Hong Kong’s online citizens like to search for bargains, keep up with the latest celebrity gossip, are addicted to Facebook, like Google and love watching YouTube.

Experian Hitwise, a leading online competitive intelligence service, has released an analysis of web searches by Hong Kong Internet users in the past year, providing a number of interesting insights into Hong Kongers’ social habits relevant for marketers and commentators alike.

“Local web search patterns are a reflection on the interests and, in some instances the psyche of, Hong Kong consumers. These patterns have become a great tool to help marketers understand their target audience across the verticals that are most relevant to their marketing campaigns,” said Graeme Beardsell, Managing Director for South Asia, Experian. “These insights identify key online trends among Hong Kong Internet users, providing marketers with intelligent and actionable information needed to market forward and improve audience engagement in the digital media space.”

“Predictive insights across key local verticals can further help marketers implement well planned Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns that are an extremely cost effective, measurable form of online advertising. These campaigns can also provide a highly-targeted lead generation tool for marketing success,” added Beardsell.

Key social insights from Experian’s inaugural half-year online analysis are as follows:

Experian Hitwise Insights:

Business and Finance

  • Hong Kongers sought information about their stocks and shares at Yahoo! Hong Kong Finance website, which accounted for 28.8% of all visits to websites in this category. They also visited AAstocks.com and ET Net, which held 11.9% and 9.5% share of visits respectively.
  • Centadata.com retained the top spot as the main source of property information, with 19.7% share of visits. However, its share of visits has declined by 8.3% from 2009, when they accounted for 28.1%.
  • Centamap, Centaline and Midland Realty were the most searched terms in the last three months, accounting for 5.9%, 4.7% and 2.3% of all searches in the property category (week ending 4th September to week ending 27th November).

Computers and Internet

  • Hong Kong is a city full of IT gadget lovers who like to browse and read reviews about the latest gadgets and gizmos. The top five electronic sites searched by Hong Kong Internet users were Review33.com, Engadget Chinese, Sony Corporation of Hong Kong, Engadget and Canon Hong Kong. Review33.com leads the pack with 16.5% of total share of visits.
  • The top five most searched terms in the last three months (week ending 4th September to week ending 27th November) in the computer and internet electronics category were Canon, Samsung, Samsung Hong Kong, Nikon and LG.
  • Hong Kongers’ revealed their preferred search engine was Google over Yahoo! with Google Hong Kong, Google and Google Taiwan taking the first, third and fifth spots in the list of the top five search engines. Combined, they accounted for 56.4% of the share of visits. Yahoo! held on to second place with 24.6% share of visits and Baidu took fourth place with just 4.1%.
  • Forums didn’t make the cut for Hong Kongers, with social networking leading the way with Facebook and YouTube accounting for a combined total share of visits of 62.1% in a list of top 10 sites for social networking and forums. Although accounting for a small share of visits, local forums Discuss and UWants made it into the top five with a 3.6% and 2.5% share, respectively.


  • Online video channels were the number one source of entertainment for Hong Kongers, with YouTube and Tudou.com taking the top two spots in the top five most visited Entertainment websites. Hong Kongers’ didn’t neglect their favourite past time - betting on horses and football. The Hong Kong Jockey Club – Bets and HKJC Football Betting Limited ranked as the third and fourth most visited sites.
  • Hong Kongers showed their love of TV and pop celebrities not only in Hong Kong, but around the world, with the top five sites visited including TVB Artiste, PiPi, KoreaStarDaily, allkpop.com and Show. TVB Artiste received the biggest share of visits at 13.62%.


  • Hong Kong’s beauty and fashion community connected at BeautyExchange.com.hk, a clear favourite with Hong Kongers to discuss what’s hot and what’s not. It ranks as the number one website in three categories: lifestyle - beauty (44.8% share of visits), lifestyle – fashion (13.7% share of visits) and shopping and classified – health and beauty (37.5% share of visits).
  • Women in Hong Kong adore their fashion, and to ensure they stay in style, they also visited QQ Show (5.52% share of visits) and Elle Hong Kong (4.69% share of visits), which ranked second and third behind BeautyExchange.com.hk, for fashion industry insights. UNIQLO Mix and HypeBeast, an online magazine for fashion and culture took the final two places to make up the top five most visited websites.
  • Hong Kongers also explored and discussed beauty tips and product news at TheZtyle.com and She Critiques websites, which accounted for 11.27% and 3.74% respectively.
  • Search terms related to lifestyle and beauty in the last three months (week ending 4th September to week ending 27th November) included BeautyExchange, Chanel, Shu Uemera, Estee Lauder and MAC.
  • The top five most popular women sites included MingPao OL, 27.cn, She.com, she.com Community and YoHo lady. Ming Pao OL was top of the list with 9.8% share of visits, closely followed by 27.cn with 7.6% share and she.com with 7.1%.

Shopping and Classifieds

  • Auction websites made up four of the top five most visited websites in the shopping and classified category as Hong Kongers search for bargains and products that can’t be found in Hong Kong. Yahoo! Auctions Hong Kong ranked top with 17.6% share of visits followed by TaoBao.com with 15.6%, eBay with 3.4% and Amazon.com with 2.6%.  Apple iPod and iTunes was the fifth most visited.
  • Hong Kongers showed their love for Japanese fashion with Jshoppers.com and Uniqlo websites being two of the top five most visited websites in the apparels and accessories category.
  • Hong Kong consumers went to Price.com.hk to look at appliances and electronics, accounting for 29.9% of share of visits, and for computers, they checked out the Apple Store, HP and Lenovo.
  • Hong Kongers shopped for a mix of high street and luxury brands with the top five searches in the last three months (week ending 4th September to week ending 27th November) dominated by Uniqlo (ranked number one most searched term), Chanel, Gucci, H&M and LV.

Beardsell adds, “With capabilities to help businesses convert data into insights and delve into the search patterns of over 1.8 million Hong Kong internet users, Experian Hitwise can play a vital role in helping marketers identify local opportunities in specific verticals to strategically conduct effective marketing campaigns. Thus ensuring sustained brand visibility and awareness among their target audience in an increasingly competitive environment.”

Source: Experian Asia Pacific