In this work, poly(methyl methacrylate-co-methylacrylate acid)/ZnO (poly(MMA–MAA)/ZnO) composite latex particle was synthesized by three steps The first step was to synthesize poly(MMA–MAA) copolymer latex particles by soapless emulsion polymerization. Following the first step, the second step was to polymerize MMA, MAA and 3,3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl methacrylate (MPS) in the presence of poly(MMA–MAA) seed latex particles to form the poly(MMA–MAA)/poly(MMA–MAA–MPS) core–shell latex particles. In the third step, the poly(MMA–MAA)/poly(MMA–MAA–MPS) latex particles reacted with ZnO nanoparticles, which were synthesized by a traditional sol gel method, to form the polymer/inorganic poly(MMA–MAA)/poly(MMA–MAA–MPS)/ZnO composite latex. In this study, MPS with silanol groups essentially was used as the coupling agent to couple with ZnO nanoparticles, while the results of the study showed that there was not covalent bond existed between ZnO particles and polymer latex. The ZnO particles were adsorbed on the surface of polymer latex by electrostatic interaction. Besides, the linear poly(MMA–MAA)/crosslinking poly(MMA–MAA–MPS) core–shell latex particles which were synthesized in the second step were heated in the presence of ammonia to form the hollow poly(MMA–MAA–MPS) latex particles. The factors of heating time and concentration of crosslinking agent significantly influenced the morphology of hollow poly(MMA–MAA–MPS) latex particles.