Scholars in sociolinguistics tend to study inequality by focusing on people at the lower end of the power and economic spectrum, rather than those at the higher end, but by attending to those who are the most privileged and powerful, the so-called ‘elites’, we can better understand the reproduction of the macro social and economic order (Thurlow & Jaworski, 2017). Beyond the economic and political capital wielded by elites, their impact winds its way down through society by establishing and maintaining standards and norms that generate an aspirational ideology against which everyone [else] is persuaded to position (Thurlow & Jaworski, 2017). Past Social Sciences research has demonstrated how being ‘elite’ in cosmopolitan societies is associated with certain educational institutions (Khan, 2011, 2012; Kenway & Lazarus, 2018), pastimes, (Rivera & Tilcsik, 2016; Silverstein, 2004), or business affiliations (Alvesson & Robertson, 2006). Many of these studies are based in Anglo-western contexts comprised of interactants ‘with highly dependably shared intersubjective cultural understandings and values, and impressively fluent and even efficient ways of articulating them’ (Silverstein, 1998, p. 300). However, in the context of Hong Kong, where not everyone shares the Anglo ‘indexical order’ (i.e. the conventional hierarchy of social meaning) (Silverstein, 2003), there may be a discrepancy between the globally dominant signifiers of eliteness and locally cultivated values and ways of expressing them. Drawing on data from early stages of interactions in networking situations among (business) elite professionals in Hong Kong, this presentation explores some of the resulting tensions in the choice, salience and deployment of emblems of eliteness across differently scaled business contexts.