HKIRC Survey Reveals the Current Status of the Sharing Economy in Hong Kong

Most people get positive experience in Sharing Economy, new business model already captured a group of loyal users.

HONG KONG, 13 August 2015 – Research by the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) announced today revealed a new consumption business model that may bring new business opportunities and challenges to the traditional model. The results were announced at the 2015 Digital Marketplace Seminar “Sharing Economy - Opportunities and Threats?” Ir. Allen Yeung, Government Chief Information Officer, HKSAR Government, was the officiating guest at this annual event.

The global digital marketplace is progressing into a new era characterised by the sharing economy, in which almost every possible commodity can be purchased, sold or shared online. Conducted in July, the survey was based on data from 1,447 respondents from a random sample of 120,000 Internet users in Hong Kong. The survey aimed to understand what people think Sharing Economy would mean to them, as well as the market opportunities and its benefits for Hong Kong as a whole. It also attempted to add insights to the Sharing Economy by studying users’ behavior and their motivation to participate. The following are some key findings:

  1. Nearly 30% of internet users in Hong Kong have taken part in Sharing Economy
    Of those responses, nearly 30% has taken part in sharing activities more than 8 times a year. At the same time, nearly 50% is novel users who have engaged 1 to 3 times in sharing activities
  2. Consumer demand is the key driver
    82% of the respondents are consumers in the sharing economic activities, indicating sharing activities become new consumption behavior in Hong Kong. People are looking for effective ways to utilise unused resources. Car sharing, crowdfunding and room/flat sharing are three top sharing activities among all
  3. People have positive experiences in Sharing Economy’s activities.
    Apart from profit-making or cost-saving from sharing resources, majority of respondents found sharing activity interesting and enjoyable. Well-designed platform, trustworthiness and ease of navigation enable smooth consumption collaboration and co-creation process; further encouraging people to participate in the sharing activities. However, safety is the major concern when taking part in Sharing Economy. More education on internet security and user-friendly interface will attract more novel users to experience sharing activities, driving growth of Sharing Economy
  4. Education is key in changing public perception
    The survey reveals significant and positive relationships between past experience, education level and acceptance of Sharing Economy. People with higher education seem to be more likely to adopt Sharing Economy. Furthermore, novel users with good sharing experience are likely to continue to engage in the sharing activities

“Sharing economy is an uprising trend and a new business model globally. Although the survey reveals that a fair amount of Internet users have already been engaged in sharing activities, the phenomenon is still in its early days. The sharing economy has its potential and threats. Instead of taking business away from traditional businesses, sharing economic activities can help reduce wastage and conserve valuable resources, hence changing consumption behavior for betterment of Hong Kong,” said Mr. Jonathan Shea, CEO of HKIRC. “As a new consumption model enabled by technology and business innovation, ease-of-use and service quality of the platform play an imperative role to facilitate co-creating and sharing, further enhancing the good attributes of sharing economy experience.”

Apart from Sharing Economy, this study also looked at perception by Internet users of the .hk brand. It was concluded that .hk represents the identity of Hong Kong citizens and is well endorsed by Hongkongers.

At the 2015 Digital Marketplace Seminar “Sharing Economy - Opportunities and Threats?” today, close to 450 participants acquired first-hand market intelligence and explored new opportunities as well as best practices. Guest speakers from Welend.hk, Alibaba.com.hk, lCGX.hk, Aroundhub.com.hk, Adams.com.hk, Jobdoh.com.hk, Gaifongapp.hk, Carshare.hk and Penana.com.hk and other industry leaders shared their opinions on various topics. For details, please read: www.hkirc.hk/dmp/2015/index.html

“We are pleased to see such an enthusiastic response this year. The DMP seminar has again provided an opportunity for local business, SMEs, industry pioneers and participants to exchange views and get first-hand market knowledge on topics such as sharing economy,” said Mr. Shea.


Jonathan Shea, CEO of HKIRC, presenting at 2015 Digital Marketplace Seminar.


Jonathan Shea, CEO of HKIRC, with guests at 2015 Digital Marketplace Seminar.

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About HKIRC
Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation Limited (HKIRC) is a non-profit-distributing, non-statutory company limited by guarantee designated by the Government of the HKSAR to undertake the administration of Internet domain names under the .hk and .香港 country code top level domain. HKIRC provides registration services for English domain names ending with .com.hk, .org.hk, .net.hk, .edu.hk, .gov.hk, .idv.hk, .hk and Chinese domain names ending with .公司.香港, .組織.香港, .網絡.香港, .教育.香港, .政府.香港, .個人.香港, .香港, and other domains to be introduced from time to time in Hong Kong.

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