This paper aims to develop a better understanding of the economic situations of South Asian minorities in Hong Kong. A theoretical perspective emphasizing the embedding of economic behavior within social relationships and socio-political processes will be employed. This study will examine how three macro-historical processes, namely, colonization, industrialization and globalization, induce the different configurations of three structural factors, namely, government policy, societal reception and co-ethnic community, affecting the economic wellbeing of South Asian minorities in Hong Kong. The authors argue that Hong Kong Chinese and South Asians coexisted peacefully without major conflict or discrimination during the early colonial age. However, when the colonial government started to develop unique Hong Kong Chinese identity and as the HK Chinese became wealthier, well-educated and successful, ethnic tensions began to occur. In this era of globalization, Hong Kong encounters the serious problem of economic restructuring, and the continuous inflows of migrants from developing countries engender keen competition with lower-class Hong Kong citizens for low-end service jobs. South Asians are no longer enjoying positive societal reception from the Hong Kong Chinese. The co-ethnic community factor for Hong Kong South Asians has not significantly changed since the pre-war years. Their sub-communities' internal resources may secure their economic wellbeing through mutual assistance. However, under a very harsh external environment, whether sufficient resources can still be continuously drawn remains questionable. Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.