Summary: Hong Kong
Professional Travel and Cultural Competence
Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong
became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 1 July 1997. In this agreement,
China promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system
would not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all
matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.
The handshake is commonly used when greeting westerners. The Hong Kong Chinese handshake
is rather light.
When greeting people, it's polite to ask about their health or activities. Hong Kongers may ask,
"Nay sik jo fan mei ah?" (nay sick JO fan may ah), which means "have you eaten?" This
question is similar to "how are you?" and requires a simple "yes" as an answer.
During the greeting, many Hong Kong Chinese lower their eyes as a sign of respect. There is no
need for you to emulate this gesture, although prolonged eye contact should be avoided during the
Higher-ranking persons are introduced before those of lower rank, older people before younger
ones, and women before men.
At smaller functions, it is polite to wait for your host or hostess to introduce you. At a large
function, you may introduce yourself to other guests.