Describes how widely e-Commerce is used, the primary sectors that sell through e-commerce, and how much product/service in each sector is sold through e-commerce versus brick-and-mortar retail. Includes what a company needs to know to take advantage of e-commerce in the local market and, reputable, prominent B2B websites.
Last Published: 6/18/2017

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has maintained its position as one of the world’s leading digital cities with personal computer(PC), smartphone penetration and Internet usage at a consistently high level. According to the latest government survey conducted in 2016, over 2 million households (compared to 1.99 million in 2014) in Hong Kong had PC, representing 80.6% of all households in Hong Kong. Among them, some 1.99 households (compared to 1.92 million in 2014) had their personal computer at home connected to the internet, representing 79.5% of all households in Hong Kong. Although the growth in both PC and household PC internet connection are insignificant or had stabilized in the past two years, the survey shown significant growth of the percentage of persons aged 10 and above who had used internet service increased from 79.9% in 2014 to 87.5% in 2016.
The significant increase in internet usage was largely due to the wider availability and usage of smartphone. It is reported that close to 5.5 million persons aged 10 and above had smartphone in 2016, which was approximately 0.58 million more units than there were in 2014. The percentage of persons aged 10 and above who had used smartphone for connection to the internet reached 98% in 2014, compared to 94.7% in 2014.

In terms of internet usage behavior, when compared to 2014, there were significantly more persons aged 10 and above who had used internet service in 2016 for online music, online video program (83.7% in 2016 versus 73.9% in 2014), and for carry out social activities such as Whatsapp, WeChat and Line (96.5% in 2016 versus 90.7% in 2014). In terms of online purchase, 65% of persons aged 15 and above had purchased daily necessities, clothing, and footwear online, comparing to 56.4% in 2014. Other online purchase such as travel arrangement had increased from 26.7% in 2014 to 38.6% in 2016 .

There is also a slight increase in the percentage of persons aged 10 and over who had used online government services, from 56.2% in 2014 to 58.5% in 2014.
On the business side, IT usage has also increased steadily. Based on the most recent government survey, in 2015, 76.3% of the business establishments used computers and 79.9% of business establishments use internet. As compared to the results of the survey conducted in 2003, the percentage of businesses using PCs was 54.8%, and the percentage of businesses having an internet connection was 47.5%. IT usage in the business sector is continuously on the uptrend.
In terms of e-commerce sales transaction, the latest government survey, in 2015 reported that around 6.8% of all business establishments had received sales orders online in the 12 months before enumeration. The report also showed that around 15.6% of the establishments had placed purchase orders online in the 12 months before enumeration. Online purchases were more prevalent in large establishments with over 50 employees.

The Hong Kong SAR Government plays two essential roles in relation to computerization. It acts as a facilitator for building up the necessary infrastructure for the IT industry and it also acts as a user of IT to support its own operational and managerial needs. Government spending on IT has grown from US$ 600 million in fiscal year 2011/2012 to an estimation of US$ 1 billion in fiscal year 2016/2017. Below are some figures relating to e-Government:

  • Number of visits to GovHK (Feb 2016-Jan 2017) 57,375 per day on average

  • Number of e-government transactions (2015) over 720 million


Macau’s internet user penetration rates are amongst the highest in the world at close to 72.6%.

As of April 2017, there are approximately 433,752 Internet subscribers.

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

Hong Kong Macau eCommerce Industry Trade Development and Promotion eCommerce