English-language Media in Hong Kong

The local and international English-language print and broadcast media that is available to you if you live in Hong Kong...

Hong Kong has traditionally been dominated by English-language media but since the beginning of the transition to Chinese sovereignty in the 1980s, Chinese-language newspapers have become more prevalent and their readership has expanded. Non-English TV has also expanded.

The public service broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) was established under British rule in 1928. It is government funded and operates as a government department. Most Hong Kong households subscribe to multichannel pay-TV. Residents have access to over 200 local and overseas television channels in various languages through free-to-air terrestrial, satellite reception and paid television services.

Radio

Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK): The public service broadcaster operates seven networks in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. RTHK operates two radio channels in English 24 hours a day:
  • Radio 3: Local and international news, discussions and easy-listening music on the following frequencies depending on location:
    • 567 AM
    • 1584 AM / 106.8 FM
    • 97.9 FM
    • 107.8 FM
  • Radio 4: The channel plays mainly classical music and some jazz on 97.6-98.9 FM
  • The BBC World Service is available around the clock via RTHK's Radio 6
Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited: Metro Radio Hong Kong consists of three radio channels. They feature news, finance and showbiz with some programming in English. Most likely to be of interest to English speakers is Metro Plus on 1044 AM.

Hong Kong FM: Online radio station in Hong Kong. Choose from today's music, Top 40 countdowns, classic hits and 80s music. Commercial Radio Hong Kong: There are a number of stations but only one in English on the AM waveband, 864 AM. It is mostly a non-stop music channel playing a diverse range of tunes.

Radio on the Internet: English-language stations online

Many international radio stations are available through live streams on the Internet. Typically, Real Player or Windows Media is required. Alternatively, select one of the stations below for (relatively) instant access to live radio:

International and local news online

Television

Under the Broadcasting Ordinance, there are four categories of television programme services — domestic free, domestic pay, non-domestic (mainly satellite television services for the region) and other licensable television programme services (mainly television service for hotel rooms). Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK): RTHK's television programmes are broadcast on free-to-air and pay television channels. It has a reputation for producing quality programmes and plays an important role as a broadcaster of essential public information. News and event podcasts, information on programming and live broadcasts can be found on the RTHK website. It is also possible to listen to radio online – including the BBC World Service.

There are two local, free, English-language television operators. Both televise local and international news, children's programming, movies, comedies and current affairs and lifestyle shows. Most of the movies and programmes are from the USA, the UK and Australia.

  • Hong Kong Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB): TVB operates one five terrestrial free-to-air HD channels, one of which is an English-language. Many popular movies and UK and US drama series are shown on Pearl, the English-language channel
  • ViuTVsix is a new free-to-air station on Digital and cable operated by HK Television Entertainment (HKTVE), providing 17 hours of English programming per day, including BBC and HBO shows.

Satellite and other channels

  • now TV: Owned by PCCW, now TV offers a variety of channels broadcasting news, sports, entertainment, children's programmes and movies. The station works on a pay-per-channel basis with subscribers using their PIN number to buy programmes. Programmes vary in content and language but there are plenty of channels in English including movies and drama, sport and news and music and entertainment. Customers pick and choose from a list of channels in either a la carte format or in bundle packages. They are charged a monthly subscription fee
  • i-Cable: Owned by Cable TV Hong Kong, i-Cable offers subscribers over 100 channels featuring a range of programmes. Its sports channels are particularly popular. Subscription is via fixed-price packages. Some of the English-language channels available are the same as now TV's and include CNN, BBC World, CNBC, HBO, Cinemax and others
  • STAR TV: Transmits a number of channels in a variety of languages. Star Movies showcases English-language movies and STAR World provides English-language entertainment programming

Newspapers

Most major publications are available online as well as in print. For a more portable digital version, apps like the Mail Online App from the UK's Daily Mail Group allow the latest news to be read on a phone or tablet, often for much less than the cost of a subscription.

There are two local English-language daily newspapers, the South China Morning Post and The Standard. Both newspapers have a daily edition available online.

  • South China Morning Post: It is possible to subscribe for updates, place advertisements and view events guides at the website. The printed English-language daily newspaper has local and world news. With little local competition, the South China Morning Post is still the most popular English-language newspaper in Hong Kong
  • The Standard: A business orientated English-language daily. It also has an online version
  • The Sunday Examiner: The Sunday Examiner is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong. The newspaper is published weekly and is available every Sunday at the Catholic churches in Hong Kong
International dailies such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal Asia, USA Today, and China Daily are printed in Hong Kong and available at newsstands, bookstores and major hotel chains.

Magazines and Journals

There are a reasonable number of magazines and journals available throughout Hong Kong.
  • Time
  • Newsweek
  • The Economist
  • BC Magazine: A free magazine distributed on the first and third Thursday of the month. Information on nightlife in Hong Kong, cinema, dining out, live music and more
  • Hong Kong Culture: Monthly lifestyle magazine with articles on arts, food, wine, the Hong Kong community and information on cultural events and activities. Available by subscription
  • Hong Kong Tatler is also available in English
  • Time Out Hong Kong
  • Sassy Hong Kong
  • Peegaboo: bilingual magazine with information for parents in Hong Kong on a wide number of issues including health, pregnancy, child development and education
  • Playtimes: Published 10 times a year, Playtimes gives advice and guidance on many parenting issues such as the social, physical, intellectual and emotional development of children
  • Children will find magazines in English and a number of bilingual magazines, including the very popular Typhoon Club

International News Links

You can also often read your favourite newspaper online: UK Ireland USA Canada Australia New Zealand South Africa