This study tests McCornack's (1992) Information Manipulation Theory (IMT) in Hong Kong. IMT views deception as arising from covert violations of one or more of Grice's four maxims (quality, quantity, relevance, and manner). Previous studies conducted in the United States have found that messages violating one or more of the four maxims are rated as less honest than messages that do not violate the maxims. Based upon cultural differences in expectations and social roles, we predicted that only violations of quality (i.e., outright falsification) would be seen as universally deceptive. To test this prediction, McCornack, Levine, Solowczuk, Torres and Campbell's (1992) original study was replicated in Hong Kong (N = 310). The results indicated that violations of quality (falsification) and relevance (evasion) were rated as deceptive in Hong Kong. However, message ratings along all four dimensions were significantly correlated with deception ratings, suggesting that perhaps the results stem from differences in what counts as a covert violation rather than more fundamental differences in the appropriateness of the maxims. © 1999, Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.