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), 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.

To reduce the trade imbalance, the British sold large amounts of Indian opium to China.Rapid economic improvement during the 1850s attracted foreign investment, as potential stakeholders became more confident in Hong Kong's future.Its population rebounded quickly after the war, as skilled Chinese migrants fled from the Chinese Civil War, and more refugees crossed the border when the Communist Party took control of mainland China in 1949.Sir John Davis (the second colonial governor) offered an alternative origin; Davis said that the name derived from "Hoong-keang" ("red torrent"), reflecting the colour of soil over which a waterfall on the island flowed.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).

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