In an effort to place the international literature and research in nursing in a Chinese cultural context a study was commenced to examine the caring practices of nurses in Hong Kong. In view of a recent study (Wilkes & Wallis, 1993) which utilised Roach's 5Cs of caring (Roach, 1987, 1992), a pilot study was commenced on a sample of 77 Hong Kong Registered Nurses studying a Diploma of Nursing. An open ended questionnaire was designed which asked nurses to respond to questions about caring in general and the 5Cs: compassion, competence, confidence, conscience and commitment. The questions asked what each of the concepts meant to them as a nurse. Data was analysed into themes based on key words for each of the six areas revealing that the sample of Hong Kong nurses viewed caring in a similar light to those in overseas studies. The sample highlighted compassion and competence as their major features and it is suggested that methodological problems may have inhibited a deeper analysis of their caring attributes and behaviours. When asked to expand on the 5 Cs in terms of their own practice they were able to supply themes which were closely related to Roach's definitions but which may have been more 'textbook' in their origin and certainly lacked a richness of response. The paucity of responses in terms of clarity and richness of data, followed by discussions with the participants led to conclusions about the methodological issues of cross-cultural research and recommendations for future research are made. Highlighted are the problems with attempting to use concepts such as the 5 Cs across cultures and the problems encountered with translation of concepts related to caring from Chinese into English, and vice-versa. The study has provided some insights into the concepts of caring in Hong Kong Chinese nurses. In the light of advances in China and unification of previously separate countries these findings provide and offer insights into nursing in China and are encouraging for future research.