Leung Chun-ying, a real estate surveyor known as a CY Leung, has been chosen as Hong Kong's new leader after a campaign period roiled by scandals.
Leung, 57, won a majority of the votes cast by a committee to elect Hong Kong's chief executive, made up of 1,200 elite business leaders and professionals who are mostly loyal to Beijing.
The rest of Hong Kong's population of 7 million had no say in the choice of leader.
The South China Morning Post reported that demonstrators tried to storm the convention center where the voting was held after the result was announced. They were stopped by dozens of police who used pepper spray.
The Associated Press said hundreds of pro-democracy protesters gathered outside the election venue, waving banners and chanting slogans such as "One person, one vote."
Leung received 689 votes, well ahead of chief rival Henry Tang, who received 285 votes. Pro-democracy candidate Albert Ho won just 76 votes.
The Chinese government backed Leung after Tang, their first choice, was hit by a string of scandals, including an extramarital affair and the discovery of a huge illegal addition at his home, the AP said.
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Agence France-Presse said it was the most divisive vote since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
In his victory speech Leung promised to "reunite" Hong Kong and protect its "rights and freedoms" following the divisive election, AFP said.
China has promised that residents of the former British colony, now a semi-autonomous territory, will be able to directly elect their own leader starting in 2017.
Leung will replace Donald Tsang, who served two terms as chief executive and was not eligible to run again.
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