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After the Qing conquest, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance, an imperial decree that ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669 as part of the new dynasty's efforts against Ming loyalist rebels in southern China.

Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County, which included Hong Kong, were forced to migrate inland; roughly only 10% of those who had evacuated returned in subsequent years.

Lantau Island was a salt production centre and smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government.

Faced with a drug addiction crisis, Chinese officials pursued ever more aggressive actions in an attempt to halt the opium trade.

In 1839, the Daoguang Emperor, having rejected proposals to legalise and tax opium, tasked Imperial Commissioner Lin Zexu with eradicating the opium trade.

After British victory in the Second Battle of Chuenpi, the Qing initially admitted defeat.

As part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Qishan, Viceroy of Liangguang, Hong Kong Island was declared to be ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi.

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