Hong Kong Business Culture

Updated: Feb 2, 2020

Hong Kong is an amazing place to live and work, with a business culture that is very entrepreneurial and filled with dynamic & hard-working people who take great pride in their work. It is a great place to do business and an ideal location for anyone looking to set up a new company.

Hong Kong business culture is relatively straightforward, but below we will walk you through some tips and discuss how to navigate everyday working life in this island city:

Punctuality and preparation are very important.

By showing up on time and being fully prepared you are demonstrating to your colleagues and business partners that you value, and respect, their time.

In Hong Kong it is customary to exchange business cards when greeting business partners. Handshakes are generally a Western concept, and while not usually refused (no one wishes to be impolite), they are not customary and are probably the acceptable limit of physical contact between business acquaintances.

Learn patience. Hong Kong is an extremely fast-paced city, but when it comes to business negotiations you will need to learn patience. It may take some time for parties to agree terms, and it is not culturally acceptable or polite to put pressure on your Chinese business partners during the negotiation process.

As you can see, demonstrating respect is therefore vital when conducting business in Hong Kong and across Asia in general.

Since Hong Kong’s handover to China in 1997 the city has evolved significantly, now boasting one of the most iconic skylines in the world, one of the smoothest running and fastest transportation systems (known as the MTR), and has very much grown in to its own since its establishment as a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. The massive population and density of the buildings can sometimes become a bit overwhelming, but fortunately there are many places to which to escape such as hiking the many nature trails or spending a day at one of the beaches. Hong Kong is full of hidden gems and, thanks to the MTR, it is usually a quick and easy journey to reach them. Making friends in Hong Kong is also surprisingly easy and you will find the vast majority of people here open and welcoming. A little bit of effort obviously also goes a long way.

About us Cognatio Law

Cognatio Law was established by NewLaw industry veteran Lesley Hobbs to satisfy growing demand within Hong Kong’s business community for flexible and cost effective legal & compliance consulting services. We assist in-house legal and compliance teams who are facing downward pressure to reduce their project and resourcing expenses by seconding experts quickly and at short notice on to any given assignment and without the risk of incurring additional permanent employee costs. Partnering with Cognatio law is simply the smart move! Please contact Cognatio Law today to inquire further.

This article was supplied by Prosperity Research Digital Agency (PRDA).


Register here for your monthly Asia legal updates