The study of hepatitis B virus (HBV) immunity has been mainly focused on understanding the differences between subjects who are able to control HBV infection and patients with persistent infection. These studies have been instrumental in increasing our knowledge on the pathogenesis of the disease caused by HBV. However, it is possible that heterogeneity of host and virus factors which segregate in ethnically distinct HBV infected populations might modify important aspects of the immune response against HBV. In this review, we reexamine the kinetics and the pattern of HBV-specific immunity associated with control or persistence of infection. We then discuss how the epidemiological, genetic and viral characteristics peculiar to Asian patients can impact the profile of HBV-specific immunity.