongoing mass protests from 2019 .

The People's Republic of China is influencing Hong Kong through the Hong Kong Security Act. Chinese security forces are thus granted powers in Hong Kong. The UK then announced in 2020 that up to 5.4 million people from Hong Kong could get a five-year residency permit in the UK, which would then enable them to become naturalized. London has now announced (no later than January 29, 2021) that applications for a stay in the UK will be accepted from Sunday, January 31, 2021. A few hours later, China declared that it would no longer recognize the British Nation Overseas (BNO) passport as a travel document and proof of identity in China. As of January 2021, 350,000 Hong Kong residents hold a BNO passport.


Autonomy status

According to the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong and in the context of of Deng Xiaoping developed principle one country, two systems remains the democratically - market economic system of Hong Kong at least 50 years next to the authoritarian socialist consist system of People's Republic of China, so that Hong Kong's role as a of Asia's financial centers remains secure. This autonomy allows Hong Kong to have its own laws, tariffs, as well as its own currency . The Special Administrative Region continues to be associated as an independent member of GATT , WTO , APEC , the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) as well as ESCAP .

Parliament and suffrage

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The Hong Kong Parliament Building ( LegCo ), 2013
2016 LegCo Election (Pro-Beijing) (English) .svg
2016 Hong Kong election result with clear majority for "pro-Beijing parties"

Until the return to China in 1997, the governor of Hong Kong was installed as head of government on the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the British monarch . Efforts to introduce free elections in the late 1950s / early 1960s were not pursued any further. The first elections took place in 1997. Since then, legislation has been carried out by the Hong Kong Legislative Council (LegCo) on the basis of the Hong Kong Basic Law . However, not every citizen has the same voting rights. Only half of the 70 representatives are elected in constituencies. The remaining members of the legislative power are determined by 28 professional groups. The votes can be given by individuals, for example all teachers in Hong Kong, but above all by large companies.

The electoral system has been criticized by the national government in Beijing and by the majority of Hong Kong's citizens alike. It still comes from the British occupation forces, which in this way secured a certain political influence in Hong Kong. Not only do corporations have a direct influence on MPs, their vote is also more important, as fewer voters are registered in the occupational groups than in the electoral districts. For example, the financial sector has 130 votes controlled by 125 voters from Hong Kong branches of Paris-based Axa and Prudential and HSBC in London. The same applies to other sectors with voting rights, such as catering, airlines, airport operators, etc. A change in the electoral law was planned for 2017, but was prevented - not by Beijing, but by the Hong Kong Parliament: On June 18, 2015, the voting members of the Legislative Council rejected the proposal for electoral reform with 28 to 8 votes.

At the end of August 2014, plans were announced by the National People's Congress in Beijing that a 1,200-member committee formed by the Chinese state would determine the candidates for the election of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. On the other hand, protests arose in Hong Kong in September 2014 , triggered by students and joined by the Occupy Central with Love and Peace movement. The demonstrations were directed against both Beijing's plans and the existing electoral system. The demonstrations lasted until mid-December 2014. In the election for the Legislative Council on September 4, 2016, several representatives of the recently founded Demosistō party , whose leader Nathan Law was one of the main exponents of the protests, moved into parliament.

A total of 18 parties and nine non-party members currently sit on the Hong Kong Legislative Council (2016–2020). The parties are divided into two camps, " pan-democratic " and " pro-Beijing ". However, that does not mean that there is unity within the camps. With currently 13 seats, the DAB ( Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong ), founded in 1992, is the strongest force. She advocates close economic cooperation with the mainland, with none of the Hong Kong parties represented on the Legislative Council putting cultural and national affiliation with the People's Republic of China at risk.

In the 2020 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, Hong Kong ranks 87th out of 167 countries and is considered a “hybrid regime”. On October 14, 2020, the US State Department published a report on 10 people who it believes are contributing significantly to China's failure to meet its obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong and the Basic Law of Hong Kong. Xia Baolong, Zhang Xiaoming, Luo Huining, Carrie Lam, Teresa Cheng, Erick Tsang, Zheng Yanxiong, Eric Chan, John Lee, Chris Tang were on the list.

In March 2021, the MPs of the Chinese People's Congress (at their annual meeting in Beijing) voted in favor of the controversial electoral reform in Hong Kong (2,895 votes in favor, no against, one abstention).

Heads of government

Carrie Lam - Acting Prime Minister of Hong Kong (2016)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has a so-called Chief Executive as head of government. The formal head of state of Hong Kong is the President of the People's Republic of China; currently Xi Jinping . In 1997, at the first election, the powers of the elected were unknown and were only determined afterwards. The first incumbent head of government after Hong Kong was returned to China was Tung Chee-hwa . This election was made by a committee whose 400 members were chosen by the National People's Congress in Beijing. Tung was re-elected for a second term in July 2002 by a representative electoral committee. On March 12, 2005, Tung said he resigned for health reasons.

He was first succeeded by Donald Tsang until he resigned on May 25, 2005 in preparation for the July 10, 2005 elections. He was finally re-elected by 80 members of the electoral committee, but his term of office was initially limited to the two remaining years of Tung's term of office. In the election on March 25, 2007 Donald Tsang won again, his opponent was the lawyer Alan Leong. The election was criticized as a farce in the media because the undemocratic composition of the 800-strong electoral body meant that Tsang's defeat was almost impossible. Leong's candidacy came as a surprise, however, as he immediately received the 100 votes required from the committee to approve an application. After Tsang could no longer be legally re-elected in 2012, Leung Chun-ying was elected as the new Chief Executive on March 25, 2012 with 689 votes.

Carrie Lam has been the Prime Minister of Hong Kong since July 1, 2017 . She was elected with 777 votes on March 26, 2017 and is the first woman to hold this office. The President of the Hong Kong Legislative Council - Legislative Assembly - has been Andrew Leung since 2016 .

In July 2020, the Hong Kong SAR National Security Committee was officially established with Carrie Lam as chairman and Eric Chan as secretary general of the committee. The other members are Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (Administrative Secretary), Paul Chan Mo-po (Finance Secretary), Teresa Cheng (Justice Minister), John Lee Ka-chiu (Security Minister) and Chris Tang (Hong Kong Police Force Commissioner), Edwina Lau Chi Wai (Hong Kong Police Force Deputy Commissioner and Head of National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Force), Au Ka-wang (Immigration Director), Hermes Tang Yi-hoi (Hong Kong Customs and Excise Commissioner).


Districts in Hong Kong
# District 中文 colour region
1 Iceland 離島 區 blue New Territories
2 Kwai Tsing 葵青 區 blue New Territories
3 North 北區 blue New Territories
4th Sai Kung 西貢 區 blue New Territories
5 Sha Tin 沙田 區 blue New Territories
6th Tai Po 大埔 區 blue New Territories
7th Tsuen Wan 荃灣 區 blue New Territories
8th Tuen Mun 屯門 區 blue New Territories
9 Yuen Long 元朗 區 blue New Territories
10 Kowloon City 九龍 城區 red Kowloon
11 Kwun Tong 觀塘 區 red Kowloon
12th Sham Shui Po 深水埗 區 red Kowloon
13 Wong Tai Sin 黃大仙 區 red Kowloon
14th Yau Tsim Mong 油尖旺 區 red Kowloon
15th Central and Western 中 西區 green Hong Kong Island
16 Eastern 東區 green Hong Kong Island
17th Southern 南 區 green Hong Kong Island
18th Wan Chai 灣仔 區 green Hong Kong Island
Urbanization - Satellite Image , Hong Kong (2018)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has a unitary administration based on the model of a unitary or central state and is divided into the three regions of Hong Kong Island , Kowloon and New Territories .
The regions are divided into 18 districts (十八 區, English 18 districts ), each with its own local "
District Council " (區 議會, English District Council ).

18 districts of Hong Kong

The " District Council " ( English District Council ) has both administrative and advisory functions vis-à-vis the population and the Hong Kong government. He serves as an intermediary between citizens and politicians or government representatives in the Hong Kong Parliament . 4 of the 18 districts are in the Hong Kong Island area, 5 of them in Kowloon and the remaining 9 in the New Territories.

Cities ( Cities , Towns ) and communities ( communities ) in Hong Kong are not as separate entities provided. The boundaries of Victoria City and Kowloon were established by law, but neither of these areas has any legal status. The division of the districts follows mountain ranges, the coast or roads and does not take into account the boundaries of cities and towns. The Hong Kong Home Affairs Department is the highest government agency for district administration and is responsible for the administration and coordination of the districts.

Post Code

The postal system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (香港 郵政 / 香港 邮政, English Hong Kong Post ) is independent and independent of the Chinese postal system in mainland China . The Hong Kong Post does not actually use a postcode system for mail delivery. In a Hong Kong postal address not usually dive postal code (zip code) on. However, regardless of this, the Chinese authorities or the China Post (中國 郵政 / 中国 邮政) in mainland China officially have the postal code 999077 for Hong Kong for administrative use by the Chinese administration. This zip code can be used for mail within China, but has no meaning in Hong Kong itself or internationally.


TurboJET ferry between Hong Kong and Macau near Hong Kong Island (2013)

Hong Kong is a traffic junction for southern China and is one of the most important international traffic hubs in Asia for cargo and passengers in sea and especially in air traffic, due to its many flight connections worldwide.

Road traffic

Furthermore, Hong Kong is served by a dense network of ten highways . In contrast to mainland China, left-hand traffic is a historical holdover from the British colonial era . There is a network of over 800 pedestrian bridges for pedestrians , which were created to spatially separate car traffic and pedestrians and to improve the flow of traffic. Between 2009 and 2018, a 55-kilometer road link to Macau and Zhuhai - the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) - was built for the equivalent of 15 billion euros (120 billion yuan ). The HZMB , which opened on October 23, 2018, is the world's longest overwater bridge, which is an important element and link in the system of the Pearl River Delta ring motorway as part of the development of the future metropolitan region on the Pearl River Delta (PRD) . (Status: 2019)


The "Golden Star Ferry " between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (2014)

Hong Kong is connected by ferry to a large number of coastal cities in southern China as well as to cities on the Pearl River . This metropolitan area at the Delta of the Pearl River is officially called "Greater Bay Area" (GBA,大灣區 / 大湾区called). A frequently used connection is the one to Macau , which is offered by several companies. The crossing to Macau takes between 35 and 70 minutes, depending on the type of ferry connection (boat type) or the starting point and destination.

Many ferries from the numerous ferry docks ( piers ) serve the offshore islands, there are also the old ships of the traditional Star Ferry company, which maintain a passenger transport between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Since the 1 to 1.5 kilometer wide body of water between Kowloon and Hong Kong is now crossed by three road and subway tunnels, such as the Cross-Harbor Tunnel (CHT) , the ferries have lost their former unique position . A single ferry ride costs around HK $ 3 on working days, depending on the tariff (public holidays and weekends around HK $ 4, as of 2019 ) and is popular with locals as well as tourists who appreciate the driving experience or the skyline Want to take photos of Hong Kong.

Rail transport

Bus & Train - KMB & KCR
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" Cross Harbor Line" 978 of the largest bus operator KMB , 2017

The Hong Kong rail network is linked to the rail network of the People's Republic of China ; there are trains to Beijing , Shanghai , Guangzhou , Dongguan , Wuhan , Handan and Zhengzhou , among others . Large railway stations are the Hung Hom Station ( English Hung Hom Station ) and the West Kowloon Station ( english West Kowloon Station ). The West Kowloon Railway Station, which was completed in September 2018, is the largest underground station in the world and the junction of the Guangzhou – Shenzhen – Hong Kong high-speed line and the end point of the last section of the Beijing-Hong Kong high-speed line, which opened on September 23, 2018 . (As of 2019)

Public transport

Local public transport is very well developed in Hong Kong. The subway and the bus are two of the most important modes of transport. Thousands of double-decker buses travel on numerous lines that connect almost all villages in the territory. The connections are usually efficient and cheap, even if they are confusing for visitors due to the large number of lines from different operators. In addition to the double-deckers, there are 19-seat liquid or LPG- powered public light buses , locally mostly known as “ minibuses ” ( Cantonese 小巴, German  shared taxis ), with lines on parallel routes and short routes to complement the city's various bus operators . A distinction must be made between those with a green and red roof. The ones with the red roof have no fixed intermediate stops apart from their fixed end stations, but rather drive dynamic routes depending on the destinations of the passengers. The ones with the green roof have fixed stopping points, but you can get on and off at both of them at any point upon a show of hands or the request of the passengers.

Taxis - taxi & shared taxi
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A green shared taxi - LPG - Coaster - in the district of Kwai Fong , NT 2019
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A line of red city taxis at the ICC , Kowloon 2013

There are also a large number of five- seat taxis ( Cantonese 的士). They are color-coded based on different licenses according to operating regions. The red city taxis serve the city or inner city region, i.e. Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and comprise the largest group with around 15,000 vehicles. This is followed by around 2,800 green taxis for the New Territories and 75 blue taxis for the Outlying Islands, which in fact only operate on Lantau Island.

The Hong Kong subway, which opened on October 1, 1979, is called the Mass Transit Railway (MTR). It runs on a network of more than 200 kilometers with eleven lines and connects the densely populated areas with one another. Of all means of transport, the subway carries by far the most passengers. It is very popular because of its good air conditioning, cleanliness, relatively cheap fares (in Hong Kong, the income gap of the population is very large.) And above all because of its high speed; Depending on the time of day, trains run every 2 to 4 minutes. The Island Line crosses Hong Kong Island from west to east, the Tsuen Wan Line runs from Hong Kong Island to the residential areas in the hinterland of Kowloon and the Kwun Tong Line connects the southernmost part of Kowloon Yau Ma Tei with the east of Kowloon and ends in Connection to the Tseung Kwan O Line . The Airport Express runs parallel to the Tung Chung Line and connects Hong Kong and Kowloon with Hong Kong International Airport . You can use these two lines to change to the Disneyland Resort Line , which leads to Hong Kong Disneyland . Another line is the East Rail Line , which runs north from the Hung Hom district in Kowloon and the last station of which is the border with Shenzhen . The West Rail Line has been connecting Hung Hom in Kowloon, via Yuen Long, with the western district of Tuen Mun in the New Territories since 2003. A branch line has been connecting Ma On Shan and other areas of Sha Tin since the end of December 2004 . The South Iceland Line since the end of 2016 connects Admiralty in the bustling northern Hong Kong Island with South Horizons , a private high-rise residential development in the Southern District on the south coast on the offshore island of Ap Lei Chau . With the opening of the South Island Line connection on December 28, 2016, all 18 districts of Hong Kong were connected to the MTR network for the first time .

Hong Kong Tramways - "Ding Ding" , Hong Kong Island (2018)

The Hong Kong Tramways (HKT), also affectionately known by the local population as the Ding Ding ( ölkerung ), is a tram that has been running on the tracks in the northern part of Hong Kong Island since July 30, 1904. The two-story, old-fashioned tram cars, which travel relatively slowly on a 13-kilometer network, are not only popular with tourists because the fares are very low. The introduction of modern, air-conditioned articulated wagons was initially abandoned by the operating company after years of planning and test operations for a variety of reasons such as originality, nostalgia , higher ticket prices on the part of passengers and high investments in modernizing the vehicle fleet and the overhead line network ( network load ), etc. The Peak Tram , a funicular that has been running between Central and Victoria Peak since 1888 , is primarily used for tourist purposes . A modern with air conditioning -equipped light rail service between the cities since the Sept. 17, 1988 Tuen Mun and Yuen Long in the western New Territories . The train, known as Light Rail Transit (LRT), runs on a 31.7 kilometer network, but is relatively slow on sections. Since the merger of the subway company MTR Corporation (MTRC) with the Hong Kong railway company Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) in December 2007, the line networks of the subway system ( MTR ), light rail (LTR) and railroad ( KCR ) run by the umbrella company MTRC.

The Central Mid-Levels Escalator connects the districts of Central and Mid-Levels , on Hong Kong Island, and is the longest covered and external escalator system in the world. The payment method for most means of transport (except taxis) is the contactless Octopus card .

Air traffic

The Hong Kong International Airport is one of the most important airports in Asia. There are direct flights to it from many European airports. It is the home airport of several airlines, including Cathay Pacific , Cathay Dragon and the low-cost airlines Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express . The airport was opened in 1998 to replace the previous Kai Tak airport , which was very difficult to approach and limited in area, on Kowloon Bay in the city center. The construction cost around 15 billion euros, which also covered the costs of connecting the airport to the city center via the Airport Express and the Route 8 motorway . Thus, the travel time is not much longer than to Kai Tak, although Kai Tak was in Kowloon , in the middle of Victoria Harbor , while the new airport is over 30 km away from the city. The new location is the originally 100 m high island of Chek Lap Kok north of Lantau Island , which was excavated at 7 m above sea level, with the material removed to gain the land area that is now 13.8 km².



The office towers of the Lippo Center, Admiralty (2011)

Hong Kong's characterization of the economy only applies at first glance as a free market economy: both during British rule and after the handover, the government influences the economy, for example, through land allocation or through its commitment to a fixed exchange rate regime with a currency board between the Hong Kong dollar and the US dollar. In addition, a tax reform of a Goods and Services Tax (GST), comparable to the German sales tax, is intended to increase Hong Kong's tax revenue. However, it is widely feared that this tax will hit the shopping tourism, which many businesses live on, and local consumption hard.

The gross national income per capita in 2016 was 43,528 US dollars , which is roughly comparable to Western European economies. Despite its small population, Hong Kong was the world's eighth largest exporter of goods and services in 2016. Economic development is heavily dependent on exports and thus on the global economy. Until 2002, the territory's economy was therefore in a recession that lasted several years, partly because of the aftermath of the Asian crisis, partly because of the SARS pandemic of 2002/2003 . During this recession, both local incomes and consumer prices fell.

In order to achieve stronger economic growth, the Hong Kong government is relying on strong economic cooperation with mainland China. In mid-2003, for example, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement was signed, which gives Hong Kong entrepreneurs preferential access to the Chinese markets.

After the recession that hit all of Southeast and East Asia after the Asian financial crisis , the Hong Kong economy grew again until the start of the SARS pandemic in 2002/2003, which in turn plunged the economy into a crisis, from which the city is now again has recovered. In the following years the economy of Hong Kong grew again very strongly, mainly due to the strongly expanding economy of China with simultaneous capital flight to Hong Kong. In 2017 economic growth was around 3.8%. The unemployment rate in the same year was given as 3.1%.

Hong Kong is one of the most important financial centers of Asia, the index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange , the Hang Seng Index . In 2017 there were 67 billionaires in Hong Kong, according to Forbes . On January 28, 2016 which laid EU Commission a package of measures to combat of tax evasion before, Hong Kong in which, among other things on the black list of tax havens arises.

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Hong Kong was ranked 6th out of 137 countries (2017-18). In 2017, Hong Kong was ranked 1st out of 180 countries in the Economic Freedom Index .

Trade and industry

Until the 1980s, industrial production played an important role in the economic growth of what was then the crown colony. The dominant sector was light industry; household appliances, toys, electronics and textiles were exported. In recent years, however, most of the industry has moved to the mainland and the Hong Kong economy has shifted to a service economy.

The share of industry in GDP is now just under 15%, of which high-tech companies have the largest share. Industrial production is falling by around 9% annually. Motorways, large, navigable rivers and five major airports allow the metropolises in the Delta to grow together into a mega-city with more than 40 million people.

Hong Kong has few natural resources and is heavily dependent on international trade . The port of Hong Kong, which originally aroused great interest from the British, has long been the most important transshipment point for industrial products from all over China. In recent years, the Hong Kong port has been facing increasing competition from surrounding ports. While the turnover of goods in the Hong Kong port is stagnating, it has increased significantly in Shenzhen , Guangzhou , and Xiamen . In 2013, for the first time, more containers were handled at the container terminals in neighboring Shenzhen than in the port of Hong Kong, which with 22.35 million  TEU (standard containers) was in fourth place worldwide in 2013.

Hong Kong is one of the most important financial centers in Asia, it has one of the most advanced information and telecommunications infrastructures in the world and has also earned a reputation for having a solid, well-monitored banking system. The 1997 Asian crisis made a major contribution to this, during which the currencies of neighboring countries had to be devalued, but Hong Kong survived it relatively unscathed, which is mainly attributed to the quality of the banking system.

Tourism is an important source of income with growing importance. Many tourists, especially from mainland China, come to Hong Kong to shop, so the retail sector benefits particularly from it. As a hub for air traffic, Hong Kong International Airport is an important economic factor.


Hong Kong has almost no agricultural land, and there is also a lack of fresh water. Agriculture is only practiced to a limited extent in the New Territories ; however, its share of GDP does not even amount to 0.1%. The manufacturer Kowloon Dairy is one of the few dairy companies in Hong Kong alongside its competitors Tappist Dairy and Nestlé Dairy Farm. Hong Kong's agriculture also suffered a severe blow from the outbreak of the H5N1 avian flu in the 1990s . Most of the food is imported from the People's Republic of China ; Hong Kong only produces some vegetables , poultry and pork itself. Fisheries are somewhat more important , but their share of GDP is negligible.

Economic indicators

Development of important economic indicators
identification number unit 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 source
Gross Domestic Product (GDP), real % vs. Previous year - - - - 7.0 6.5 −2.5 6.8 4.8 1.7 3.1 2.8 2.4 2.0 World bank
GDP (nominal), absolute Billion US $ - - - - - - - - - 262 275 291 309 320
Development of GDP (nominal) Thousand US $ / inhabitant - - - - - - - - - 36.7 38.3 40.2 42.3 43.6
inflation rate % vs. Previous year −2.1 −0.4 1.1 ≈ 1.8 - - - - - - - - - - GTAI
Budget balance % of GDP
“minus” = deficit in the state budget
−4.9 −4.0 −4.9 −2.7 - - - - - - - - - -
Foreign trade imports Billion US $ (% compared to previous year) - - - - - - - - - - - 600.6 (−3.3) 559.3 (−6.9) 547.1 (−2.2)
Foreign trade export Billion US $ (% compared to previous year) - - - - - - - - - - - 524.1 (−2.1) 510.5 (−2.6) 516.6 (+1.2)
Foreign trade balance Billion US $ - - - - - - - - - - - −76.5 (−0.0) −48.8 (−0.0) −30.5 (−0.0)
Main trading partner of Hong Kong (2016), source: GTAI
Exports (in percent) to Imports (in percent) of
China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 44.7 China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China People's Republic of China 55.3
TaiwanRepublic of China (Taiwan) Taiwan 08.9 United StatesUnited States United States 08.1
JapanJapan Japan 06.3 IndiaIndia India 03.0
Korea SouthSouth Korea South Korea 05.5 JapanJapan Japan 02.9
United StatesUnited States United States 04.8 United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 02.2
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Switzerland 03.3 TaiwanRepublic of China (Taiwan) Taiwan 02.0
IndiaIndia India 03.0 ThailandThailand Thailand 01.9
United NationsU.N. other states 23.5 United NationsU.N. other states 24.6

State budget

Although Hong Kong is not an independent state, it has its own budget. The  state budget  in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 59.07 billion  , which was offset by income equivalent to US $ 59.09 billion. This results in a  budget surplus  of around 0.1% of  GDP .

Hong Kong's public debt was 38.4% of GDP in 2016. Hong Kong held the according to official figures Currency Office ( HKMA ) foreign exchange reserves of over 400 billion US dollars. (As of June 2019)

In 2015, the share of government expenditure (in% of GDP) was in the following areas:


Neon signs on Nathan Road , Kowloon (2007)
Tai Yuen Market (Hong Kong) .jpg
Tai Yuen Market - Modern Market Hall ( Wet Market )
Wanchai streetmarket 2008.jpg
Typical food market in Wan Chai (2008)

Due to its low taxes and the numerous glittering shopping malls, Hong Kong is a shoppers paradise, especially for tourists from Japan . For a long time, the city was also considered an ideal place to buy electronic goods cheaply, but this has long since been put into perspective.

Interesting are the numerous traditional markets where fresh food is traded and bought (e.g. during the day in Wan Chai , at night at the fruit wholesale market Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market in Kowloon) or cheap clothes are brought to customers. Examples of night markets are the Ladies' Market in Mongkok or the Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon, which originated on Market Street . The jade market is interesting for visitors. Haggling is always appropriate; Counterfeit or black copied products are still common.



Hong Kong's local cuisine is part of Cantonese cuisine and is therefore very similar in comparison. Great importance is attached to the absolute freshness of the ingredients. Herbs are mainly used for seasoning; very spicy dishes are less common. The spread of (sweet) desserts is unique in Chinese cuisine ; this is a custom rather unknown in the rest of China. Dim Sum , which is served for breakfast, lunch or Chinese afternoon tea, is very popular . The purchase of groceries for daily needs is traditionally done in so-called wet markets (街市), which in Chinese culture today naturally exist alongside modern supermarkets based on Western models in the various towns and districts of Hong Kong.

The restaurant landscape is very international, in addition to specialties from all regions of China, there are numerous Japanese , Korean , Indian , Southeast Asian and European restaurants, right up to east-west fusion cuisine . This is precisely why Hong Kong is considered a culinary paradise among connoisseurs, as a large number of top international kitchens can be found in a very small space. The great influence of western fast food and coffee house chains on the local food culture is also obvious.


View of Pier 9 at night, Central (2007)

When the Crown Colony was founded, Hong Kong consisted of just a few fishing villages with no significant architectural achievements. The area was of no importance within the Chinese empire. The ruling British then also built a city with a colonial architecture, the Chinese influences were limited to the residential areas of the Chinese residents.

The rapid population growth since the beginning of the 20th century has meant that living space had to be created in a hurry for the new immigrants. This has been organized by the colonial administration since the 1950s. The result of these hasty building measures were unsightly buildings with poor fittings, some of which still exist today. On the other hand, the economic boom and the sharp rise in land prices led to the demolition of many colonial buildings, which were then replaced by high-rise buildings. There is not much left of the opulent architecture of the turn of the century. Compared to Xiamen , Qingdao , Macau or, above all, Shanghai , almost nothing of Hong Kong's pre-war European buildings has been preserved. The Anglican St. John's Cathedral, the former Supreme Court built in 1912 , which is now the seat of the Court of Final Appeal (from 1985 to 2011 Legislative Council of Hong Kong ), or the former French residence were not abandoned for demolition .

Traditional Chinese influences are rarely evident in the city's modern architecture. In the conception and construction of buildings, including modern office buildings, the rules of Feng Shui are mostly observed, because these rules are taken very seriously by many people who live and work in such buildings and their customers. One example of this is the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank . The reasons for considering Feng Shui are at least pragmatic: Regardless of the attitude of the builders towards Feng Shui, violations of these rules would reduce the number of possible buyers for the building in the event of an intention to sell.


In the Tsim Sha Tsui district of Kowloon , right next to the Star Ferry terminal , there is the Hong Kong Cultural Center with a concert hall, galleries and the Hong Kong Museum of Art , which focuses on Chinese works. Right next to it is the Hong Kong Space Museum with a virtual planetarium. A few blocks north are the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Science Museum , both of which are presented in a very modern way.

The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum in Sham Shui Po was built after a Han Dynasty burial site was discovered during construction in 1955 . This is the most important excavation in Hong Kong and proof that the peninsula has been inhabited for at least 2,000 years. The Sam Tung Uk Museum in Tsuen Wan is a replica of a Hakka settlement surrounded by a circular wall, like those settlements that existed in the New Territories until the 1970s .

The Museum of Tea Ware is located on Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong Park. It is housed in Flagstaff House , the oldest surviving colonial building, and exhibits around 3,000 items that document the history of tea in China. In the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin , topics about the history of Hong Kong and its culture are presented in several permanent and traveling exhibitions.

The Art Museum of the Chinese University and the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong are pure art collections . The Tsui Museum of Art exhibited a private collection but is now closed. Parts of the collection have been loaned to other museums for exhibition.

freetime and recreation

Entrance Hong Kong Disneyland (2011)
Stone formation,
Hong Kong Global Geopark (2010)

Between its skyscrapers, Hong Kong has a number of parks that are very well maintained and clean. The largest and most famous are Hong Kong Park and the Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Central , right next to Hong Kong's financial center. Flagstaff House, the oldest colonial building in the territory, is located in Hong Kong Park . In Causeway Bay is the 19 hectare Victoria Park , for the construction of which land was raised in Victoria Harbor.

In the south of Kowloon is the Kowloon Park , in the north of the Kowloon Walled City Park with remnants of the old Walled City. Large temple complexes such as the Wong Tai Sin Temple, the Chi Lin Nunnery in Kowloon or the 10,000 Buddha Monastery and other temples in the hinterland offer not only their religious temple halls but also places with well-tended green spaces or Chinese rock gardens with statues. What all public parks have in common is that they are frequented in the early morning by locals who practice Taijiquan or morning exercise there. In the New Territories , in the northwest of the Special Administrative Region, lies the Hong Kong Wetland Park , a nature reserve that has been open to visitors since 2006 and is visited annually by around 440,000 people and guests from near and far.

In addition to the numerous public nature and recreation parks, such as For example, the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (香港 世界 地質 公園 / 香港 世界 地质 公园) at Sai Kung , which is part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network , has two commercial amusement parks in Hong Kong. One is Ocean Park Hong Kong in the south of Hong Kong Island , which has a walk-in, four-story marine aquarium, a dolphinarium with a dolphin and orca show , penguins, seals, panda bears, bird houses , several roller coasters and other attractions and attracts several million visitors a year. The other is Hong Kong Disneyland on Penny Bay, on the northeast tip of Lantau Island , which opened on September 12, 2005. It is a Disney theme park with over 30 attractions, several hotels, various restaurants and shops.

In addition to the business centers, which are mainly made up of locals and shopping tourists looking for relaxation, or residential areas for the rich, Hong Kong also has tranquil, low-density areas that serve local residents and tourist guests for relaxation and leisure activities. With its 800 kilometers of coastline and over 235 islands and islets, Hong Kong offers many hiking and fitness trails, thousands of barbecue areas and numerous campsites that attract over 15 million visitors each year.

Cycling and roller skating in the city parks as well as mountain biking , kite flying or paragliding in the 24 nature parks (郊野 公園 / 郊野 公园, English country park ) are mostly forbidden due to the large number of people who are out and about to relax in these facilities. The numerous hiking routes with varying degrees of difficulty are distributed throughout the entire Hong Kong area. The most popular hiking trails include the Wilson Trail with 50 km, the MacLehose Trail with 100 km, the Lantau Trail with 70 km and the Hong Kong Trail with 50 km. The flora and fauna consists of 400 species of trees, 250 species of butterflies, more than 30 species of coral and over 100 species of freshwater fish.

Celebrations and events

Both Western and Chinese festivals are very important to the people of Hong Kong. Chinese festival dates are calculated according to the Chinese lunar calendar and therefore move in the Gregorian calendar .

One of the most important festivals is the Chinese New Year , which falls in January or February. Two weeks later there is the Lantern Festival (also called Chinese Valentine's Day). Furthermore, the Qingming -Fest, the Dragon Boat Festival , the Mid-Autumn Festival , the Taoist Ghost Festival , when Buddhists as Ullambana known -Fest and the Chongyang Festival of importance. Only on the island of Cheung Chau is the Daotist Cheung Chau Da Jiu Festival , colloquially mostly known as the " Cheung Chau Bun Festival " ( German  "Cheung Chau Dumpling Festival " ), celebrated annually, during which thousands of Chinese filled dumplings are steamed in a large festival setting and be piled up as a pyramid.

The Hong Kong government is trying to arouse cultural interest among its residents with various events and to attract tourists to the city. These include the Hong Kong Arts Festival , which takes place annually from February to March , to which top-class artists and orchestras are invited and which is also intended to provide a stage for local artists. The Hong Kong Food Festival , which takes place every year from February to March, is aimed specifically at Asian tourists, for whom tasting local specialties is an indispensable part of every trip. The Asian Arts Festival is largely in the same vein as the Hong Kong Arts Festival , but only takes place every other year in October. The Hong Kong International Film Festival is also held annually from March to April .

Regular cultural events also outside of the festivals take place in the Academy for Performing Arts and Arts Center , in the Hong Kong City Hall and the Hong Kong Cultural Center . These are mainly concerts, theater performances and traditional Cantonese operas .


Lan Kwai Fong - Pubs and Nightlife Mile by Day, Central (2011)

Hong Kong offers a rich selection of pubs , discos , clubs and restaurants . Western-oriented locations are mainly in Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo in Central and on Lockhart Road in Wan Chai . Typical Asian destinations, mostly by locals and less of tourists frequented, so for example, clubs, karaoke - bars or mahjong schools find against it rather in districts of Kowloon -Halbinsel as Mongkok , Yaumatei and Sham Shui Po , isolated on the tourist and the shopping mile of Tsim Sha Tsui .

The Symphony of Lights light show takes place every evening at Victoria Harbor , and can sometimes be viewed from the Avenue of Stars .


Hong Kong is considered a film capital. More than 4,000 films have already been produced in Hong Kong.

The first Hong Kong film was Zhuangzi Checks His Wife (Zhuangzi shi qi) from 1913. In the turmoil of the Chinese civil war, many directors, especially left-wing or socially committed, fled from the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek to Hong Kong, which was essential contributed to Hong Kong's later importance as a film capital. Before that had been Shanghai. However, the film industry only made a major development after the Second World War. Well-known directors are Wong Kar-Wai ( 2046 , In the Mood for Love ), King Hu ( A Touch of Zen ) or John Woo ( A Better Tomorrow ), well-known actors Leslie Cheung (Days Of Being Wild, Farewell To My Concubine , Happy Together , A Better Tomorrow), Maggie Cheung (In the Mood for Love, Hero ), Tony Leung Chiu Wai (2046, In The Mood For Love, Happy Together), Andy Lau ( Infernal Affairs ), Chow Yun-Fat (A Better Tomorrow, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ) and Jackie Chan . The Hong Kong films had a major impact on the martial arts film genre .

During the 1990s, the Asian crisis also caused the Hong Kong film industry to decline. During this time, many people involved increasingly began to make films in Hollywood , such as Jackie Chan , John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat . When two of the biggest movie stars died in 2003, namely Leslie Cheung (on April 1st, suicide) and Anita Mui (in December, from the effects of cancer), some pessimists were already talking about the downfall of the film metropolis Hong Kong. To counter the crisis in the film industry, the Hong Kong government launched the Film Guarantee Fund (電影 貸款 保證 基金 / 电影 贷款 保证 基金) in April 2003 . On the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Avenue of Stars shows the names of popular movie stars on a star trail. A film museum collects the works and also hosts events on old American and European films.


Cantopop is the abbreviation for Cantonese pop music , a form of music originating from Hong Kong that is successful in large parts of Asia beyond Hong Kong. Cantopop (or Hong Kong pop) was created by mixing traditional Chinese music with various western music styles ( jazz , rock 'n' roll , rhythm and blues , electronic music , western pop music). The texts are very important. The first big stars in the 1970s were Sam Hui and Roman Tam , also often called the Godfather of Cantopop . As the name suggests, the cantopop language is actually Cantonese. Sometimes, however, English, Mandarin, Japanese, etc. are also sung. Cantopop's heyday was in the 1980s, with stars like Alan Tam , Priscilla Chan , Anita Mui , Danny Chan and Leslie Cheung . In recent years, however, the so-called Mandarin Pop has become more and more important (due to the opening of the People's Republic) and Mandopop singers like Jay Chou from Taiwan are also becoming successful in the Chinese-speaking area. The cantopop and film industries are closely interwoven in Hong Kong. Many cantopop singers are (or were) also successful actors (e.g. Leslie Cheung, Anita Mui, Faye Wong , Vivian Chow, Leon Lai, Deric Wan, Danny Chan, Andy Lau) and many cantopop songs were for TV series or Films composed from Hong Kong.



In the 2018 Press Freedom Ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Hong Kong was ranked 70th out of 180 countries and territories.

Print media

Newspapers and magazines are available in both English and Chinese, with the latter making up the majority, and some bilingual printed matter also exist. There are a total of around 50 daily publications. All publishers are private; there is no system of press funding . The South China Morning Post and The Standard (both in English), Ming Pao and Hong Kong Economic Journal (both in Chinese) are considered serious . However, the highest circulation is achieved by Apple Daily and Oriental Daily News (both in Chinese), which are often criticized for their sensational journalism and do not take into account the privacy of public figures such as accident victims.

There are also the two city ​​magazines HK Magazine and Time Out Hong Kong , which are dedicated to local topics and the lifestyle of the city and provide information about upcoming events , films and the like. Foreign newspapers are available in many parts of Hong Kong.


Hong Kong has a relatively large number of radio stations, including one public broadcaster. This broadcaster, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) , does not belong to the government and is not controlled by the government; he has often been accused of being too critical of the government. Most stations broadcast in Chinese (mostly: Cantonese , also: Standard Chinese ), some also in English , and occasionally in Nepali and Urdu .

watch TV

All Hong Kong television stations are private except for Hong Kong's only public broadcaster, RTHK . Both free private television and paid pay television exist . The stations are also popular in other Asian countries. The soaps and dramas produced for Hong Kong television are broadcast terrestrially or via satellite throughout the Chinese-speaking region. Via the web as internet television, there are both pure web TV stations and classic media offers streamed . All channels in the world can be received via satellite.


Hong Kong-Shanghai cricket match, 1908
Hong Kong Sevens Opening Ceremony, Hong Kong Stadium 2008
Football match between Hong Kong and Iran during the qualification for the football World Cup 2022 , HKS 2019

As a former British crown colony, western sports found their way into Hong Kong earlier than in other cities in China. Cricket has a tradition in Hong Kong that goes back more than 170 years. The first writing captured cricket match was in 1841, followed by the establishment of the first cricket clubs outside England in 1851. The first sports club at all in Hong Kong was established in 1849 and was the water sports club "Victoria Recreation Club". The first football club, the Hong Kong Football Club , was founded in 1886 and the Hong Kong Football Association in 1914. The Hong Kong First Division League , introduced in 1908, remained the city's top football league until 2014, when the Hong Kong Premier League was introduced .

Hong Kong has an independent National Olympic Committee , the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China, and has been taking part in the Summer Olympics with its own team since 1952 and the Winter Olympics since 2002 . So far, athletes from Hong Kong have each been able to win a gold, silver and bronze medal.

Hong Kong's national football team already existed under British colonial rule and is currently 169th in the FIFA world rankings . Horse racing has existed in Hong Kong since 1846. The Hong Kong Jockey Club , founded in 1884, organizes up to 700 horse races annually at the club-operated Happy Valley Racecourse and Sha Tin Racecourse . The Hong Kong Cycling Association was founded in 1960 to promote cycling in Hong Kong.

Rugby Union is the second most popular sport in Hong Kong after football and is best known for the annual tournament in rugby sevens , the Hong Kong Sevens . Hong Kong's national rugby union team is Asia's second best team after Japan , but has not yet qualified for a rugby union world cup .

Cricket is on the way to becoming one of the most popular sports in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes has been played in 6-man cricket since 1992 . Hong Kong's national cricket team is one of the best teams in Asia outside of ICC members with ODI status, and in November 2013 Hong Kong was awarded T20I status along with the Netherlands .

Hong Kong has two cycle tracks , an open concrete track in Sha Tin and the Hong Kong Velodrome , which opened in 2013 and meets the standards of the UCI , so that official international competitions can take place there.

Hong Kong has hosted several major sporting events. Including the soccer Asian championship 1956 , Hong Kong Open 1989 , Volleyball World Grand Prix (1993, 1998, 2002, 2015), soccer East Asian championship (1995) , Olympic Summer Games 2008 in riding, East Asian Games 2009 and Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2014 .

Several local and international sports competitions are held annually in Hong Kong:

Personalities (selection)

Sons and Daughters of Hong Kong

Personalities who worked in Hong Kong

  • Li Ka-shing (* 1928 in Chaozhou ), entrepreneur and investor in Hong Kong; one of the richest personalities in China
  • Henry Steiner (* 1934 in Vienna ), Austrian designer
  • Tao Ho (1936–2019 in * Shanghai ), architect and designer; designed, for example, the flag and emblem of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
  • Bruce Lee (* 1940 in San Francisco , † 1973 in Hong Kong), Sino-American martial artist, martial arts instructor and actor
  • Vivienne Tam (* 1957 in Guangzhou ), fashion designer
  • Wong Kar-Wai (* 1958 in Shanghai ), screenwriter, film producer and film director from Hong Kong


  • Linda Butenhoff: Social movements and political reform in Hong Kong, Westport, Conn. [u. a.]: Praeger 1999, ISBN 0-275-96293-8 .
  • Frank Ching: The Li dynasty, Hong Kong aristocrats. Hong Kong, Oxford Univ. Press 1999, ISBN 0-19-590904-6 .
  • GB Endacott: A History of Hong Kong . Oxford University Press, London 1964, 1988, ISBN 0-19-638264-5 (The standard work on the history of Hong Kong).
  • Han Suyin : All the glory on earth. (Original title: A Many Splendid Thing ). Autobiographical novel about Hong Kong from 1949–1951. Niemeyer, Hameln 1995, ISBN 3-87585-940-5 .
  • Werner Lips: Hong Kong, Macau and Canton. Reise-Know-How, Bielefeld 2002, ISBN 3-8317-1029-5 .
  • Suzanne Pepper: Keeping Democracy at Bay - Hong Kong and the Challenge of Chinese Political Reform Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham 2008.
  • Kit Poon: The Political Future of Hong Kong: Democracy within Communist China Routledge, New York 2008.
  • Evelyn Lu Yen Roloff: The Sars Crisis in Hong Kong. On the government of security in the global city. Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2007, ISBN 3-89942-612-6 .
  • Hans-Wilm Schütte: Hong Kong, Macau. Mairs Geographischer, Ostfildern 2004, ISBN 3-8297-0134-9 .
  • Jane Setter, Cathy SP Wong and Brian HS Chan: Hong Kong English , Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2010, ISBN 978-0-7486-3596-2 .
  • Jung-Fang Tsai: Hong Kong in Chinese History Columbia University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-231-07933-8 .
  • Steve Tsang: A Modern History of Hong Kong IB Tauris, London 2004. ISBN 1-86064-184-9 .
  • Stefan Zimmermann: E-Government in Hong Kong - Digitization of Administration in a Chinese Metropolis. Ibidem, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-89821-338-2 .
  • Hong Kong. Geo Special . Gruner u. Jahr, Hamburg 1995, ISSN  0342-8311 .
  • The National Geographic Walker Hong Kong. Mairs Geographischer Verlag, Ostfildern 2003.
  • In the mouth of the red dragon: Hong Kong. Geo 12/1976 pages 100–124. Gruner + Jahr, Hamburg.

Web links

Wiktionary: Hong Kong  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Hong Kong  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Hong Kong  Travel Guide

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Coordinates: 22 ° 18 '  N , 114 ° 10'  E

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on September 21, 2004 in this version .