Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Hong Kong SAR, China


Hong Kong SAR, China refers to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which is a semi-autonomous region in China with its own legal and financial systems that are distinct from those of mainland China. It is a significant global financial hub known for its free market economy and low tax regime. Despite being a part of China, it operates under the principle of “one country, two systems.”


The phonetics for ‘Hong Kong SAR, China’ are: hɒŋ kɒŋ ˈsɑːr ˈtʃaɪnə

Key Takeaways

  1. Hong Kong SAR, China is one of the most significant global financial centers: It houses several leading international banks, investment management firms, and insurance companies. Its strategic geographical position, gateway to Mainland China, and robust legal system contribute to its status as a financial hub.
  2. The “One Country, Two Systems” policy: Hong Kong maintains its autonomous status from Mainland China under the “One Country, Two Systems” principle. It has its legal system, currency, and legislative framework but is still technically a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
  3. Rich cultural blend: Hong Kong has a unique blend of Eastern and Western cultures. It boasts a rich history, visible in its architecture, food, languages, and festivals. While Cantonese remains the primary language spoken, English is also widely used due to its colonial history.


Hong Kong SAR, China is an important term in business and finance because it refers to the unique governmental, economic, and regulatory system which Hong Kong operates under as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) within the People’s Republic of China. Although politically a part of China, Hong Kong maintains considerable autonomy in its economic and financial frameworks, functioning as a major global hub for investments, trade, and markets. These distinct systems give it a vital role in international finance and business as it serves as a bridge between Western countries and Mainland China. Recognizing this term helps investors, businesses, and financial entities in exploring opportunities and understanding complexities in the Asian market.


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China is a model which demonstrates “one country, two systems” principle that was proposed by Deng Xiaoping of China for the reunification of China during the early 1980s. The principle was put into application when Hong Kong, previously a colony of the British Empire, was returned to China in 1997, becoming one of the two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of the People’s Republic of China, with the other being Macau. Under this principle, Hong Kong maintains its own legal and financial affairs, separate from the laws of mainland China, while foreign relations and defense is the responsibility of the central government in Beijing. The SAR model allows Hong Kong to operate as an independent region with significant autonomy.Hong Kong serves as a global hub for trade and finance, courtesy of its SAR status. The region’s independent judiciary and well-regulated banks have steered it into becoming an international financial center with a robust economy. Hong Kong uses a different currency from mainland China, the Hong Kong dollar, which is maintained in a bounded floating relationship to the US dollar. It also has its own independent tax systems. In addition, Hong Kong has a separate customs territory and economic strategy, which gives it the right to negotiate and sign its own free trade agreements. Therefore, Hong Kong SAR, China, serves a crucial purpose as a mediator between the West and China, supporting international business due to a blend of Western capitalism and Chinese characteristics.


1. HSBC Holdings: HSBC Bank, a multinational investment bank and financial services holding company, is headquartered in Hong Kong SAR, China. The bank’s services are widely impacted by the framework of the Hong Kong SAR, China, including its monetary policies, banking regulations, corporate tax rates, and economic environment.2. Alibaba Backdoor Listing: In November 2019, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, a giant Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology, pursued a backdoor listing in Hong Kong SAR, China. They raised $12.9 billion through the secondary listing, which was considered one of the largest public offerings in 2019. 3. Tencent Holdings: Tencent, a Chinese multinational technology conglomerate, is also headquartered in Hong Kong SAR, China. They specialize in various services like social media, entertainment, artificial intelligence, and other technology-related services. They are subject to the regulations and economic policies of the Hong Kong SAR, China, which influences their business operations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What does Hong Kong SAR, China refer to?

Hong Kong SAR, China refers to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on July 1, 1997.

What is the meaning of Special Administrative Region (SAR)?

A Special Administrative Region is a distinctive geographical area which has a high degree of autonomy and maintains its own legal and economic systems, separate from those of its sovereign state. In this case, Hong Kong operates under a one country, two systems framework with China.

Are the financial regulations the same in Hong Kong SAR and mainland China?

No, Hong Kong SAR maintains its own currency, legal system, and essentially operates its own economic policies independent from mainland China under the one country, two systems principle.

What is the currency of Hong Kong SAR, China?

The legal tender in Hong Kong SAR, China is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), not the Chinese Yuan (CNY) used in mainland China.

How does the business environment of Hong Kong SAR, China differ from the rest of China?

The business environment in Hong Kong SAR, China is internationally renowned for its high level of economic freedom, low tax rates, well-established rule of law, and strict anti-corruption measures. It is often seen as a business-friendly gateway to mainland China and Asia.

How is the stock exchange in Hong Kong SAR, China structured?

The stock exchange in Hong Kong SAR, China, known as Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), operates independently from the Chinese stock markets. It’s one of the largest stock exchanges in the world.

Can foreign companies register in Hong Kong SAR, China?

Yes, foreign companies can register in Hong Kong SAR, China. It has a very open economy and welcoming business environment, making it a popular hub for international business.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More