HKCAN was established in 1999 and was led by the libraries of Lingnan University and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. A union database has been established which provides access to Chinese authority records. The database currently has more than 180,000 authority records. In July 2005 an agreement was reached with OCLC making HKCAN records available to all OCLC libraries. With effect from August 2018, HKCAN records are available to the public via CNASS of CCCNA and to all Alma libraries via Alma Community Zone.