Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.
One of the best ways to sell products in Hong Kong and Macau is through the use of agents or distributors. There are many companies across most sectors that can serve as agents or distributors for U.S. firms, and a number of third-party logistics providers, specialized warehouses, and order fulfillment firms that offer related trade facilitation services. Companies that are looking to sell equipment that requires long-term maintenance, technical support or installation, or that are seeking to become involved in infrastructure projects, frequently partner with local companies.
Furthermore, as discussed in other sections, many Hong Kong (and Macau) firms have established sales networks that expand throughout mainland China.
Trade Promotion & Advertising: U.S. companies can use a variety of promotional vehicles to introduce and raise the visibility of their products and services in the Hong Kong and Macau markets. These include:
- Special trade fairs and exhibitions
- Advertising in the media, Internet and other public relations activities
- In-store promotions
- Joint promotions with wholesale and retail outlets
Hong Kong is a major conference and exhibition center, with hundreds of international exhibitions held annually. Located in the business district on Hong Kong Island, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center (HKCEC) is owned by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and operated by the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center Management Ltd. The HKCEC presently provides 66,000 sqm of purpose-built exhibition space, 20,000 sqm of multi-functional venues and 5,500 sqm of event support space. AsiaWorld-Expo is located next to Hong Kong International Airport. AsiaWorld-Expo offers over 70,000 square meters of exhibition and function space.
Exhibition in Macau is an alternative. The Venetian Macao, Wynn, and MGM have large exhibition spaces. Other options are the Macau Tower and the wide and growing range of hotels and casinos. The Macau Government is keen to develop Macau as a regional MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) hub.
Television penetration in Hong Kong is high, at 99 percent. Television is the top media channel in Hong Kong. As of April 31, 2020, there were three domestic free television program service licensees, two domestic pay television program service licensees, 15 non-domestic television program service licensees, and one government-funded public service broadcaster. On average, the free domestic television licensees’ programs reach 6.49 million viewers, or 2.46 million households. Hong Kong television also reaches Macau and much of neighboring Guangdong Province in mainland China, where Hong Kong programming is very popular.
Hong Kong is one of the largest centers in the world for Chinese-language publications. Hong Kong produces 674 publications, including 55 daily newspapers (28 Chinese, 12 English, ten bilingual, five Japanese), and 619 periodicals. Advertising agencies, including many international firms, offer a full range of services in Hong Kong.
Featured U.S. Exporters (FUSE): FUSE is a directory of U.S. products featured on U.S. Commercial Service websites around the world. It gives U.S. companies an opportunity to target specific country markets in the local language of business. Currently, listings are offered to qualified U.S. exporters seeking trade leads or representation in over 60 markets around the world including Hong Kong. For detailed information, please visit the FUSE website.
Single Company Promotion (SCP): The U.S. Commercial Service can assist a U.S. company or its local representative to organize a professional, effective promotional event, technical seminar, product/service launch, luncheons, cocktail receptions or matchmaking event tailored to its specific needs through its Single Company Promotion Program (SCP). For further information, please visit SCP website.
Pricing: Hong Kong is a free port and does not levy a customs tariff or impose a value-added tax. See the section on Trade Regulations, Customs and Standards for more information on import tariffs. If possible, U.S. exporters should quote using the metric system and use a term of sale specifying delivery to Hong Kong or Macau (i.e. CIF or C&F destination rather than FOB origin). Hong Kong and Macau companies have many sourcing options, so American companies should make it as easy as possible to “buy American.”
Sales Service/Customer Support: Some sort of local presence, whether it is a branch office, an agent, or distributor, is very important to getting established in the market. Doing business in Hong Kong, Macau, and elsewhere in Asia, requires relationships that can only be developed with a local presence. Prompt responses to inquiries and after-sales service are also crucial to succeeding in this very competitive market.
Local Professional Services
Principal Business Associations
The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong: AmCham was designed to represent the ever-growing range of American business interests in Hong Kong. In addition, the Chamber serves as a forum for the exchange and development of ideas among members of the business community, both in Hong Kong and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce: The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce is the largest and one of the most dynamic business organizations in Hong Kong. Members represent a wide spectrum of local, Mainland Chinese and international businesses. More than half of the flagship corporations listed on the Hang Seng Index are their members. The Chamber serves as the voice of business, and helps their members succeed through their core functions: advocacy, knowledge-based events, networking, and a variety of business documentation services.
The Federation of Hong Kong Industries: The Federation of Hong Kong Industries’ goal is to promote and foster the interests of Hong Kong’s industrial and business communities, to promote trade, investment, technological advancement, manpower development, and business opportunities in Hong Kong. The organization also represents business’s views and advises the government on policies and legislation which affect business.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Macau was founded in 2007 and stands at the forefront of development in Macau. AmCham Macau is one of the most influential Chambers in Macau. With new American-based corporations establishing themselves in Macau, AmCham Macau provides insight and business connectivity that is unrivalled by any other international chamber. From retail to manufacturing, its members represent both diversity of interests and relationships.
The Macao Chamber of Commerce supports the industrial and commercial sectors in Macau by safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests and promoting commercial links with other countries and regions.
Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services
There are no limitations in Hong Kong and Macau on the selling of U.S. products and services.