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Around 2% of the Hong Kong’s labor force is in the ICT sector, and they contribute to approximately 6% of the total GDP. The R&D expenditure in the ICT sector represents half of total R&D expenditure and of total R&D personnel in the business sector. The ICT sector is dominated by “value added” activities which take up majority of the workforce, while manufacturing of products only represent 2.5 of the workforce in ICT.

Main ICT Sectors in HK:

Fixed Broadband

The price for high speed and penetration rate in Hong Kong are the least expensive in Asia. HK is a world leader in the deployment of fiber. Operators have been aggressively rolling out Wi-Fi networks. As of August 2013, there were more than 11,000 public Wi-Fi hot spots in the city and that number continues to grow. As of June 2014, Hong Kong had 203 licensed Internet service providers (ISPs). However, not all licensees operate an active business and the ISP market is dominated by a few major players. Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association (HKISPA) is responsible for promoting the development of Internet infrastructure, and enhancing fair market competition.

Mobile Network

Mobile network operators in HK are in intense competition, with five mobile network operators (all rolling4G LTE) serving 7.15 million persons: China Mobile HK, CSL, HKT/PCCW, Hutchison 3, and SmarTone Mobile. About two thirds of the population is 3G/4G service users. HK is one of the world's most competitive markets in terms of price thanks to the HK Government’s pro-consumer and pro-competition policies.

Data Centres

HK is a major financial and supply chain & logistics hub and is home to the regional offices of many multinational companies. The increasing adoption of cloud computing and cloud services in the private and public sectors has generated great demand for secure high-tier data centre facilities to support business growth in Mainland China and the region. To take advantage of this demand, the government has introduced measures to develop HK into a regional data centre hub by facilitating land supply to potential data centre owners. Tseung Kwan O (TKO) Industrial Estate alone now houses a dozen high-tier data centres owned by leading technology companies around the world. More large scale, high-tier data centres are expected to be completed in the coming years.

Software and Information Technology Services

Software and information technology services companies are an integral part of HK's ICT sector and employ over 70,000. The majority are value-added resellers, software development houses, system integrators, digital marketing companies, in addition to in house IT and software design units in a variety of other business sectors. HK IT companies, mostly SMEs, are known for expertise in system integration and service delivery particularly in the areas of banking and finance, supply chain management and logistics, retail, and transportation industries. Several locally deployed IT projects have won international recognition including the HK Smart ID Card, the Octopus payment card, and the HK International Airport RFID baggage handling system.

Broadcasting

HK has access to over 700 local and overseas television channels through free-to-air and pay-TV service providers as well as 28 radio channels through commercial broadcasters and the publicly funded Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK). Currently there are two domestic free-to-air TV service providers and three pay-TV service providers. There are five radio broadcasters: two providing local analogue radio channels and three providing digital audio broadcasting services. Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) was successfully launched in 2007 and coverage now reaches 96% of HK households. The uptake rate as of 2012 reached 73.5% of households.

Local Fixed Line

The fixed line market in HK has been fully liberalized. There is no limit on the number of licenses granted or specific requirements of network investment. Telephone numbers are fully portable from one operator to another. As of mid-2013, there were 21 companies licensed to provide fixed line services. Each household is able to choose from two to three fixed line service providers depending on locations. Fixed-line users in HK can make an unlimited number of local calls for a fixed monthly telephone rate. As broadband and mobile networks are becoming increasingly popular, there has been a slow drop in fixed line subscriptions.

External Communications

HK has adopted an open policy in regulating the provisioning of external communications services and facilities through satellite and submarine cables. There is no limit on the number of external communications licenses to be issued by the HK Government. As a major telecom and internet hub in Asia, HK currently has seven submarine cable landing stations, and is connected to nine regional and transpacific submarine cable systems and three overland cable systems of all three mainland China telecom operators. As of November 2013, the equipped capacity of external communications facilities was over 11,000 Gigabits per second. While HK remains a key communications hub, in light of the surge in demand for bandwidth, other countries in the region are catching up and aggressively developing new facilities allowing more direct external communications.

For more information regarding this posting, please contact ICE HK by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Source: European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao Trade Sector

(ICE HK) - 11-May-2015

 

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