Many countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, most notably Hong Kong, are experiencing rapid demographic ageing. Such trends in other parts of the world have created an inexorable demand for formal residential care and support services. In the UK, the private sector has responded rapidly to these demands and become an important provider of such care. A similar trend is already evident in Hong Kong. This article examines the development of residential aged care in Hong Kong and considers how approaches have been devised to safeguard standards and quality of care in such homes, whether in the public or private sector. The legislation introduced in 1994 to regulate all sectors of residential aged care in Hong Kong is discussed and some of the potential implementation problems are identified. Questions are raised about the costs for home owners, staff recruitment, the operation of inspection, and the extent to which regulation can improve the quality of care. If residential accommodation for older people grows numerically and proportionately in other Asia-Pacific countries as rapidity as it has done in Hong Kong, then issues of regulation, standards and inspection will inevitably become important if quality care is to be guaranteed.