Last week Beijing announced they would allow visa-free transits at the airport for transit passengers for up to 72 hours for passport holders of the countries below.
Shanghai, never wanting to be left behind, will also adjust their current 48 hour policy to 72 hours to match Beijing’s.
Both visa-free transit policies will start January 1, 2013.
From Hong Kong, many of the Chinese domestic airlines have cheap flights to Japan via Shanghai or Beijing so you could in theory do free stopovers in China on the way to /from Japan.
Another thought is flying HKG – PEK or PVG – MFM (Macau) to try to game the system since HKG & MFM are treated as separate countries.
Or you could fly HKG – PEK or PVG – TPE one way, then get another one way ticket from TPE – HKG on the return.
This program is valid for passport holders of the following 45 countries.
Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Japan, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States.