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It is one of the most significant global financial centres, holding the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranking as the most competitive and freest economic area in the world (2012, 2016, 2017).
Over 90 percent of its population uses public transportation; however, air pollution from neighbouring industrial areas of mainland China has caused a high level of atmospheric particulates in the region.
), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a special administrative region on the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary in southern China.
With over 7.4 million people of various nationalities until Hong Kong Island became a colony of the British Empire at the end of the First Opium War in 1842.
Some corporations founded during the early colonial era still keep this name, including Hongkong Land, Hongkong Electric, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC).
Although the territory's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, it transitioned to a service-based economy.
By the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre and shipping hub.
Faced with a drug crisis, Qing officials pursued ever-more-aggressive actions to halt the opium trade.
The Daoguang Emperor rejected proposals to legalise and tax opium, ordering imperial commissioner Lin Zexu to eradicate the opium trade in 1839.