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Companies Registry's response on new arrangement for conducting electronic company searches

     In response to media enquiries concerning the new arrangement for the public to indicate the purpose of conducting electronic company searches, the Companies Registry today (May 3) reiterated that the new arrangement was introduced to ensure proper use of personal data obtained from the Companies Register via the Companies Registry's electronic search services.

     The new arrangement, while ensuring that information on the Companies Register will continue to be available for legitimate access by members of the public, was introduced by the Companies Registry on May 1, 2016, in accordance with the recommendation made in the Privacy Commissioner's Report on Survey of Public Registers Maintained by Government Departments and Public Bodies.

     As the Companies Registry makes the Companies Register available for public inspection for the purposes set out in section 45 of the Companies Ordinance, the purposes of conducting company searches as provided in the statement are specified with reference to the provisions in section 45 of the Companies Ordinance. There is no reduction in the scope of public searches on the Company Register. Under the new arrangement, members of the public can continue to have access to the information on the Companies Register pursuant to the lawful purposes under section 45 of the Companies Ordinance. The right of public access to information will not be affected.

     As regards the purposes of conducting company searches, there are nine options. The options are independent of one another and searchers can select one or more options. Among the nine options, the scope of the seventh option covers any search to ascertain the particulars of the company, its directors or other officers, or its former directors (if any). This option can cover the collection of information for the purpose of news reporting activities. The option is not related to any other option and it does not require a searcher to have any dealing with the relevant company or person.

     The Companies Registry is enhancing its electronic search services and a full-scale Company Search Mobile Service will be launched shortly to cover the full range of search services. The new arrangement is part of the enhancement of the Companies Registry's electronic search services.

Ends/Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 19:59


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