Buying Agent in China vs Buying Agent in Hong Kong

When people are looking for China buying agent they mostly find out either China sourcing agent or Hong Kong sourcing agent.

What are the differences between a China sourcing agent and a Hong Kong sourcing agent ? Answer : the location of settlement and location of operation.

First you have to know that although Hong Kong belong to china, Hong Kong laws and Chinese are laws are totally dissociated. For example a few points demonstrating this :
– a Hong Kong company can not operate in directly legally in China. This is in the Chinese law: a Hong Kong company can not employ Chinese mainland based employee in direct. A Chinese structure is required to do so.

– a Hong Kong company can not export by itself some goods from China as not being a Chinese legal entity. A Hong Kong company can not be granted with export right (and a shipping agent based in Hong Kong is not granted with custom clearance right either).

What are the involvement then:
Very simple:
– First quite often Hong Kong based company (having no legal representation for operations in China) will have a less important presence on the ground than their counter part. It usually means that control on supplier is much less performed than with than if you are already on site. To picture this, imagine you are living and working in Hong Kong and the productions of your client are in Shenzhen (the city just nearby). Going from Hong Kong downtown to Shenzhen downtown takes already almost two hours (and this is the downtown). Knowing that inspection and meeting at supplier start at 9am, it means you would need to wake up at 6am to go for a meeting at the supplier place. 90% of human being usually like to stay in the comfort zone (this is human nature). So naturally, you are not going to be willing to go often to visit suppliers.
If you are based in Shenzhen and your suppliers are in Shenzhen, going to downtown take 30 minutes from any part of the mainline of metro crossing the city, you are willing to visit.

What you need to make sure is that if you use a china buying agent for your procurement then he/she should do the work properly as if he/she was a Hong Kong or a foreigner.

In conclusion, there is no real advantage of working with a Hong Kong based buying agent.

About Christopher Oliva 77 Articles
Christopher Oliva is an Engineer based in Shenzhen since 2008 involved in Product Development, Supply Chain, Sourcing, Quality Management and Manufacturing activities. With a Msc Electrical Engineering and a Business Administration background, an ISO 9001 Lead Auditor Certification, a Six Sigma Certification and a Quality Engineering Certification, he works as a consultant on mission and contract oriented to Product Development, Manufacturing Management, Quality Assurance & Quality Management System setup. He works in the product development and engineering field, and as well as an advisor and quality consultant for several quality control and quality assurance companies.


  1. I am visiting Hong Kong in one month and would like to arrange a meeting with a buying agent to learn more about sourcing apparel and furniture from China. Would you recommend meeting with an agent in Hong Kong or just going straight into Shenzhen? Where can I find a trustworthy agent on the internet and arrange a meeting?

    • Dear Sir,

      This is sunnie,I came from Guangdong province in china,Iam freelance worker to help my client to order follwo-up,including sourcing,order,shipping and translating in prosperous Guangzhou city.Especially in toys,gift,cloth etc.I am decent guy that I have many foreign friends,to translate with them when they came to guangzhou city.Please contact me .Hope to receive your Email.

  2. To find a good sourcing agent is a big problem.

    you need to focus on the details,and you need to focus on the positivity of the suppliers..

    In a word,find the best sourcing agent in china is very important.

    If possiable,welcome to contact with us.thanks

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