For western electronics companies with offshore supply chain operations in China, it often makes sense to set-up a regional office for global sourcing and other functional activities.
For many organizations, Hong Kong is the destination of choice for that office staffed with trained managers and staff for purchasing; quality control, production control, product engineering, export documentation…managing their business throughout China.
Having personnel in place that understand China’s business and social and cultural differences can be beneficial.
With this in mind, we asked one of our Hong Kong-based authors how westerners can become better acquainted with Hong Kong for business and pleasure. Below is Ping’s response in her words.
HONG KONG IS A MULTI-CULTURAL, FAST-PACED METROPOLIS with a well-educated population is attracting plenty of companies and talent from all over the world, including from both foreign companies and talents who want to approach the China market plus, Chinese companies and talents who want to go abroad to the global market.
Given the promotion of Shang Hai as China’s emerging financial center, some people in Hong Kong are concerned about their future.
However, in China’s 12th Five Year Plan (2011 through 2015) published by the Chinese government, the Plan states that China’s government will strengthen Hong Kong’s position as China’s financial center.
Specifically looking at the Plan for the electronics and information industries, China’s Plan is to develop strategically important emerging industries while promoting independent innovation and expanding domestic demand. Investment sectors in the electronics and IT industries will see an increase in supply chain upstream focus like raw materials, components and related parts.
Hong Kong is now more confident about its role in the future.
Hong Kong continues to be one of the best staging areas in the region for finance and hi-tech companies across the Asia Pacific. I hope the information below helps you become successful as you come to Hong Kong.
Leisure living in Hong Kong
Hong Kong covers 1,103 square kilometers of land and has more than 700 seven million people, among which 95% are Chinese.
Crowded people, narrow streets, high skyscrapers and plenty of shopping malls are the hallmarks of Hong Kong which are well-known throughout the world while Hong Kong’s culture is quite simple and focused, different from the city’s diversified outlook.
Living in Hong Kong is comfortable and convenient.
Average houses and apartments are small compared to those in mainland China, however, property services are of high quality. Actually, not only property services, all kinds of business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) services in Hong Kong are very good.
You will feel that the time and the effort you need to spend on items like transportation and the purchase of daily-use articles and paying for many types of living fees in Hong Kong is quite small.
Meanwhile, TV news is very concise. Short and to the point.
Medical clinics can easily be found on the streets, most accepting medical insurance.
Hong Kong also offers you plenty of opportunities to do sports, attend social events, and spend quality time with family members. Hong Kong offers plenty of choices for you to have fun in your spare time.
A thirty-minute drive can take you away from a noisy, downtown area sprinkled with shopping malls and gourmet food choices, to the beach or the top of a hill with only a few people and the sounds of nature.
Public sports courts are also available in every city park, including football; basketball, tennis, jogging lanes as well as fitness equipment and playgrounds for children.
Whatever your favorite hobby is, I highly recommend you visit two websites before / during your stay in Hong Kong. The first site is, Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the HK SAR government.
Do not be surprised. Yes, Hong Kong’s government websites are really helpful and are far more than just being government policy advocators. They provide a lot of living and leisure information.
For the above link, users can search for all types of leisure facilities including shows, parks and beaches or even book outdoor tennis courts and other venues in the park through the website.
Another website is Hong Kong Tourism Board, geared specifically to help foreigners.
For example, information on the Shek O Beach, I recommend to you, can be found on the tourism website, where you can also find other beaches, and more, and have a BBQ with your family and watch the sun go down to the sea level while the villas on the sea cliff light up. You will feel happiness.
You can also find information about sailing around Victoria Harbor or; climbing up to The Peak to overlook all of Hong Kong, or information to try your luck at horse racing at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Of course, you do not want to miss the famous club and bar street, Lan Kwai Fong where the ‘in crowd’ gathers and it is excellent for night owls and people watchers.
Hong Kong attracts millions with various talents and international / educational backgrounds and industry expertise. It is a place full of competition and everyone needs to do their best to maintain the current living standard and even enhance their life and career.
Working in Hong Kong
Efficiency, accuracy, professionalism and responsible are each highly valued traits in Hong Kong’s business environment.
You must be effective and fast as Hong Kong employees are especially strong at managing a fast-paced business.
Hong Kong managers value business results and are willing, and flexible enough, to remove various types of obstacles in their business dealings and operations. As long as a goal is set and agreed among all members, getting things to operate properly is not an issue.
Each member will support the goal and operate efficiently.
Phone calls and emails are short and right to the point. Therefore, in daily business, you must be very goal-oriented and focused on the topic or problem you want to discuss and resolve.
Too many free talks will be considered not effective and make things confusing most of the time.
You must be very focused and with very strong evidence to persuade a Hong Kong business man.
Once he or she is convinced and agrees with your idea, this person will definitely support you in an effective way.
Zero tolerance, food
The business world in Hong Kong has zero tolerance for errors. Any error found in the entire process is considered an omission of personal responsibility.
Contracts are reviewed in every detail. Each industry performs at its best effort to deliver excellent products with no defects. This could be one reason why food in Hong Kong is extremely delicacy and delicious.
In Hong Kong, each company and each professional focuses on its own business and job. They consider it a big achievement if their own scope of work is well managed and operate in a good manner in depth. Hence depth is more important than width.
If you talk to a Hong Kong supplier, you can get the exact definition on what they sell and what they do not. They manage to do the best in the scope they can cover. They normally will not touch the space that is not defined in their current business.
Hong Kong companies and professionals work hard to deliver expertise and professional insights in their line of business. They work to achieve clear strategy and operation excellence in their field. Every company is focused hence the business relationships between companies are very stable and close.
On the other hand, Hong Kong companies working with you expect you to be expert in your area as well. Do your defined businesses well and deliver professionalism is much more important than do as much as you can.
This is different from the business atmosphere in mainland China where many companies want to expand to as many businesses that are profitable as they can.
Build business and social networking with gyms and clubs, university events
The most popular Hong Kong gym places are Fitness & Beauty Physical and Fitness First. You can also attend activities and events held by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.
The Open University of Hong Kong is also a very good platform for industry knowledge sharing and information gathering. I encourage you to join all types of talks and seminars the university organizes. I began to admire the life-long learning spirit held by Hong Konger’s when I watched one Chinese economic seminar presented by Open University and broadcast on TV.
Trustworthy and reliable
Good relationship are one of the keys to successful business. Hong Kong professionals are very much service oriented.
For any request, you’ll find professionals in Hong Kong responsive and reliable.
Even if a different person is involved in the same service request, each person takes it as his own responsibility and follows until it is resolved. On one hand, this is due to the excellence of the management process. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of each employee. Customers feel very good spending money for services in Hong Kong.
If you have experience and other suggestions for Hong Kong, please say them below.