HKSAR Companies Registry

Hong Kong's not-so-free economy
The US-based Heritage Foundation has, as always, ranked HK as the freest economy in the World. For once, the Government doesn't accuse foreign forces of interfering in HK's internal affairs. But this rosy view is not held by those who take the time to study the domestic economy. Here are a few things that Heritage may have overlooked. (4-Feb-2018)
HK journalists, academics fear new requirement when using online companies register
South China Morning Post, 2-May-2016
China Capital Strategy Ltd & others v Registrar of Companies
HK Court of First Instance, 9-Mar-2016
One registration, two companies
Webb-site reveals how a UK company registered in HK and then swapped names with another one, which illegally kept the HK registration. That company is now a subsidiary of UK-listed Cobham plc. (7-Mar-2016)
Deception behind the Companies Registry paywall
On International Open Data Day, we reveal a network of knock-off companies using the CIBC, Credit Suisse and BNP brands, based in HK with subsidiaries in the UK and New Zealand. If those registries were not free and open, the deception would remain undiscovered. We call on HK Registrar Ada Chung to tear down this paywall. (5-Mar-2016)
HK companies see record closures, slowest growth since 2003
Webb-site reveals that 2015 saw the slowest net growth in HK companies since the recession of 2003 and record levels of dissolution. Market forces may still be alive though, with about half of 2007's companies already closed, despite the Government's increasing intervention. We don't need an Innovation and Technology Bureau, but we do need removal of Government barriers to information and competition - and they could start by removing the paywall on public registries. (2-Jan-2016)
HK Companies Registry finds new way to milk its monopoly
Company announcement, 19-Dec-2014
The CR has the monopoly on companies register information; last year it made a pre-tax profit of HK$347m on $606m of fees, including $70m of search fees, so it would still make a huge profit without charging to see the data. The principles of open data for public sector information require it to abolish the pay-wall and let the market innovate presentations and utilities for the data. Same goes for the Land Registry.
James Fu Lok Man v Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data
HK Administrative Appeals Board, 16-Apr-2013
James Fu complained to the PCPD that the Companies Registry had disclosed his name as the complainant regarding the deregistration by his brother George of a family company, Coronet Leather Ware Co Ltd. The AAB held that in the circumstances, disclosure to George Fu was proper and DPP3 was not breached, so James's complaint against the PCPD is unsubstantiated. However, the AAB also found that the Companies Registry should not have disclosed James' identity by copying the letter to third parties.
HKIDs and Government secrecy
Webb-site calls on Government to abandon plans to restrict access to HKIDs, and instead to promote their use as unique identifiers of individuals and eliminate their misuse as authenticators. A media exemption would imply media controls. We launch an index of HKIDs which are already on the web. The Companies Registry and Land Registry should tear down the pay-wall and provide open online access to all documents. (12-Feb-2013)
HK recognises Principality of Hutt River
The HK Companies Registry seems prepared to register overseas companies incorporated in an Australian farm not recognised by the UN or any of its members. (21-Jan-2012)

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