The Standard
The Standard is an English free newspaper 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...

 with a daily circulation of 231,018. It was called the Hong Kong Standard and changed to HKiMail during the Internet boom, but it changed back to The Standard in 2001.

From 10 September 2007, The Standard, which was originally sold at HK$6 each, became a free newspaper. It is now Hong Kong's first and only free English newspaper.

The South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post
The South China Morning Post , together with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is an English-language Hong Kong newspaper, published by the SCMP Group with a circulation of 104,000....

is its main local competitor.


The Standard is printed in tabloid-format rather than in broadsheet
Broadsheet is the largest of the various newspaper formats and is characterized by long vertical pages . The term derives from types of popular prints usually just of a single sheet, sold on the streets and containing various types of material, from ballads to political satire. The first broadsheet...

. It is published daily from Monday to Friday.


The Standard is published by Sing Tao Newspaper Limited, also the publisher of Sing Tao Daily
Sing Tao Daily
The Sing Tao Daily is Hong Kong's second largest Chinese language newspaper. It is owned by Sing Tao News Corporation Limited, of which Charles Ho Tsu Kwok is the chairman. Its English language sister paper is The Standard...

and Headline Daily
Headline Daily
Headline Daily was launched on July 12, 2005 by Sing Tao Newspaper Group Limited and became the second free Chinese newspaper published officially in Hong Kong . The paper is only distributed on weekdays and is aimed at the working class. The estimated average daily circulation of the paper is...

. This enterprise is owned by Sing Tao News Corporation Limited, a firm owning other businesses including media publications, human capital
Human capital
Human capitalis the stock of competencies, knowledge and personality attributes embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. It is the attributes gained by a worker through education and experience...

 management and Broadband
The term broadband refers to a telecommunications signal or device of greater bandwidth, in some sense, than another standard or usual signal or device . Different criteria for "broad" have been applied in different contexts and at different times...

 service. The Global China Group Holdings acquired 51% of Sing Tao Holdings Ltd in January 2001 and changed its name in 2005. The Chairman of Sing Tao News Corporation Limited is Ho Tsu Kwok, Charles (何柱國).


The Standard was originally named the Hong Kong Tiger Standard. The newspaper was founded by Tycoon Aw Boon Haw
Aw Boon Haw
Aw Boon Haw, OBE was a Burmese Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for introducing Tiger Balm. He was the son of Hakka herbalist Aw Chu Kin, with his ancestral home in Yongding County, Fujian Province, China.-Biography:-Business:...

 after the end of the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

. On the backs of financially successful Sing Tao Daily
Sing Tao Daily
The Sing Tao Daily is Hong Kong's second largest Chinese language newspaper. It is owned by Sing Tao News Corporation Limited, of which Charles Ho Tsu Kwok is the chairman. Its English language sister paper is The Standard...

 and Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm is the trade name for a heat rub manufactured and distributed by Haw Par Healthcare in Singapore.- History :It was originally developed in the 1870s by a herbalist, Aw Chu Kin, in Rangoon, Burma, who asked his sons Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par on his deathbed to perfect the...

, he attacked the English-language newspaper market by launching the paper on 1 March 1949 to give a Chinese voice to the world and to advance the interests of Chinese in all their endeavours and defend them against all kinds inequalities, challenging the pro-colonial establishment press. It started life as a broadsheet, largely be edited and run by Chinese, but without the exclusion of other nationals. Politically, it shared the Sing Tao and Aw's allegiance to the Kuomintang.

These early editors were all thoroughly US educated and trained, the first being L. Z. Yuan (father-in-law of Golden Harvest
Golden Harvest
Golden Harvest is a film production, distribution, and exhibition company based in Hong Kong. It played a major role in becoming the first Chinese film company to successfully enter the western market for an extended period of time, especially with the films of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan...

 founder, Raymond Chow). There followed C. S. Kwei, a leading Chinese lawyer and bilingual intellectual-author, and Kyatang Woo, an alumnus of University of Missouri
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri System is a state university system providing centralized administration for four universities, a health care system, an extension program, five research and technology parks, and a publishing press. More than 64,000 students are currently enrolled at its four campuses...

 in Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri
Columbia is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 108,500 as of the 2010 Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 164,283 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the...


During the 1990s, when Sally Aw
Sally Aw
Sally Aw Sian, OBE. DStJ, JP is a Hong Kong businesswoman and adopted daughter of Chinese entrepreneur Aw Boon Haw.In 1931, Aw Boon Haw and the second of his four wives adopted the five-year-old daughter of a distant relative from Burma, changing the girl's name from She Moi to Sian...

 (adopted daughter of Aw Boon Haw) chaired Sing Tao News Corporation Limited
Sing Tao News Corporation
Sing Tao News Corporation Limited is a Hong Kong listed company. It is mainly focused on the business of Media Ownership & Services, Human Capital Management, as well as Broadband Content & Distribution. It was formerly called Global China Group Holdings Limited...

, The Standard was the only English newspaper in Hong Kong that was allowed to be circulated in China.

In 1994, a third English-language newspaper, the Eastern Express
Eastern Express
The Eastern Express is an overnight passenger train operated by the Turkish State Railways. The train runs from İstanbul's Haydarpaşa Terminal to Kars Railway Station in Kars. The train was the first overnight service east of Ankara. The Eastern Express stops in 11 provincial capitals: İstanbul,...

, appeared. Its bold headlines and large photographs provoked a radical redesign at the Standard, which also suffered the loss of a great many reporters, sub-editors and advertising to the Eastern Express which boasted openly of its generous pay. The new paper quickly pushed the Standard into third place for full-price sales. The Standard adopted a distinctive orange and black masthead, and an advertising campaign that used a carrot logo and the maxim "clearer vision". Meanwhile an emergency recruitment drive brought in new staff from the UK and Tasmania, (an obscure part of Australia) mostly from regional newspapers and on fixed contracts. Its Sunday supplement, Hongkong Life, began free distribution in bars and clubs.

In 27 May 2000, facing challenges from its biggest competitor the South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post
The South China Morning Post , together with its Sunday edition, the Sunday Morning Post, is an English-language Hong Kong newspaper, published by the SCMP Group with a circulation of 104,000....

, the Hong Kong Standard was renamed as Hong Kong iMail (香港郵報) and was reduced to tabloid-size in order to attract more young Chinese readers and refocused on business issues. In 30 May 2002, following the bursting of the Internet Bubble
Dot-com bubble
The dot-com bubble was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1995–2000 during which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the more...

, iMail was once again renamed as The Standard.

The Editor-in-Chief is Ivan Tong, who replaced Mark Clifford
Mark Clifford
Mark L. Clifford is an author and former journalist who worked for BusinessWeek, the Far Eastern Economic Review, and Forbes. He was the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard newspaper in Hong Kong from January 2004 to February 2006, and the Editor-in-Chief the South China Morning Post, its...


On 3 September 2007, it was reported that The Standard was set to re-align itself as a free newspaper to be distributed in commercial districts like Central
Central, Hong Kong
Central is the central business district of Hong Kong. It is located in Central and Western District, on the north shore of Hong Kong Island, across Victoria Harbour from Tsim Sha Tsui, the southernmost point of Kowloon Peninsula...

 and Admiralty
Admiralty, Hong Kong
Admiralty is the eastern extension of central business district of the Central on the Hong Kong Island of Hong Kong. It is located on the eastern end of the Central and Western District, bordered by Wan Chai to the east and Victoria Harbour to the north. The name of Admiralty refers to the former...


Circulation fraud

In August 1996, 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,...

 (ICAC) in Hong Kong found out that 14,000 copies of the paper had been discarded in Wan Chai pier
Wan Chai Pier
The Wan Chai Pier , or Wan Chai Ferry Pier , is a pier at the coast of Wan Chai North on the Hong Kong Island of Hong Kong. The pier is operated by Star Ferry, and provides ferry services to Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom. The pier is near the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.-Transport...

 and therefore started an investigation. The ICAC discovered that from 1994 to 1997, the circulation figures of the Hong Kong Sunday Standard and the Hong Kong Standard had been routinely and substantially exaggerated, in order to attract advertisers and to raise the revenue of the newspapers. Circulation figures had always been somewhat obscure, due to the Sing Tao group's longstanding agreements with Hotels and clubs where the newspaper was distributed free.

As a result, the ICAC arrested three staff members of the Hong Kong Standard and charged Aw Sian as co-conspirator. This case was examined and deliberated from 23 November 1998 to 20 January 1999. Finally, the three staff members were found guilty and sentenced to 4 to 6 months in jail. Aw Sian was not prosecuted. The decision generated a large controversy among the public and raised the question of legal discrimination and injustice environment in arbitration.

Nevertheless, the Secretary of Justice, Elsie Leung
Elsie Leung
Elsie Leung Oi-sie, GBM JP, was the Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong from 1997 to 2005, and was a member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong. She was succeeded by Wong Yan Lung, SC, on 20 October 2005.-Education:...

 justified her decision not to prosecute Aw Sian on the basis of insufficient evidence and public interest
Public interest
The public interest refers to the "common well-being" or "general welfare." The public interest is central to policy debates, politics, democracy and the nature of government itself...


External links

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