Between 1981 and 1990, 765 symptomatic neonates with major congenital heart malformations were admitted into the Grantham Hospital. This represented an incidence of 10 per 10,000 live births for Hong Kong. The figure was comparable to those reported for Caucasians. Among the 744 Oriental neonates, obstruction of the pulmonary outflow tract occurred most frequently (281, 37.8%), followed by left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (169, 22.7%), left-to-right shunting (115, 15.5%), complete transposition (92, 12.4%), common mixing situations (62,8.3%), and miscellaneous causes (25, 3.3%). When compared with the available reports from the West, Chinese neonates had a high preference for pulmonary outflow tract obstruction (p<0.005), especially the anomaly of pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum. This correlated well with cyanosis as the commonest neonatal presentation (64%). Contrary to previous reports that aortic coarctation was rare among Orientals, this abnormality was observed frequently in our study. The rare occurrence of critical aortic valvar stenosis among Chinese, however, was supported by our present analysis. Other lesions, such as left-to-right shunting and complete transposition, showed no significant racial difference in the frequency of occurrence. Such knowledge concerning the pattern of congenital heart disease amongst Oriental neonates can facilitate early diagnosis and timely referral of babies to the appropriate center for management.