11 Facts on the Status of HK’s Digital Marketing Industry

Here's the most relevant industry data for Hong Kong 2017/18 compiled from various sources.

Data on Hong Kong’s digital marketing industry is quite scattered across different sources. So, we’ve combed through the most relevant industry data and compiled them in this article.

You’ll find data from both the business as well as consumer perspectives, showing how users are behaving online and to what extent businesses are adapting accordingly.

Digital Ad Spend

1. Online ad spend is overtaking TV budgets

hk ad spend distribution 2012-2021

According to one study by PwC and the Hong Kong Digital Marketing Association, TV ad spending will fall to 14% of the total market, and online budgets will more than double that to 34% by 2021.

2. But comparatively, Hong Kong is behind other Asian countries

hk, mainland china, south korea online ad spend comparison

Compared to China and South Korea, however, Hong Kong is considerably behind in digital spend.

By 2021, while the Hong Kong budget is expected to reach 34%, South Korea will reach more than 50% and China will reach a whopping 70%.

Digitalization has only just begun in Hong Kong, and there is significant potential for future growth.

SMBs in Hong Kong aren’t fully convinced of digitization yet

3. SMBs in Hong Kong aren’t fully convinced of digitalization yet

50% hk smbs agree digital is fundamental to their business

Of those surveyed, only 50% of Hong Kong’s small-medium businesses agreed that digital is fundamental to their business.

This slow digital adoption by SMBs could explain why digital spend is much lower in Hong Kong than its neighbours.

General User Behaviour

4. Smartphone ownership is over 90% between ages 15-64

hk smartphone ownership demographic 2018

Smartphone users also include a significant portion of kids with over 80% being between 10-14 years old!

5. Hong Kong users spend more time on mobile than on TV

hk users average daily time spent tv vs mobile

This trend explains why TV ad spends are falling and mobile ad spends are increasing accordingly.

6. The most popular digital activity is social media

This is followed closely by search and video.

hk users most popular digital activies 2017

7. Google is the dominant search engine in Hong Kong

Google’s market share in Hong Kong is more than 80%, followed by Yahoo, which is between 5-15%, depending on the source.

hk search engine market share 2018


8. Facebook is the most popular social media platform for sales

Facebook is followed by WhatsApp and WeChat as the platform people use most to engage with brands and/or make purchases.

popular social media for hk ecommerce

While WeChat is the most popular platform in Mainland China, WhatsApp remains the chat app of choice in Hong Kong.

9. YouTube videos influence purchase decisions

youtube influence on puchase decision in hk

People use videos to get more authentic product reviews and comprehensive product information, which they wouldn’t be able to get if they were in an offline store.

10. Competitive prices encourage Hong Kong users to shop online

how to encourage online shopping in hk

While prices are not the only factor in a purchase decision, businesses need to provide some incentives for users to shop digitally.

11. The most popular product category for online purchase is fashion

With fashion retailers outside of Hong Kong offering delivery to the city, online shopping in this category is high in demand.

This is followed closely by the popularity of online purchases in travel and household goods, where users can easily compare prices and take advantage of promotions.

most popular online purchases in hk

Your customers are online. Are you?

Hong Kong users are becoming increasingly digital, and businesses have no choice but to pay attention to their digital marketing efforts to stay competitive.

If you need help reaching your customers online, whether it is in English or Traditional Chinese, our local team can help you.

We also offer digital marketing services across other Asian and English-speaking markets, so get in touch with us today!

Let’s find your customers online!