Skip to navigation – Site map

HomeIssues137Special FeatureHong Kong’s Place Branding from 1...

Special Feature

Hong Kong’s Place Branding from 1997 to 2024:From Self-assurance to Aching Attempts to Come Back

Emilie Tran and Eric Sautedé
p. 33-44

Abstract

While previous research has explored Hong Kong’s place branding, it focused on data prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and did not fully address the shifting geoeconomic and political contexts that define Hong Kong. The present paper aims to fill this gap by providing a comprehensive longitudinal analysis from 1997 to 2024. Applying discourse analysis on a corpus of official documents and policy addresses, our study uses a two-pronged framework that integrates place branding and critical juncture to comprehend the practices, politics, and consequences of Hong Kong’s branding strategy. It argues that Hong Kong’s current branding strategies are at a critical juncture, reflecting a devolution from an ambitious and holistic approach in the 2000s to consumption-driven promotional campaigns in the 2020s. The authors underscore the urgency and complexity of redefining a dynamic and adaptative branding strategy that can effectively showcase Hong Kong’s strengths and values to the international community.

Top of page

Editor’s notes

Manuscript received on 12 May 2024. Accepted on 20 June 2024.

Excerpt

Full text document will be published online on June 2025.

Outline

Introduction
Place branding and the case of Hong Kong
Debates in place branding
Hong Kong’s place branding
Discourse analysis of Hong Kong’s place branding
Background
Hong Kong at a critical juncture
A short history of the defunct Commission on Strategic Development
Findings and analysis of two decades of branding strategy
The first branding: A complex and holistic exercise aiming at the long-term
Asia’s World City in the policy addresses, from core positioning…
…to scant references
Stripping away the original complexity and Asia’s World City no more
Lavish promotional campaigns for questionable outcomes
Challenges ahead
Hong Kong’s branding identity
(Dis)Engagement with stakeholders
Brand equity and place reputation
Conclusion

First lines

Introduction

While place branding has a longer heritage (Viktorin et al. 2018), it has gained significant attention since the late twentieth century with the fast-growing place branding consulting industry. In today’s globalised and competitive world, place branding has become crucial in positioning cities, regions, or countries, as they compete for promoting tourism, attracting investment and talent, as well as hosting sporting and cultural events (Morgan, Pritchard, and Pride 2007). Governments worldwide have used branding principles and techniques and invested significant resources in creating and managing a unique identity and positive image for their place (Anholt 2007). This article examines Hong Kong’s place branding strategies from 1997 to 2024, as Hong Kong faces the dual challenge of maintaining its international stature, while simultaneously deepening its integration with Mainland China, and more specifically, the Pearl River Delta (PRD), also known as the Greater Bay Area...

Top of page

References

Bibliographical reference

Emilie Tran and Eric Sautedé, “Hong Kong’s Place Branding from 1997 to 2024:From Self-assurance to Aching Attempts to Come Back”China Perspectives, 137 | 2024, 33-44.

Electronic reference

Emilie Tran and Eric Sautedé, “Hong Kong’s Place Branding from 1997 to 2024:From Self-assurance to Aching Attempts to Come Back”China Perspectives [Online], 137 | 2024, Online since 01 June 2025, connection on 21 July 2024. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/chinaperspectives/17027; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/11y7p

Top of page

About the authors

Emilie Tran

Emilie Tran is Assistant Professor in politics and public administration in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Hong Kong Metropolitan University, No. 30 Good Shepherd Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon, Hong Kong (etran@hkmu.edu.hk). She is also Associate Researcher at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) in Hong Kong.

By this author

Eric Sautedé

Eric Sautedé is a Hong Kong-based independent researcher, and part-time lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Journalism and Communication, and at Hong Kong Baptist University’s European Studies program, where he also acts as the coordinator of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (esautede@hkbu.edu.hk). He is Associate Researcher at the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) in Hong Kong.

By this author

Top of page

Copyright

The text and other elements (illustrations, imported files) are “All rights reserved”, unless otherwise stated.

Top of page
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search