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Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, GBM, GBS, JP (Chinese: 張建宗; born 20 November 1950) is a Hong Kong government official. He is the current Chief Secretary for Administration and served as the Secretary for Labour and Welfare.

Matthew Cheung

Chief Secretary for Administration
Assumed office
16 January 2017
Chief ExecutiveLeung Chun-ying
Carrie Lam
Preceded byCarrie Lam
Secretary for Labour and Welfare
In office
1 July 2007 – 16 January 2017
Preceded byYork Chow (Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food)
Stephen Ip (Secretary for Economic Development and Labour)
Succeeded byStephen Sui
Personal details
Born (1950-11-20) November 20, 1950 (age 68)
British Hong Kong
Alma materUniversity of Hong Kong


Cheung was born in Hong Kong in 1950. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1972, then became an Information Officer for the then British colonial government. During the Vietnamese refugee crisis of the 1970s, he was responsible for arranging visits for foreign media to the refugee camps.[1] He was transferred to the Administrative Service in September 1979 and has served in various bureaus and departments in the government.

During his earlier years of service, he served in the Finance Branch, Home Affairs Department, City and New Territories Administration, Government House and the Industry Department. As a directorate officer since 1986, Cheung served as District Officer of North District, Assistant Director-General of Trade, Administrative Assistant to the Financial Secretary, Deputy Judiciary Administrator, and Deputy Head of Central Policy Unit.[2]

He was promoted to Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower (1996–1999), Commissioner for Labour (1999–2000), Director of Education (2000–2002), and Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (later known as Permanent Secretary for Economic Development/Commissioner for Labour; 2002–2007). He was promoted to Administrative Officer Staff Grade A1 in September 2004.[2] Cheung was known for his hardworking style, having taken less than three weeks off in the five years leading up to his retirement in March 2007 as Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour.[1]

In July 2007, he was appointed Secretary for Labour and Welfare, one of the principal officials. During his tenure, he oversaw the minimum wage legislation and Work Incentive Transport Subsidy Scheme introduced in 2011. He also tackled issues such as the Old Age Living Allowance, standard working hours and paternity leave, all of which are still fiercely debated over by unionists and employers with opposing views.[1] He was criticised for his low profile during the 2013 Hong Kong dock strike.[3] He was also criticised for only taking orders from his superiors and not taking responsibility for decisions.[1]

In January 2017, he became the Chief Secretary for Administration, replacing Carrie Lam.[2]

On September 1, 2019 in the midst of protests against the government of Hong Kong he wrote that “Schools are places for learning, and are absolutely not places for expressing political views or demands.” [4][5]


  1. ^ a b c d "New Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung's 45-year climb from information officer to minister". South China Morning Post. 16 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Appointment of Principal Officials announced (with photos)". Information Services Department.
  3. ^ "【特首選戰】張建宗接任政務司 碼頭工潮曾因龜縮民望跌". Apple Daily. 16 January 2017.
  4. ^ Ramzy, Austin; Qin, Amy (2019-09-01). "Hong Kong Protesters Squeeze Access to the Airport". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-01.
  5. ^ "政務司司長 - 我的網誌 - 培育青年為未來 一技之長出頭天 暴力之風不可長 對話溝通不可少". Retrieved 2019-09-01.

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Government offices
Preceded by
Jacqueline Willis
Commissioner of Labour
Succeeded by
Pamela Tan
Preceded by
Fanny Law
Director of Education
Succeeded by
Arthur Li
as Secretary for Education and Manpower
Preceded by
Pamela Tan
Commissioner of Labour
Succeeded by
Paul Tang
Political offices
Preceded by
York Chow
as Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food
Secretary for Labour and Welfare
Succeeded by
Stephen Sui
Preceded by
Stephen Ip
as Secretary for Economic Development and Labour
Preceded by
Carrie Lam
Chief Secretary for Administration
Order of precedence
Leung Chun-ying
Former Chief Executive
Hong Kong order of precedence
Chief Secretary for Administration
Succeeded by
Paul Chan Mo-po
Financial Secretary