Talking Business in Hong Kong

Hong Kong became the center of Britain’s trade after 1842 when the first opium war occurred. The Japanese also occupied this area during the Second World War. However, the city gradually recovered and saw a massive development with the advent of the twentieth century. It came back under Chinese rule in the year 1997 as a Special Administrative Region. Today, Hong Kong has different business faces. On one hand is the Hong Kong populated by large multinationals with massive corporations. This sector exerts a strong influence over business-life of the region. On the other hand, these massive organizations are balanced out by thousands of small enterprises. Currently there are above 470,000 small-sized businesses operating in Hong Kong. This figure gives a clear indication of the vitality of the Chinese business community.

In order to understand the importance of translation for businesses in Hong Kong, one needs to take a close look at its history. Ahead of The Opium War of 1839, the British controlled the island of Hong Kong until 1997. Under the planned transfer of sovereignty, the city was put under the People’s Republic of China. As a results, business and trade in Hong Kong is supervised by China. Although English is spoken, a business person is more likely to encounter the Chinese dialect of Cantonese. Because Cantonese is the official language of Hong Kong, it is important to have businesses and legal documents translated into the Cantonese language (a form of Chinese language spoken in southeastern China including Hong Kong).

Since Cantonese is different from the Mandarin language used in mainland China, the translation of documents into Cantonese for Hong Kong is inevitable. Just like opening business in any other part of the world, professional business people in China will find it valuable to hire reliable translators. A skilled translator can assist in the legal translation of documents from English or Mandarin to Cantonese that are needed in Hong Kong.

The island of Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China which gives it certain claims to self-governance. If you are planning on opening an office in Hong Kong, it is advisable to contact a translator from a reputable translation services agency like The Marketing Analysts ( will greatly benefit.