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Point 1: In Hong Kong, what kinds of business-related activity can a foreigner with visit/travelling visa perform? 

Point 2: alternative choices on "bank accounts"

Point 3: how to register international intellectual property right?

Point 4: add your business to Google map and business

Point 5: law for maximum effective rate of interest, money lender license and Crowd-funding

Point 6: CEPA - Mainland China fully implement zero tariff on imported goods of Hong Kong

Point 7: Enforcement of civil and commercial judgments between Hong Kong and the Mainland

Point 8: Useful statistics data provided by CR, IRD and HKSAR Financial Secretary's blog

Point 9: minimum wage for student interim ship and overseas student's visa application

Point 10: discussion on regulator and investigation

Point 11: application of Societies (社團) under Cap. 151 Societies Ordinance

Point 12: can I search how many properties are under a natural person or entity's name and other land search function by HKSAR?

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12 Answers

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Point 1: In Hong Kong, what kinds of business-related activity can a foreigner with visit/travelling visa perform? 

General Remarks

  1. Regulation 2(1) of the Immigration Regulations (Chapter 115A), Laws of Hong Kong, stipulates that permission given to a person to land in Hong Kong as a visitor shall be subject to the following conditions of stay:
    1. he shall not take any employment, whether paid or unpaid;
    2. he shall not establish or join in any business; and
    3. he shall not become a student at a school, university or other educational institution.
  2. A person permitted to enter Hong Kong as a visitor may generally engage in the following business-related activities:
    1. concluding contracts or submitting tenders;
    2. examining or supervising the installation/packaging of goods or equipment;
    3. participating in exhibitions or trade fairs (except selling goods or supplying services direct to the general public, or constructing exhibition booths);
    4. settling compensation or other civil proceedings;
    5. participating in product orientation; and
    6. attending short-term seminars or other business meetings.
  3. Besides, a person permitted to enter Hong Kong as a visitor may also attend an event to deliver speech(es)/ presentation(s) subject to the following conditions being met:
    1. he/she will not be remunerated for speaking/presenting at the event (other than provision of accommodation, passage, meals, etc. relating to the event, or the reimbursement of such expenses);
    2. the duration of the whole event should be no longer than seven days; and
    3. he/she can only attend one such event to deliver speech(es)/presentation(s) during each period of permitted stay.
  4. Any person who contravenes a condition of stay in force in respect of him shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a maximum fine of HK$50,000 and to imprisonment for 2 years under section 41 of the Immigration Ordinance (Chapter 115), Laws of Hong Kong.

Source: https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/faq/visit-transit.html

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Q5: During the process of concluding contracts, what business-related activities are allowed for a visitor?

During the process of concluding contracts, a visitor may perform business-related activities such as making presentations on products or services, negotiations, and signing contracts, etc.

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Point 2: alternative choices on "business accounts" and payment resolution

[For reference only, please assess its credit and reliability by yourselves]

New business solution: Neat, Currenxie and Stripe

Neat: https://www.neat.hk/

Currenxie: https://currenxie.com/

Stripe: https://stripe.com/

Alipay: https://www.alipayhk.com/

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Point 3: how to register international intellectual property right?

Register your international intellectual property at WIPO first

WIPO: https://patentscope.wipo.int/

Then you can register your nternational intellectual property one by one in different jurisdiction / country.

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Point 4: add your business to Google map and business

This is DIRECT contact to Google My Business Support Team

https://www.google.com/business/

https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038311?from=cuf 

https://support.google.com/business/contact/pre_chat_survey?cfnti=escalationflow.chat&cft=1

Map of baidu.com also has similar function.

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Point 5: law for maximum effective rate of interest, money lender license and Crowd-funding

maximum effective rate of interest

Section 24 of the Money Lenders Ordinance (the Ordinance) (Cap. 163) provides that any person who lends money at an effective rate of interest which exceeds 60% per annum commits an offence. Section 25 of the Ordinance also provides that if the effective rate of interest on a loan exceeds 48% per annum, having regard to that fact alone, the transaction concerned shall be presumed to be extortionate.

Source: https://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/200611/22/P200611220115.htm

Corporate Loans: Need for a Money Lender Licence

Referring link: http://www.wmleehk.com/assets/newsletter/issue53.pdf

Crowd-funding – criminal and regulatory risks

Referring link: http://www.onc.hk/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Legal-Pitfalls-1.pdf

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Point 6: CEPA - Mainland China fully implement zero tariff on imported goods of Hong Kong

協議在原有「產品特定原產地規則」的基礎上,引入以產品在香港的附加價值為計算基礎的一般性原產地規則,容許現時未有「產品特定原產地規則」的產品,在符合「一般規則」的情況下,可以立時以零關稅進口內地。

P.S. note: normally if in HK the goods were added value of 30%, can be regarded as Sourced in H.K.

Ref link: 

Trade and Industry department introduction: https://www.tid.gov.hk/english/cepa/tradegoods/tradegoods_intro.html

on.cc new: https://hk.on.cc/hk/bkn/cnt/finance/20181214/bkn-20181214115225135-1214_00842_001.html

Re-export certificate of origin, see: https://cert.chamber.org.hk/en/default.aspx

Legislative council introduction: [Chinese] https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr18-19/chinese/panels/ci/papers/ci20181218cb1-311-3-c.pdf

[English] https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr18-19/english/panels/ci/papers/ci20181218cb1-311-3-e.pdf

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Point 7: Enforcement of civil and commercial judgments between Hong Kong and the Mainland

《安排》適用於香港及內地法律均視為「民商事」性質的事宜。非司法程序以及有關行政或規管事宜的司法程序會被豁除。《安排》涵蓋金錢和非金錢濟助,同時訂明關於管轄權的規定以及拒絕認可和執行的理由。

The Arrangement applies to matters considered to be of a “civil and commercial” nature under both Hong Kong and Mainland law. Non-judicial proceedings and judicial proceedings relating to administrative or regulatory matters are excluded. The Arrangement covers both monetary and non-monetary relief. It also sets out jurisdictional grounds for the purpose of recognition and enforcement as well as grounds for refusal of recognition and enforcement.

Reference link: [Chinese - Department of Justice] https://www.doj.gov.hk/chi/public/enforcement.html

[English - Department of Justicehttps://www.doj.gov.hk/eng/public/enforcement.html

[中华人民共和国最高人民法院] http://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-139491.html

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Point 8: Useful statistics data provided by CR, IRD and HKSAR Financial Secretary's blog

CR - https://www.cr.gov.hk/en/statistics/index.htm (has monthly statistics)

IRD - [Annual Report]. Key data as following (fiscal year 2017/18 as sample):

Financial Secretary's blog - https://www.fso.gov.hk/eng/blog/archives.htm

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Point 9: minimum wage for student interim ship and overseas student's visa application

Please refer to:

<Statutory Minimum Wage: Notes for Student Employees and Employers>

Chinese version: 《法定最低工資:學生僱員及僱主須知

and Labor department FAQ website

Overall conclusion, no minimum wage requirement for student interim ship, but:

Additional discussion on qualification requirement on the education program:

  • For local programme, need to be a full-time accredited programme (list provided in <Statutory Minimum Wage: Notes for Student Employees and Employers>)
  • For non-local education programme, need to be a full-time programme of education at the level of degree or higher.
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Point 10: discussion on regulator and investigation


Investigation powers' legislation ordinance section numbers:

SFC: SFO sections 178-192;

HKMA: SFO sction 180; BO section 72A;

HKICPA: PAO section 32E, 34, 42B, 42C, 42D;

FRC: FRCO section 23, 25-30;

ICAC: POBO sction 14


General discuss (may just to be treated as "non-correct experiences"):

  • SFC (& HKMA etc.?) can visit and search office any time (without search warrant?) but seldom visit private / domestic / residential places;
  • Right to keep silence not applicable to SFC & HKMA's investigation;
  • Under SFC / HKMA's investigation, you need to give them your smart phone / cloud storage's passwords while for police's search warrant, give passwords or not is a question (of course, police with proper search warrant can search icloud server if it located in HK). Lawyer may help investigator to distinct personal documents from investigation-related documents inside the phone/icloud;
  • Under joint investigation (like ICAC & SFC), you can try to prohibit ICAC to transfer your original documents to SFC directly, but ICAC can write their findings on their reports;
  • Can claim "privilege" to reduce the document production. Also can consider some kinds of documents were "not relevant to the case".
    • privilege includes: Legal advice privilege / Litigation privilege / Common interest privilege, etc.

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Point 11: application of Societies (社團) under Cap. 151 Societies Ordinance

Definition of Societies: society (社團) means any club, company, partnership or association of persons, whatever the nature or objects, to which the provisions of this Ordinance apply; (Replaced 28 of 1961 s. 2).

FAQ for Societies provided by Hong Kong Police Force: https://www.police.gov.hk/ppp_en/13_faqs/faq_so.html

Extracted: 

Q 4: How to register as a “non-profit-making organization” under the Societies Ordinance? 

  • The Societies Officer may register societies of different nature and objects or exempt them from registration under the Ordinance. However, the Ordinance provides no definition for "non-profit-making organization". Nor does it state any difference between “non-profit-making organization” and other organizations in respect of registration.

Q 5: Are the registered societies / exempted societies required to file tax return? 

  • The Societies Ordinance does not restrict the operation of a registered society / exempted society. For queries about tax affairs, please contact the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department directly on 187 8088 or visiting their website at (http://www.ird.gov.hk/)

Discussion: A society registered under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151) normally will not be assigned any tax file number by IRD. A possible practice to handle tax fairs for a society is to register a HK company under Company Ordinance (Cap. 622) separately and deem the society is under the HK company (Or the HK company is under the society?) and use the HK company to file tax documents to IRD.

A "business", being: (i) operated by a group of persons and satisfying the definition of "society", (ii) was registered as a society under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151), and (iii) earning taxable profits, might not automatically get a IRD tax files except registered another company under HK Company Ordinance (Cap. 622).

A society doesn't have Business Registration Certificate.

A society can't acquire any property.

A society registered under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151) can apply and hold bank accounts and licenses, like: money lender license, Money Service Operators license, etc. 

A society registered under Societies Ordinance (Cap. 151) isn't a Separate Legal Entity but qualified to be an Entity.

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Point 12: can I search how many properties are under a natural person or entity's name and other land search function by HKSAR?

Yes, but need authorization letter.

Need physical visit The Land Registry's counter at [address link]

Extract from Q&A of The Land Registry Q&A:

Q5 of Conducting Search: Can a member of the public conduct land search by an owner's name?

A: Under the Owner's Properties Information Check service, a member of the public can submit an application for a search on properties registered under his/her own name. To avoid infringing on the privacy of other individuals, the Land Registry will not accept applications for a search on properties registered under the name of another individual unless the applicant can produce an authorization document by that individual. A non-refundable application fee of HK$1,400 is payable for the service.

Reference link: https://www.landreg.gov.hk/en/faq/faq_search.htm#Q15

Other online land search function: 

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