Hong Kong - Country Commercial Guide
ICT & Smart Cities

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-03-04

Overview

 

2017

2018

2019

Jan-Apr 2020

Total Imports

139,965

157,262

151,989

49,516

Total Exports

112,999

132,614

135,102

43,176

Import from U.S.

2,605

2,182

1,742

656

Exchange Rates

7.8

7.8

7.8

7.8

Units: USD million

Data Source: Hong Kong Census & Statistics Department

(Since there is not an agreed upon definition of “smart cities”, and because there is considerable overlap regarding features from various types of machinery and products, market statistics for this sector are, at best, rough approximations.)

Hong Kong has a world-class Information Technology (IT) network infrastructure and Hong Kong’s telecommunications sector has no restrictions on foreign ownership or limits to the number of market operators. According to the Hong Kong Government, the mobile subscriber penetration rate is 283 percent, with the average peak internet connection speed at 129.5Mbps. According to the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s Cloud Readiness Index 2020, Hong Kong was ranked first among cities in Asia. The outbreak of COVID-19 has boosted the usage of internet, mobile devices, and other virtual activities. Alongside with these changes, information security as well as protection of personal data are rising concerns to the local market.

The Hong Kong Government attaches great importance to smart city development. In 2018, the Hong Kong Government launched an online portal to encourage and assist government departments with adopting information technology solutions to improve public services. The Hong Kong Government released its Smart City Development Blueprint in December 2017, which outlines a wide range of proposals for smart city development over a five-year period. The Smart City Blueprint 2.0, an update to the original plan, is expected to be launched in late 2020. More information is available at: smartcity.gov.hk. The Hong Kong government is also investing in research and development centers focused on robotics and artificial intelligence with a goal to develop Hong Kong into an innovative smart city leader.

Picture of Office workers using computers
Picture of people working with computers

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Cloud Computing
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Teleworking-related solutions
  • Digital Transformation

Opportunities 

Teleworking solutions: As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to affect markets around the globe, many companies are speeding up their adaptability to manage the effects on their operations and workplaces. Companies are making the transition to telecommuting to maintain workforce productivity, create flexibility for their workforce, and firms are increasing their technological readiness to cope with these necessities.

This shift in working models has led to increased demand for telecommuting-related solutions, both physical and digital, such as laptops, monitors, video-conferencing tools, cloud-based collaboration applications, virtual desktop enablement, interoperability between enterprise IT systems, etc. With more business activities going virtual, digital transformation is of great importance for enterprises to keep organizations up and running. High speed broadband connectivity is required to facilitate daily operations, and to fulfill digital needs to continue staying connected with their clients during this period of time with minimized human interactions and drastically reduced business travel. 

Cloud Computing: According to a study by Boston Consulting Group in May 2020, across the APAC region, spending on public cloud and related services is growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25 percent. During the COVID-19 outbreak, many employees were unable to work at the office. Enterprises are moving their working environment to virtual and cloud-based solutions to manage daily operations and maintain their ability to provide services to partners and customers.

The Hong Kong Government is allocating significant investment into its smart city development plans and encourages the procurement of innovative solutions to address the city’s needs. Its current strong IT infrastructure, coupled with cloud computing and big data analytics, could enable real-time and efficient information processing that could make the city “smarter,” effectively managing new and potential challenges. Established companies with cloud computing solutions are increasing their presence in this region by setting up necessary infrastructure to increase the availability of their services in the market. 

Internet of Things: According to KPMG’s Global Technology Innovation Center, Internet of Things (IoT) is the top technology in which technology companies are currently investing, with plans to continue this investment in the coming three years. IoT technologies play a critical role in smart city development. With the recent launch of 5G mobile communications network services in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Government also encourages the deployment of 5G projects through a range of different approaches such as subsidy scheme for encouraging early adoption of 5G and public education programs, etc.

Resources 

Major Trade Shows/Events: 
Cloud Expo Asia 
Date: September 23-24, 2020 
Internet Economy Summit 
Date: April 2021 (Exact date is to be confirmed) 

Associations: 
Hong Kong Information Technology Federation Ltd. 
Smart City Consortium 

Government Agencies:
Innovation and Technology Bureau, HKSAR Government
Office of Communications Authority, HKSAR Government 
Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data
 

For more information about this industry sector, please contact:

U.S. Commercial Service, Hong Kong

Gary Kwan, Commercial Specialist

Email: gary.kwan@trade.gov