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Taishanese people in Hong Kong

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Title: Taishanese people in Hong Kong  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Hong Kong, Hong Kongers, Sze Yup, Indigenous inhabitants of the New Territories (Hong Kong), Shanghainese people in Hong Kong
Collection: Ethnic Groups in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Society, Lists of Hong Kong People, Sze Yup, Taishan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Taishanese people in Hong Kong

Taishanese Cantonese
Hoi San Ngin

From top to bottom right: Joey Yung, Gillian Chung, Shawn Yue
Total population
Estimated: 2.0–2.5 million in Hong Kong
Regions with significant populations
Kowloon and Hong Kong Island
Taishanese, Cantonese, and English
Predominantly Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Traditional Chinese religion. Minority Christianity.
Related ethnic groups
Other Han Chinese

Sze Yap Cantonese (Chinese: 四邑廣東人; Taishanese: Sli Yip Gong Ong Ngin; Cantonese: Sze Yap Gwong Dong Yan; Mandarin: Si Yi Guang Dong Ren) represents the second largest Han group in Hong Kong after the group of people originating from the Guangzhou-Sam Yap region. The Sze Yap Cantonese comes from a region in Guangdong Province in China called Sze Yap (四邑), now called Ng Yap, which consists of the cities of Taishan, Kaiping, Xinhui, Enping, Heshan and Jiangmen. The Sze Yap Cantonese group have contributed much to what makes Hong Kong a success. In the 1960s, Hong Kong people of Sze Yap origin represented about 30% of Hong Kong's total population and today this population still increases as more immigrants from the Taishanese speaking areas of Guangdong province in Mainland China continue to immigrate to Hong Kong.[1]


  • Language 1
  • Culture 2
  • Business 3
  • Controversy 4
  • List of notable people 5
  • References 6


Taishanese (Chinese: 台山話; Taishanese: Hoi San Wah; Cantonese: Toi San Wah; Mandarin: Taishan Hua) is the term used by many Sze Yap people in Hong Kong to refer their Sze Yap dialect to outsiders, even though each county has a distinct accent. For example, Kaiping people would refer themselves to Non-Sze Yap Han Chinese as Taishan people (台山人) and their dialect Taishanese.[2]


Today many Hong Kong people of Sze Yap origin have become successful in many areas such as the entertainment industry, business and politics. Hong Kongers of Sze Yap origin include: Andy Lau, Beyond (band), Danny Chan, Kenny Kwan, Joey Yung, Ronnie Chan, John Tsang, Andrew Li and many others. The Father of Hong Kong Cinema, Lai Man-Wai also has ancestry from the Sze Yap region of Guangdong province. As a result, Sze Yap people have dominated in the Hong Kong entertainment industry and play most major roles in the music and movie sectors. In many Hong Kong films, Taishanese can be heard, especially in many of Karl Maka's films such as Merry Christmas and Aces Go Places.

It is said that over 100 famous people come from the Sze Yap region of Guangdong province, making the region famous for producing more stars than any other city/region in Mainland China. As a result, the local government in Jiangmen which administers the Sze Yap or Ng Yap cities of Taishan, Kaiping, Enping, Xinhui, and Heshan, decided to build a Stars Park called Jiangmen star park (江门星光园).[3]


Besides dominating the entertainment industry, they are quite dominant and influential in Hong Kong's Business Industry, such as the Bank of East Asia (東亞銀行), Lee Kum Kee (李錦記), Hang Lung Properties, Maxim's Catering (美心), Hysan Development Company Limited, Li & Fung (利豐) and many others.


As many Sze Yap in Hong Kong who are either second, third or fourth generation Hong Kongers, they speak Cantonese as their usual language and some perhaps don't know their ancestral origin and that makes it hard to know the exact population, but based on the 1960s Hong Kong Census, it is probably right now about over 30% - 40%.

List of notable people


  1. ^ University of Hong Kong "The population of Hong Kong" Fan Shuh Ching.
  2. ^ "Martin Yan" Taishan Media, YouTube.
  3. ^ "江门星光园" nddaily.
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