eSignatures are widely recognized as legally binding in the world. Learn more about eSignature legality across various countries from this guide.
Hong Kong has legally recognized electronic signatures particularly for online transactions since 2000. The Electronic Transactions Ordinance (Cap. 553) ("ETO"), which was enacted in January 2000 and updated in June 2004, provides the legal framework for the recognition of electronic records and signatures, giving them the same legal status as their paper counterparts.
The ETO defines that any information shall not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability on the ground that it is wholly or partly in an electronic form.
Electronic Transactions Ordinance provides for legal recognition of electronic messages
in commercial transactions
An eSignature is broadly defined as any letters, characters, numbers or other symbols in digital form attached to or logically associated with an electronic record, and executed or adopted for the purpose of authenticating or approving the electronic record.
Some attributes of an e-signature:
Hong Kong has tiered eSignature laws that recognize standard eSignatures as legal and enforceable while giving digital signatures the same legal status as handwritten signatures.
According to the Electronic Transactions Ordinance, eSignatures shall not apply to the following transactions or documents: