From 10 September 2007, The Standard, which was originally sold at HK$6 each, became a free newspaper. It is now Hong Kong's first and only free English newspaper, which has seen the editorial direction shift towards a more controversial "tabloid" style of coverage, whilst also shifting to a more pro Government, pro-cartel, nationalistic position.
The South China Morning Post and the International Herald Tribune are its main local competitors.
''The Standard'' is printed in tabloid-format rather than in broadsheet, unlike other English-language newspapers in Hong Kong. It is published daily from Monday to Saturday.
''Weekend Standard'' was published during weekends before The Standard became a free newspaper. The issue, which covers both Saturdays and Sundays, comes out on Saturday. Certain sections, namely the ''Market'', ''Entertainment'', ''Focus'' and ''Opinion'' sections, are not published in ''Weekend Standard''.
''The Standard'' is published by Sing Tao Newspaper Limited, which is also the publisher of ''Sing Tao Daily'' and ''Headline Daily''. This enterprise is owned by Sing Tao News Corporation Limited, a firm owning other businesses including media publications, human capital management and Broadband service. The Global China Group Holdings acquired 51% of Sing Tao Holdings Ltd. in January 2001 and changed its name in 2005. The Chairman of Sing Tao News Corporation Limited is Ho Tsu Kwok, Charles .
''The Standard'' was originally named the ''Hong Kong Tiger Standard''. The newspaper was founded by Tycoon Aw Boon Haw after the end of the Chinese Civil War. On the backs of financially successful Sing Tao Daily and Tiger Balm, he attacked the English-language newspaper market by launching the paper on 1 March 1949 to give a Chinese voice to the world, and to advance the interests of Chinese in all their endeavours and defend them against all kinds inequalities, challenging the pro-colonial establishment press. It started life as a broadsheet, largely be edited and run by Chinese, but without the exclusion of other nationals.
In August 1996, the in Hong Kong found out that 14,000 copies of the paper had been discarded in Wan Chai pier and therefore started an investigation. The ICAC discovered that from 1994 to 1997, the circulation figures of the ''Hong Kong Sunday Standard'' and the ''Hong Kong Standard'' had been routinely and substantially exaggerated, in order to attract advertisers and to raise the revenue of the newspapers. Circulation figures had always been somewhat obscure, due to the Sing Tao group's longstanding agreements with Hotels and clubs where the newspaper was distributed free.
As a result, the ICAC arrested three staff members of the ''Hong Kong Standard'' and charged Aw Sian as co-conspirator. This case was examined and deliberated from 23 November 1998 to 20 January 1999. Finally, the three staff members were found guilty, and sentenced to jail for 4 to 6 months. Aw Sian was not prosecuted. The decision generated a large controversy among the public, and raised the question of legal discrimination and injustice environment in arbitration.
Nevertheless, the Secretary of Justice, Ms Elsie Leung justified her decided not to prosecute Aw Sian on the basis of insufficient evidence and public interest.
*The cover price of ''The Standard'' was HK$6, but it is now free.
*Its former slogan was ''TELLS IT LIKE IT IS''.
*The reformated freesheet version of the ''The Standard'' carries the slogan "First Past the Post".