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Business trend: Hong Kong residents turning to eCommerce

While you can’t throw a stone without hitting a banker or lawyer, many of whom are Western, in Hong Kong small eCommerce businesses are on the rise.

hong kong

hong kong

Emerging type of professional in Hong Kong

I know several Westerners in Hong Kong-all of whom are British or American-trained lawyers. They all say the same thing… there are three types of people in Hong Kong: bankers, lawyers or people who support one of those functions.

While this held true on Hong Kong island during my visit this month, and I could not escape overhearing conversations about interest rates or legalese, it’s not necessarily true of the surrounding areas. Kowloon and the New Territories are giving rise to a new type of Hong Kong business person – one heavily invested in eCommerce.

This new business person is taking full advantage of the Hong Kong government offerings of .hk domains and Hong Kong’s rating of fastest internet provider in the world. But how these entrepreneurs are going about running their businesses may surprise you.

What are these entrepreneurs doing?

The newest way to earn a living while taking advantage of Hong Kong’s pricey real estate market and telecommunications technologies rests in one website: Airbnb, an online “community marketplace for unique spaces” which connects would be renters with apartment owners/leasers around the globe.

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Many of the Hong Kong working class complain of high real estate costs, and a few are turning to renting out rooms and acting as virtual inn keepers. I interviewed one such inn keeper named Joe who has completely made the switch from part-time subletter to full time inn-keeper (a moniker he’s given himself) with three apartments in Hong Kong for short or long-term stay.

When I asked him how difficult of a switch it was, he said, “It was quite easy considering the traffic into Hong Kong. Anyone with an apartment would be silly not to rent out some of the space.”

Also supporting themselves through the web

Another way is for Hong Kongers to offer goods and services online through sites like Facebook, Etsy and the like. Next time you’re online shopping, take a moment to see if your new purchase originated in Hong Kong.

This is good news for startups who want to capture some of the online market share. Knowing that your global counterparts are relying on technology to spur sales may be just the push some Western businesses need to invest in infrastructure to enable them to compete.

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Written By

Monica Moffitt, founder and Principal Cultural Consultant at Tianfen Consulting, Inc., has traveled the world and enjoys linguistics and all things culture. Having split her career between project management and business analytics, Monica merges logic, fluency in Chinese and creativity in her new role as cultural consultant. She received a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies/Chinese from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Business Administration (International Management and Marketing) from University of Texas at Dallas.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Miami real estate

    May 27, 2013 at 8:21 am

    i want to buy some macbook so let me know price.

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