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"Actively markets" under section 115 of the SFO and section 53ZRB of the AMLO

Q1 : What does "actively markets" mean under section 115 of the SFO and section 53ZRB of the AMLO?


This may include, for example, those who frequently call on Hong Kong investors and market their services (including offering products); running a mass media programme targeting at the investing public in Hong Kong; and Internet activities that target Hong Kong investors.

Generally speaking, no person may actively market, whether in Hong Kong or from a place outside Hong Kong, to the public of Hong Kong any services which would constitute a regulated activity and/or a VA service if provided in Hong Kong, unless that person is licensed by the SFC. In determining whether or not a person “actively markets” its services to the public, the SFC will consider the nature of the business activities as a whole and have regard to a number of factors, including (without limitation) the following:

  • whether there is a detailed marketing plan to promote the services;
  • whether the services are extensively advertised via marketing means such as direct mailing, advertisements in local newspapers, broadcasting or other “push” technology over the Internet;

  • whether the related marketing is conducted in a concerted manner and executed in accordance with a plan or a schedule; and

  • whether the services are packaged to target the public of Hong Kong, e.g. written in Chinese and denominated in Hong Kong dollars.

Last update: 31 May 2023

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