Dear readers and supporters,

Despite an ever-tightening situation for press freedom, Hong Kong Free Press persevered in 2023, bolstering our ethics code and winning several awards and credibility hallmarks. Plus, we completed our expansion – our team of nine experienced journalists now includes a dedicated editor, photojournalist and social media/production manager, providing more capacity for original, award-winning reporting.

We published a podcast – HKFP Yum Cha – for the first time, delivered workshops at schools and conferences, and joined the Society of Publishers in Asia and the International Press Institute (pg.10). HKFP also spent the year disclosing and expanding our policies, standards and reporting guidelines in order to gain the Trust Project hallmark in December. The world’s first global transparency standard proves a news outlet’s commitment to original reporting, accuracy, inclusion, and fairness.

Meanwhile, we reported on an unprecedented year for the city, with a record-low turnout at the newly-restricted local elections, and the authorities putting HK$1 million bounties on the heads of self-exiled activists whilst pressuring their families back home. Our team also covered the withdrawal of pandemic restrictions, the continuing security law crackdown, the trial of media tycoon Jimmy Lai, and the closing arguments in the 47 democrats and Stand News cases.

HKFP is the city’s most transparent news outlet and – with our impartial stance and balanced coverage – we will continue to occupy the remaining space for press freedom in 2024. With more outlets shuttered, and the spectre of Article 23 – the city’s homegrown security law – looming, it will likely be another bumpy ride, but our newsroom still has breathing room to report freely on any local, hard news story. We remain dedicated to Hong Kong as we are still able to speak to sources on-the-ground and exercise privileges lost in mainland China: bearing witness in court and at the legislature, and asking tough, direct questions of officials.

I am happy to present our Annual Report, as we round-up our best coverage, achievements, and accounts from the past 12 months – all made possible by HKFP Patrons. The price of a weekly coffee, the equivalent of an hour’s work per month, or whatever you can afford, will help us keep the lights on and return to sustainability over the coming year. And for those of you who are already HKFP Patrons, thank you for your kind support, and for helping keep independent media alive in Hong Kong.

tom grundy hkfp

Mission and impact:

Founded in 2015, Hong Kong Free Press is an impartial, non-profit, award-winning English-language newspaper. Run by journalists, backed by readers and completely independent, HKFP is governed by a public code of ethics.

annual report (1)
annual report (1)

The Best of HKFP 2023:

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Original features: In 2023, the government completed an overhaul of its electoral systems, bringing local councils in line with Beijing-decreed changes to ensure only pre-approved “patriots” could run as district representatives. We spoke to local councillors dismayed by the decision, went out with candidates ahead of the opposition-free election, and heard from voters who said they had “lost interest” in the process, which saw a record-low turnout of 27.5 per cent. 

We also explored how the narrative surrounding the District Council changed from 2019, when the pro-democracy camp’s landslide victory was accepted by the government, to 2023, when officials claimed the local bodies had been influenced by “independence elements.” 

Despite the transformations to Hong Kong’s governance being touted as “improvements,” marginalised groups told us how they felt left behind by Hong Kong’s “patriots-only” legislature. Additionally, analysis showed that government spending had faced less scrutiny since the opposition was shut out. 

Former Liberal Studies teachers warned that critical thinking had been removed from the curriculum, as the final exams for the short-lived subject were held. And as books disappeared from Hong Kong’s public libraries, we examined some of the titles considered too sensitive for general consumption, and met those committed to keeping track of the “vanished” volumes.  

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But books were not the only thing to disappear in 2023. We bade farewell to Sham Shui Po’s beloved fabric market, saw countless neon signs being switched off, and documented how Tsim Sha Tsui’s street photographers fell foul of new licensing regulations

It was also in early 2023 that Hong Kong finally said goodbye to the last of its Covid-related restrictions. We explored how children may struggle to face the world after three years of mask wearing, the pandemic’s lasting impact on the city’s migrant domestic workers, and the first Ramadan since limits on the number of people who could gather were lifted. 

Then, when Mpox entered Hong Kong, we heard from one patient how little the city had learned from previous unpopular forced isolation programmes.

The end of Covid curbs heralded the return of tourists, most notably those from mainland China. However, we discovered that visitors in 2023 seemed more interested in taking snaps for social media than spending money, and long-haul arrivals were few and far between. We looked into a scarcity of pilots and low morale at the city’s flagship airline, which exacerbated the matter, and investigated how, despite government efforts, Hong Kong’s evening economy had taken a hit

hkfp the guardian

HKFP was proud to continue its partnership with The Guardian in 2023, collaborating with the British broadsheet in covering the opposition-free local elections, and the landmark security law trial of Jimmy Lai. We also produced a multimedia feature about the city’s fading neon heritage.

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We explored how a similar economic slowdown north of the border had resulted in queues outside Hong Kong banks as mainland Chinese sought higher interest rates and security for their savings. And we spoke to restaurateurs from mainland China who increasingly saw Hong Kong as a “stepping stone” to overseas success, as US-headquartered advisory firms in China were raided and on the receiving end of law-enforcement action.

In Hong Kong, which has a proudly low violent crime rate, high-profile murders grabbed international headlines and shone a spotlight on gender and mental health issues. We explored how women were treated by local media, and why so many reports relied on gore, inaccuracies and sensationalism. We also heard from mental health practitioners, who said staff shortages at public psychiatric facilities failed patients

Also in the news was Hong Kong’s falling fertility rate and official efforts to boost babymaking. But young couples told us it would take more than a HK$20,000 handout to convince them to have kids. Others simply said they did not want to raise their children in the city, and were thinking of starting a family overseas

As LGBTQ rights prevailed in court, we looked at how one landmark ruling in favour of transgender individuals had in fact seen some applications to change gender markers on identity cards suspended. We also spoke to several people who had survived conversion therapy programmes run by government-backed groups

As extreme weather set dubious new records for the city, we heard from climate experts, who warned that such events would become “normal,” while outdoor workers most at risk from rising temperatures told us why a new heat stroke warning system was unlikely to protect them.   

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We also turned to photography to tell stories in 2023, following Hong Kong’s underground idols as they strove for recognition on the fringes of a subculture, spending time at a stray animal shelter, and turning the lens on the hostile architecture designed to keep homelessness off the streets.   

Further afield, we shone the spotlight on Hong Kong journalists documenting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and looked at the ways Taiwan was seeking to come to terms with its painful past under martial law.  

Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

Explanatory reporting: We continued our monthly explainers on the impact of Beijing’s national security legislation on the city, and looked in-depth into how the first three years of the law had changed Hong Kong in a two-part piece. A second two-parter published to mark the third anniversary of the legislation explored new legal precedents set under it, from non-jury trials to whether overseas lawyers can participate in national security cases

We explained Beijing’s first interpretation of the law, which addressed that very question, examined what redacted police reports revealed about official views on the Tiananmen crackdown, and asked if it was legal for Hongkongers to publicly commemorate those who died during the crackdown in 1989. 

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Chief Executive John Lee’s first year in office was reviewed, as was the issue of “soft resistance” – a vague term adopted by authorities and cited with increasing frequency as a threat to national security. And with Hong Kong’s own security law, Article 23, back in the spotlight, we looked at why it failed in 2003 and what we can expect as it is resurrected. 

We also explored how, and why, the government was seeking to ban protest anthem Glory to Hong Kong, and published explainers on the District Council electoral overhaul, including how the changes gave new powers to three government-appointed committees

As one of the city’s last political cartoons was pulled from the pages of Ming Pao, we looked at where the city’s satirists had gone, and with the dissolution of the pro-democracy Civic Party, we looked back over its history.

When Hong Kong became the first Asian city to host the Gay Games, we asked why the inclusive sporting event had attracted such controversy, and rounded-up the legal rulings that have shaped LGBTQ rights in Hong Kong. 

Interviews: In 2023, we spoke to Hongkongers who were dedicated to making a difference in their city, from journalist Bao Choy, whose conviction for making false statements linked to a documentary she made about a mob attack in Yuen Long in 2019 was quashed in June, to transgender rights activist Henry Tse, who fought for the right to be recognised as a man without undergoing full surgery – and won.  

We interviewed several creatives for whom sustainability was central to their work, including designers Niko Leung, who makes ceramics from Hong Kong construction waste, and Toby Crispy, who is fighting fast fashion and the waste it produces with her “slow stitch” initiative.  

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We also discussed Hong Kong’s changing media landscape with journalism professor Francis Lee, and caught up with Jon Chiu, the creator of a font designed to help people learn Cantonese

And ahead of the second Clockenflap music festival of the year, we caught up with Taiwan-based Running Youth, who were making their hometown debut, post-punk duo Gong Gong Gong, and local band Bad Math on making melancholy music to dance to.  

Scoops: We revealed that National Day displays of patriotism across the city had cost the government more than HK$31 million. And we broke the news of Clockenflap’s takeover by music concert multinational Live Nation through an exclusive interview with two of the festivals’ founders.

We also dug into the data surrounding District Council candidates, and discovered that 75 per cent of them were on the committees responsible for nominating who could run, and exposed how Beijing had brought in new rules for consulates in Hong Kong, demanding that the job titles, residential addresses and identification details of all locally-employed staff be provided.

Podcast: HKFP launched its first podcast in 2023, hosted by Associate Editor Mercedes Hutton.

hkfp podcast

HKFP Yum Cha invited a different guest to us each week to discuss their area of expertise, be that fighting for democracy, researching Hong Kong’s history, promoting mental health care, or trying to keep the city’s neon craft alive. Listen on all major podcast platforms…

Apple | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | Overcast | Amazon Music | Pandora | RSS


A Hong Kong Free Press opinion piece won an honourable mention at the prestigious Society of Publishers in Asia Awards in June. Yuen Chan’s op-ed about media freedom competed in the Excellence in Opinion Writing: Regional category.

asia's world city police covid-19 covid
Photo: Courtesy of Britt Clennett.

Published on Press Freedom Day the previous year, Chan’s opinion piece argued that alarm over the “death” of press freedom in the city was premature: “Despite the closures, the arrests, the smears, the sad and reluctant departure of their peers, there are journalists who simply continue to do their jobs,” Chan wrote. “When big gestures become foolhardy, dangerous or impossible, small acts of solidarity with those quietly toiling at the coalface become more important than ever.”

HKFP also won an honourable mention for photography at Asia’s 2023 Human Rights Press Awards, held in the US in May.

A shot by Britt Clennett, which shows a worker rolling up a “Hong Kong Asia’s World City” banner as police officers pass by, won a prize in the Single Image category. “These awards recognise the journalists who are shedding light on some of the most critical issues of our time in Asia,” said executive director of Human Rights Watch Tirana Hassan.

2016Human Rights Press Awards: University English language writingSexual harassment at Hong Kong’s universities – rarely reported, but not rareMerit
2019Human Rights Press Awards: Student Video & Audio (English)‘I am prepared to be imprisoned’ – Chinese human rights lawyer Lin QileiWinner
2020Index on Censorship’s 2020 Freedom of Expression AwardHong Kong Free Press shortlistedFinalist
2020SOPA: Excellence in Photography (Regional)Shots of the 2019 Hong Kong protest movementFinalist
2020SOPA: Excellence in Explanatory Reporting (Regional)Hong Kong’s new methodology of protest, explainedHonourable mention
2021Nobel Peace PrizeHong Kong Free Press nominatedNominated
2021SOPA: Excellence in Opinion Writing (Regional)Hong Kong’s protest movement in perspectiveHonourable mention
2023SOPA: Excellence in Opinion Writing (Regional)Press Freedom Day: As long as there are journalists in Hong Kong, there will be journalismHonourable mention
2023Human Rights Press Awards: Single ImageRolling up ‘Asia’s World City’Merit

2023 Ethics Revamp

Hong Kong Free Press is proud to have gained the Trust Project hallmark following a rigorous, months long vetting process. The global transparency standard that proves a news outlet’s commitment to original reporting, accuracy, inclusion, and fairness.

Throughout 2023, HKFP publicly disclosed and expanded its ethical policies, standards, reporting and corrections guidelines to adhere to the eight Trust Indicators. The move sought to improve media literacy and battle “fake news,” misinformation and online propaganda.

We joined around 300 newsrooms across the world displaying the Trust Mark symbol, including the BBC, Washington Post, Sky News, CTV and the Economist.

trust project network

First adopted in March 2020, our newly-revamped guidelines lay out HKFP’s mission, our priorities, our expectations for staff conduct and impartiality, as well as how we deal with issues such as AI, advertising, anonymity, balance, security, sourcing and issues of race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and identity.

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Our Policies, Ethics and Best Practices guidelines are living document. In an ever-changing city, with the space for press freedom and trust in media in decline, we will continue to evolve – and disclose – our professional practices and guiding principles.

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The 9 Trust Project Indicators:

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1. Best Practices – who is behind the news?
If a journalist’s organization has rules they must follow to make sure their reporting is independent, accurate and honest, then their news will be more trustworthy.

2. Journalist Expertise – who made this?
We are rarely there to see events in the news for ourselves, so we rely on the journalist. They should follow strict standards for gathering solid evidence and multiple perspectives.

3. Labels – news, opinion, or what?
It’s important to know whether your news is impartial or deliberately biased. Stories should be clearly labelled if they are designed to persuade us to agree. If it’s journalism, then it’s meant to help us develop our own opinions.

4. References – what are the sources?
When a journalist is developing a news story, they may use information from eye witnesses, documents and other places – called sources. When a journalist shows their sources, we can check their reliability for ourselves.

5. Methods – why was it built?
If we know why a journalist chose a particular story and how they reported it, it’s easier to interpret it. A journalist’s methods help us know how fast-moving, well-researched or impartial the story may be.

6. Locally sourced – do they know you and your community?
If a journalist knows and lives in the community, they can explain an event or issue more sensitively and accurately. If not, they can improve their reporting by going there and speaking to others who have local and community knowledge.

7. Diverse voices – who is in the news, who is missing?
If certain voices or experiences are missing from the news, we don’t get the full picture. Look for voices less commonly heard in society, often because of race, class, generation, gender, sexual orientation, ideology or the region they live in.

8. Actionable feedback – does this news site listen to me?
By inviting and listening to public feedback, journalists can make sure their work is accurate and complete. The public also might help them find important news they had overlooked.

Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team


An Ethics Code, fact-checking procedures and a corrections policy govern HKFP’s impartial, 100% independent reporting. In 2022, we again scored full marks in NewsGuard’s credibility assessment, meeting all 9 criteria.


In 2023, HKFP also joined the International Press Institute – a 73-year-old global organisation dedicated to the protection of press freedom and improvement of journalistic practices.

sopa hkfp member

HKFP also joined the Society of Publishers in Asia – the only English-language Hong Kong outlet among its ranks. SOPA was founded in 1982 to “champion freedom of the press, promote excellence in journalism and endorse best practices for publishers…”

2023 Achievements

HKFP completes expansion: Our team of nine experienced journalists now includes a dedicated editor, photojournalist and social media manager, providing more capacity for original, award-winning reporting. The investments were made possible by HKFP’s monthly Patrons, who provide regular, sustained support to protect our independence and press freedom.

The latest recruits to take their seats at our new Kennedy Town newsroom were: award-winning journalist Irene ChanHans Tse, who has an academic research background; and James Lee, who joined us from The Standard. Together, they formed our new, frontline reporting team, along with Social Media and Production Manager Shan Chan who brought both a journalistic and marketing background to the team.

Team HKFP 2023
Executive Editor Mercedes Hutton, Reporter Irene Chan, Photojournalist Kyle Lam, Senior Reporter Kelly Ho, Editor-in-chief Tom Grundy, Reporter James Lee, Reporter Hans Tse, Social Media & Production Editor Shan Chan and Reporter Hillary Leung, and Pixel the dog.

Ethics and media literacy: We bolstered our ethical guidelines and standards by joining The Trust Project in 2023. HKFP produced three new “behind the scenes” videos in an effort to improve media literacy and demystify how independent newsrooms operate. 

Conferences and events: Our senior team were invited to speak at Splice Beta 2023 in Thailand in November – a digital media conference for small Asian news outlets. We shared what we had learned about media funding over eight years of operations, later repeating the workshop for the Hong Kong Journalists Association and the local Culture And Education Foundation Conference.

With Covid restrictions lifted, we also began to host students at our office once again, as well as reach out to the community by delivering workshops in local schools.

hkfp conferences events

New income streams: HKFP signed up with Moody’s, Newsbank and Opera News to resyndicate its news articles on a paid basis. We began to accept Octopus payments for the first time, and we also joined Patreon, enabling more readers to support us.

Football team: Fall River Marksmen Football Club in Massachusetts continued its ‘reverse sponsorship’ deal with HKFP, emblazoning our logo on their kit and selling them to raise funds for our newsroom back in Hong Kong.

New channel and apps: HKFP updated and redesigned its mobile apps twice in 2023, ahead of a 2024 relaunch. And we are now reaching readers via a new Whatsapp channel.

Impact & Positioning

Trusted worldwide: HKFP’s reporting has been cited by numerous int’l outlets.

hkfp positioning

No paywall: We will always ensure our news remains accessible & free of charge.

hkfp positioning

Hong Kong’s 2024 media landscape:

hkfp positioning

Staff & Structure

Tom Grundy

Tom founded Hong Kong Free Press in 2015 and is the editor-in-chief. In addition to editing, he is responsible for managing the newsroom and company – including fundraising, recruitment and overseeing HKFP’s web presence and ethical guidelines.

He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He previously led an NGO advocating for domestic worker rights, and has contributed to the BBC, Deutsche Welle, Al-Jazeera and others. More by Tom Grundy

Mercedes Hutton

Mercedes is a British journalist who has been based in Hong Kong since 2012. At Hong Kong Free Press, she has covered a number of local environmental issues, including climate inequality and marine biodiversity, and explored how Hong Kong’s arts scene reflects a changing city. She has contributed to the Guardian and BBC Travel, and previously worked at the South China Morning Post, where she wrote a weekly column about the social and environmental impact of tourism in Asia. More by Mercedes Hutton

Kelly Ho

Ho Long Sze Kelly is a Hong Kong-based journalist covering politics, criminal justice, human rights, social welfare and education. As a Senior Reporter at Hong Kong Free Press, she has covered the aftermath of the 2019 extradition bill protests and the Covid-19 pandemic extensively, as well as documented the transformation of her home city under the Beijing-imposed national security law.

Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration. Prior to joining HKFP in 2020, she was on the frontlines covering the 2019 citywide unrest for South China Morning Post’s Young Post. She also covered sports and youth-related issues. More by Kelly Ho

Irene Chan

Irene Chan is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press and has an interest in covering political and social change. She previously worked at Initium Media as chief editor for Hong Kong news and was a community organiser at the Society for Community Organisation serving the underprivileged. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Fudan University and a master’s degree in social work from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Irene is the recipient of two Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) awards and three honourable mentions for her investigative, feature and video reporting. She also received a Human Rights Press Award for multimedia reporting and an honourable mention for feature writing. More by Irene Chan

Shan Chan

Shan Chan is the social media and production manager at Hong Kong Free Press. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Shan holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Prior to joining HKFP in 2023, Shan worked at two local digital marketing agencies as a social media editor and copywriter. She also worked as an intern and part-time reporter at Radio Television Hong Kong in 2019, where she was on the frontlines covering the 2019 protests and unrest. More by Shan Chan

Hillary Leung

Hillary Leung is a journalist at Hong Kong Free Press, where she reports on local politics and social issues, and assists with editing. Since joining in late 2021, she has covered the Covid-19 pandemic, political court cases including the 47 democrats national security trial, and challenges faced by minority communities.

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Hillary completed her undergraduate degree in journalism and sociology at the University of Hong Kong. She worked at TIME Magazine in 2019, where she wrote about Asia and overnight US news before turning her focus to the protests that began that summer. At Coconuts Hong Kong, she covered general news and wrote features, including about a Black Lives Matter march that drew controversy amid the local pro-democracy movement and two sisters who were born to a domestic worker and lived undocumented for 30 years in Hong Kong. More by Hillary Leung

James Lee

James Lee is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press with an interest in culture and social issues. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Journalism from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he witnessed the institution’s transformation over the course of the 2019 extradition bill protests and after the passing of the Beijing-imposed security law.

Since joining HKFP in 2023, he has covered local politics, the city’s housing crisis, as well as landmark court cases including the 47 democrats national security trial. He was previously a reporter at The Standard where he interviewed pro-establishment heavyweights and extensively covered the Covid-19 pandemic and Hong Kong’s political overhauls under the national security law. More by James Lee

Hans Tse

Hans Tse is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press with an interest in local politics, academia, and media transformation. He was previously a social science researcher, with writing published in the Social Movement Studies and Social Transformation of Chinese Societies journals. He holds an M.Phil in communication from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Before joining HKFP, He also worked as a freelance reporter for Initium between 2019 and 2021, where he covered the height – and aftermath – of the 2019 protests, as well as the sweeping national security law imposed by Beijing in 2020. More by Hans Tse

Kyle Lam

Kyle Lam is a Hong Kong Baptist University graduate who has worked as a photojournalist and reporter since 2013. His work has been published by HK01, the European Pressphoto Agency, Bloomberg and Ming Pao. Lam is the recipient of several prizes from the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association and Human Rights Press Awards. More by Kyle Lam

Hong Kong Free Press would be impossible without the support and assistance of our countless tech, editorial, accounting, freelance staff and volunteers, as well as Newspack and The Hive.

Transparency Report

As Hong Kong’s most transparent news outlet, HKFP is externally audited annually, sharing all of our accounts online. With have no shareholders, and we do not answer to any business tycoon, mainland conglomerate or media mogul. HKFP is run by journalists and is a non-profit – we are answerable only to ourselves and our readers, and our newsroom relies on small donations from almost 1,000 readers.

In 2023, costs rose as we completed our expansion, whilst income fell amid waning interest in Hong Kong news and a population exodus. We invite our readers and supporters to examine our income and spending over the past year, as we look to return to sustainability in 2024. 

HKFP Income 2016-2023

Our finalised, externally audited income up to 2022, and our predicted income for 2023:

Direct contributionsHK$3,618,236.94HK$3,587,606HK$4,497,890HK$6,357,972HK$6,056,859HK$2,463,408HK$1,769,760HK$1,063,125
Ads & content salesHK$233,699.46HK$418,957HK$143,695HK$110,247HK$271,066HK$136,084HK$328,759HK$92,276
Bank interest, insurance claim, exchange gainTBCHK$6,516HK$3,945HK$10HK$226HK$21HK$1HK$12
Gov’t Covid subsidyHK$0HK$96,000HK$0HK$216,000HK$0HK$0HK$0HK$0
*2023 predicted, not yet audited

HKFP Revenue Streams:

Direct contributions: includes one-off & monthly Patron contributions by cheque/transfer, cash, PayPal & Stripe credit/debit card (inc. Apple Pay & Google Pay), PayMe, Octopus, CoinDragon, Tap & Go, as well as merch sales profit & shopping referral links.

Ads and content sales: includes ad income from display ads; Apple News & Facebook ads, Google/YouTube ads, directly purchased rate card ads & content sales [from media outlets, institutions and syndication partners LexisNexis, Opera News, Moody’s, NewsBank, ProQuest, Dow Jones Factiva & Nordot etc…]

⚠️ HKFP is predicted to make a record loss of HK$1.4m in 2023. Although we are able to reinvest our previous surplus, we will need to return to sustainability and halt the fall in HKFP Patrons in 2024.

HKFP income streams
HKFP income streams

Help safeguard press freedom & keep HKFP free for all readers by supporting our team

  • 💰 Reader supported: 94% of HKFP’s income comes directly from our readers, assuring our press freedom and independence.
  • ♻️ Surplus recycled: As a non-profit, with no shareholders, investors or umbrella company overseeing it, any surplus is recycled back into the HKFP newsroom for future use.
  • 🔒 Future security: As of 2021, HKFP LTD is obliged to retain a HK$1.5m legal defence fund in light of new challenges to press freedom, in addition to an emergency fund of HK$1m.
  • 💡Efficiency: HKFP is run as efficiently and prudently as possible, in order to maximise the impact of our donors’ generosity. We make savings by partnering with other media outlets, using free software/tools and making full use of teamwork and automation.
  • 📝To view our full audits, click here.

HKFP Spending 2016-2023

Finalised expenditure for our latest audited year, 2022, & our predicted 2023 spending:

Full-time staff payrollHK$4,072,093HK$3,624,759HK$1,952,853HK$1.599mHK$1.606mHK$1.49mHK$1.340mHK$1.035m
Mandatory Provident Fund (pensions)HK$151,150HK$137,960HK$76,662HK$72,221HK$68,123HK$69,234HK$66,180HK$50,942
Web & software, newswire, commissionHK$213,998HK$227,068HK$138,532HK$132,269HK$129,543HK$58,693HK$33,083
Office, sundry, recruitment/training, telecomHK$380,306HK$447,234HK$273,244HK$109,289HK$164,256HK$110,414HK$57,565HK$25,801
Meals/drinks for volunteers/staff/sourcesHK$41,540HK$20,506HK$25,178HK$18,324HK$29,686HK$14,028HK$17,106HK$25,531
Legal, professional, registration, auditHK$2,239HK$114,143HK$37,365HK$96,505HK$12,340HK$7,385HK$45,231HK$10,845
Travel & insuranceHK$153,427HK$174,445HK$67,513HK$72,391HK$50,615HK$78,067HK$8,169HK$8,267
Stationery, merch, postage, printingHK$65,233HK$44,240HK$207,392HK$208,544HK$42,311HK$11,827HK$686HK$17,124
Bank charges, penalties & exchange lossesHK$1,533HK$2,155HK$4,232HK$13,752HK$4,240HK$1,705HK$1,170HK$2,218
Freelancer payments & gearHK$152,779HK$246,454HK$936,072HK$595,693HK$289,387HK$64,400HK$34,090HK$0
Membership, research/polls, repairs & otherHK$11,600HK$2,778HK$5,060HK$118,800
Team HKFP 2023
Executive Editor Mercedes Hutton, Reporter Irene Chan, Photojournalist Kyle Lam, Senior Reporter Kelly Ho, Editor-in-chief Tom Grundy, Reporter James Lee, Reporter Hans Tse, Social Media & Production Editor Shan Chan and Reporter Hillary Leung, and Pixel the dog.

💼 Investing in people: HKFP competes with international media when it comes to staff pay and conditions. We are proud to set – or exceed – industry standards in order to foster talent and retain staff in an increasingly tough environment. 80% of HKFP’s spending goes towards staff remuneration and pensions. When you support HKFP, you can be assured that your contribution is going directly towards local journalists – not to shareholders or a profit-making conglomerate.

Staff benefits include: ✓ Clear payscale and annual appraisal. ✓ Up to 23 days annual leave. ✓ 4 months maternity, 3 months paternity leave. ✓ Healthcare, dental and physio coverage. ✓ Mental health support options. ✓ Secure laptop and phone. ✓ Monthly travel allowance. ✓ Hong Kong Journalists Association membership. ✓ Remote working benefits.

HKFP Patrons in 2023:

HKFP relies on a membership model. Small amounts of income from a large pool of Patrons help support our team, sustain our operations, and guarantee our newsroom’s independence and longevity. Our monthly income as of January 2024:

  • 895 – Number of monthly Patrons.
  • HK$182,551 – Monthly income from Patrons (before fees.)
  • HK$203 – Average monthly Patron contribution.
  • ⚠️ Our number of patrons declined by 8% in 2023, whilst the average monthly contribution rose by 5%.
  • 💰66% of monthly contributors donate via credit/debit card (Stripe,) whilst the rest use PayPal.
  • 📝 Figures exclude those who contribute by cheque/bank transfer.
  • 💡 HKFP Patrons are given priority and/or free entry to HKFP events, merch and our Annual Report, and help keep the site free-to-access for those who cannot afford to contribute.

Press Freedom in 2023

January 2023
February 2023
March 2023
April 2023
May 2023
June 2023
July 2023
August 2023
September 2023
October 2023
  • A Hong Kong judge called for an investigation after prosecutors claimed that video footage linked to a rioting case during the 2019 Yuen Long mob attacks had been released by an online media outlet ahead of the trial.
  • Net satisfaction with press freedom in Hong Kong stood at negative 8 per cent, while 13 per cent of people believed the local news media had given full play to the freedom of speech, according to a PORI survey.
  • Google received a request from the Hong Kong Police Force to remove 5 videos featuring “The Hong Konger“, a documentary about pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai from YouTube, a report read.
November 2023
December 2023

Support HKFP’s newsroom in 2024

contribute to hkfp methods

Donate online via card or PayPal:
One-off or monthly contributions can be made with your Visa, Mastercard, or Apple Pay/Google Pay via Stripe on our website:

Donate by cheque
Cheques of amounts up to HK$50,000 may be made payable to Hong Kong Free Press Limited and posted – along with your full name and address to: HKFP, The Hive Kennedy Town, 6/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong. [Contributionare confidential – a paper-trail is required for our internal accountancy records.]

Donate via HSBC PayMe, Pay & Go or Octopus
Scan our QR code to make an HSBC PayMe, Octopus or Pay & Go digital payment. Please include your full name and email address so we may accept your contribution.

Donate by transfer/FPS
For bank transfers, please email a screenshot or phone photo of the receipt/confirmation to, after you have made arrangements. Supporters may also set up a regular standing order/direct debit with a form from your bank: HSBCStandard Chartered, or Hang Seng.

Faster Payment Service (FPS):


Our local HSBC account details:

  • Account name: Hong Kong Free Press Limited. Account no: 817887532-838
  • Bank name: HSBC Hong Kong. Bank address: 1 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.
  • Bank code: 004. Branch number: 817. SWIFT address: HSBCHKHHHKH

Contributions are confidential – a paper-trail is required for our internal accountancy records.

Donate spare coins
Hoarding a jar of coins? Donate spare change at Coin Dragon machines around the city.

Donate gear or sponsor our operations
We welcome contributions of new computer or audio-visual equipment. We also welcome sponsorship of our ongoing operational costs – please get in touch if you can support us.

Buy HKFP merchandise
Show your support for press freedom with HKFP merchandise.

Advertise with us
Support us and promote your business or cause at the same time. Request our rate card and consider our affordable range of digital marketing solutions.

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HKFP is powered Patrons – our community of monthly donors.

Almost 1,000 HKFP Patrons make HKFP possible. Each contributes an average of around HK$200/month to support our award-winning original reporting, keeping the city’s only independent English-language outlet free-to-access for all. Why join us?

  1. 🔎 Transparent & efficient: As a non-profit, we are externally audited each year, publishing our income/outgoings annually, as the city’s most transparent news outlet.
  2. 🔒 Accurate & accountable: Our reporting is governed by a strict Ethics Code. We are 100% independent, and not answerable to any tycoon, mainland owners or shareholders. Check out our latest Annual Report, and help support press freedom.
  3. 💰 It’s fast, secure & easy: We accept most payment methods – cancel anytime, and receive a free tote bag and pen if you contribute HK$150/month or more.
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Maximum contribution: HK$50,000. For larger contributions of up to HK$100,000, please contact us so we may discuss enhanced Know Your Client checks.