Koreans in Hong Kong
Koreans in Hong Kong formed a population of 4,812 individuals as of 2006, making them one of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

's smaller minority groups.

Migration history

Some Koreans came to Hong Kong with the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 during the Japanese occupation
Japanese occupation of Hong Kong
The Japanese occupation of Hong Kong began after the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Young, surrendered the territory of Hong Kong to Japan on 25 December 1941 after 18 days of fierce fighting by British and Canadian defenders against overwhelming Japanese Imperial forces. The occupation lasted...

; after the Japanese surrender
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

, US Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 records show that the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 government repatriated 287 Korean soldiers to Korea. Some Koreans from China came to Hong Kong to settle soon after the war as well.

In the 2001 census, Koreans were found to form 1.5% of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

's minority population, roughly 5,200 individuals, making them the 12th-largest minority community. This number fell about 10% by the time of the 2006 census. Virtually all Koreans in Hong Kong are South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

n; however, a few North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

n businesses and diplomats are known to operate in the territory as well. In addition, a minority of North Korean refugees attempt to sneak across the border into the territory to obtain political asylum and transport to South Korea; the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants claims that the Hong Kong Police were instructed to keep no record of their arrest or registration.


Koreans in Hong Kong belong mostly to the upper-middle class of Hong Kong society. They are wealthier than the average Hong Kong resident; 42.6% of all Koreans employed in Hong Kong as of 2006 had a monthly salary of HK$
Hong Kong dollar
The Hong Kong dollar is the currency of the jurisdiction. It is the eighth most traded currency in the world. In English, it is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively HK$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies...

30,000 or greater, as compared to just 10.8% of the whole population. However, despite their higher wages, Koreans complain that they face far higher living costs in Hong Kong, including medical fees 20-30% higher than those in South Korea.

Approximately 23.1% of Koreans in Hong Kong work in the finance, insurance, real estate, or business services field, one of the highest proportions out of all ethnic minorities. Among those 23.1% are an estimated 300 who work in the Hong Kong offices of major investment banks; most studied at universities in the United States before returning to Asia to take their present positions. One of the more notable examples is Chi-Won Yoon
Chi-Won Yoon
Chi-Won Yoon is a South Korean investment banker. He holds the position of CEO and Chairman at UBS AG Asia Pacific, and is based in Hong Kong.-Career:Yoon was born in South Korea...

, who was appointed country head and CEO of UBS AG
UBS AG is a Swiss global financial services company headquartered in Basel and Zürich, Switzerland, which provides investment banking, asset management, and wealth management services for private, corporate, and institutional clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland...

's Hong Kong branch in March 2008 after two decades of industry experience.

Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui , often abbreviated as TST, is an urbanized area in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong. The area is administratively part of the Yau Tsim Mong District. Tsim Sha Tsui East is a piece of land reclaimed from the Hung Hom Bay now east of Tsim Sha Tsui...

's Kimberley Street
Kimberley Street
Kimberley Street is a street in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. It is located between Observatory Road and Carnarvon Road and runs parallel to Kimberley Road and Granville Road. Kimberley Street is famous for Korean cuisine restaurants and grocery stores, especially after the advent of Korean Wave in...

, a side street off of Kimberley Road, also boasts a small concentration of Korean restaurants and grocery stores owned by long-term Korean residents of Hong Kong, and has been dubbed Hong Kong's "Little Korea" as a result.


Hong Kong lacks a Korean-medium kindergarten, and so parents often send their children to English-medium kindergartens instead; some continue on to English-medium primary and secondary schools, such as those run by the English Schools Foundation
English Schools Foundation
The English Schools Foundation is an organisation that runs 20 educational institutions, most of which are international schools, which are all located in Hong Kong...

, and as a result speak English better than Korean.

Koreans in Hong Kong have also set up Korean-language educational institutions for their children. The Korean Saturday School (한국토요학원) was established in 1960 by the Association of Korean Residents. The territory's one Korean school, the Korean International School, is located in Sai Wan Ho
Sai Wan Ho
Sai Wan Ho is a primarily residential area on the northeastern shore of Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, between Quarry Bay and Shau Kei Wan. It is part of the Eastern District, and is administered together with surrounding areas under the Eastern District Council.-Location:Sai Wan Ho is conventionally...

. Founded in 1988, it enrolled 402 students as of 2006. However, they suffered a loss of community confidence due to a bribery scandal which triggered an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption
Independent Commission Against Corruption (Hong Kong)
The Independent Commission Against Corruption of Hong Kong was established by Governor Murray MacLehose on 15 February 1974, when Hong Kong was under British rule. Its main aim was to clean up endemic corruption in the many departments of the Hong Kong Government through law enforcement,...

. About 40 South Koreans are enrolled in Hong Kong universities, primarily the English-medium University of Hong Kong; they form just 1% of the 4,000 or so tertiary-level international student
International student
According to Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development , international students are those who travel to a country different from their own for the purpose of tertiary study. Despite that, the definition of international students varies in each country in accordance to their own national...

s in the territory.


Hong Kong has two weekly Korean-language newspapers, the Wednesday Journal and the Weekly Hong Kong.


There are about 260 Korean Catholic families in Hong Kong; a parish chapel devoted to them was consecrated in mid-2005. A directory published by the Wednesday Journal lists two Korean Buddhist congregations and fourteen Korean Christian churches.

Notable people

This is a list of Korean expatriates in Hong Kong and Hong Kong people of Korean descent
  • Amigo Choi (崔建邦), TVB actor; born in Hong Kong to a Korean father and Chinese mother
  • Angel Sung (宋芝齡), TVB actress, father from Shanghai, mother from Busan

Further reading

|last=Higuchi|first=Kenichiro|last2=Kwong|first2=Yan Kit|month=September|year=2009|journal=Journal of the School of Culture-Information Studies|publisher=Sugiyama Jogakuen University|url=http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/40017105136|volume=9|issue=2|pages=71–79}}

External links

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