Wellness Trend! Hong Kong’s Market seeking for “Healing”
What do you feel about Hong Kong’s living pace and style?
Most may feel that Hong Kongers usually live with a speedy pace and highly stressed living environment.
The COVID-19 situation lasting for over 2 years is no doubt one of the reasons why it has been more stressful in recent years. According to the survey of 24/7 Tempo conducted in 2020, Hong Kong was the top stressful city in the world.
On the other hand, Hong Kongers nowadays, especially the young adult segments, are becoming more conscious of both physical health and mental health. Hong Kong’s way of “Healing Trend” is now happening, and some brands are making use of this chance to further build up their business. The “Healing Trend” is expected to have its continuous growth in the future.
In this blog, we are going to introduce some examples of business related to this trend and the reasons why Hong Kongers are seeking “healing” from these services and products.
“Wellness” market’s continuous growth in the world
Facing the COVID-19 situation is just like being forced to run a marathon without goal. It brings much stress to people and people from all over the world are becoming more valuing “wellness” in their life.
“Wellness” does not only mean physical health. McKinsey & Co. has conducted a survey in 2021 on how the consumers feel about wellness. The survey concluded the opinions of 7,500 interviewees from 6 countries, and the result shows that 79% of them see wellness, which include physical health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness, as important to their life. 42% even answered that wellness is the most important element in their daily life. Looking from the economic aspect, the wellness market in the world is as huge as 1.5 trillion USD, and would be growing at a 5%-10% growth rate in the future as estimated.
Business under Hong Kong’s “Healing Trend”
In order to face the stress in daily life, consumers used to get their living pace down on holidays and day offs. Maybe because of this reason, there are some shops in Hong Kong able to keep their sales up to 5-6 digits of HKD each month stably, and even expecting a growth rate of 20% in the future, despite starting their business in these 2 years deeply affected by COVID-19.
HKET interviewed a Japanese tea ceremony themed restaurant and a shop selling Taiwanese incense in 2021, and pointed out a few reasons of “Healing Trend’s” growth in Hong Kong:
・As wellness is being valued in the entire world now, not only industries related to physical health, but also the ones related to mental health are growing continuously.
・The COVID-19 has brought the world a new task, making people forced to face stress and anxiety. As the result, people started to be more conscious of mental health.
・Popularization of social media: traditional cultures such as singing bowls and Japanese tea ceremonies were difficult to reach consumers’ sight in the past. However in recent years, taking photos and selfies during workshops and uploading to social media is becoming a routine among people. The posts become a kind of advertisement for the business and lead more people to be interested in the services and products, which eventually expand the consumer base.
・Although the COVID-19 situation is now more stable, Hong Kongers who love to enjoy overseas trips are not able to travel around for a long period of time, which makes them more longing for overseas culture experiences.
In view of these shops’ business strategies, both of them are running physical stores and online shops at the same time. Despite having their social media such as Facebook frequently updated, they also regularly open Japanese tea ceremonies and incense workshops which are related to their products.
For many Hong Kongers, taking care of mental health is still a very new concept. Some of them may blindly run into expensive products without getting enough understanding of a new concept. This would in fact make it more difficult to take root in the services and products. It is better to deliver the brand concept through workshops as an introduction to the consumers. Letting them to feel the advantages of your products would help them build up their own experience, and eventually make them take root in your brand in the future.
MAY Planning provides support on your expansion and promotions to the Hong Kong market. Support for advertising on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, arrangement of workshops are available. Feel free to contact us anytime.
“KOL” and Live Commerce, the New Commercial Trend in Hong Kong
The COVID-19 situation in the world has changed people’s consumer behavior. Internet and online shopping are becoming part of our daily life, and e-commerce is developing as an important part of business.
VS MEDIA in Hong Kong has conducted a survey on Hong Kong citizens’ consumer behavior under the COVID-19 situation. 75% of the interviewees answered that they would believe in services and products which are recommended by “KOL”.
They see “KOL” to be powerful influencers even in the post-COVID-19 era, bringing “social commerce” and “live commerce” as a new trend of commercial trend to the market.
What is “KOL”? What is “Social Commerce” and “Live Commerce”?
“KOL” is an abbreviation which is commonly used in Hong Kong meaning “Key Opinion Leader”. It is also be called as “網紅(Wanghong)” in Chinese and “インフルエンサー(Influencers)” in Japanese.
Specialists of particular fields such as athletes, entertainers and fashion models would be good examples of KOL, but there are more of YouTubers, bloggers and ordinary people who have significant influence becoming KOL nowadays.
“Social commerce” is a mix of social media and e-commerce. It means the influencing technique of sending consumers from social media posts to product’s online shopping page through just clicking on the posts.
“Live commerce” is one kind of social commerce where KOL would introduce products by showing on hands or even demonstrations, which is believed as a more trustable sales method compared to the others. On 20 October 2021, the Chinese Online Mall Taobao’s top KOL made as much as 10.65 billion RMB (about 1.65 billion USD) sales in only a single day. This shows how powerful has live commerce grown nowadays.
Rapid Growth of Hong Kong’s Usage Rate of Smartphones and Internet
Both social commerce and live commerce requires consumers to use internet services. So how is the usage rate of IT related products in Hong Kong nowadays?
Referring to the “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2021 Edition)” published by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), among Hong Kong citizens who aged 10 or above, 79.8% answered that they have used computer in the past 12 months, while 92.1% answered that they have smartphones. It shows that smartphones would probably become Hong Kong citizens’ mainstream in the future due to the more affordable price and simplicity of use.
There is also a rapid growth in the internet’s usage rate. With the same interviewee groups, 92.4% answered that they have used the internet in the past 12 months, which shows a significant growth compared with the year 2001 (43.3%).
Among Hong Kong citizens’ aged 15 or above, the percentage of having online shopping for personal use has grown 8 times, from 5.6% to 43.1%, in the past 20 years (2001-2020).
Also according to the data of NielsenIQ, comparing 2019 to 2020 when the COVID-19 broke out in Hong Kong, the online consumption amount per family increased by 46%. Consumers’ online shopping frequency increased by 75% while the amount spent increased by 52%, which is 2.5 times compared to the amount spent at physical stores in the same period.
Online Shopping and KOL Trend in Hong Kong Market
VS MEDIA conducted an online survey in July 2021, on “consumers’ online shopping habit and KOL’s influences”, to Hong Kong interviewees aging 18-45. It showed that Hong Kong citizens are on average spending about 2,673 HKD (about 340 USD) every month on online shopping, and they are becoming more concerned about the comment of the product and online shop compared to the past.
Above 90% of the interviewees showed interest in products and services that KOL recommended, with “restaurant and gourmet” being the most popular topic. “Cosmetics and beauty” is the top category for women, while “electronics product” is the top category for men.
Above 80% of the interviewees said they have experience of watching a live commerce stream, and pointed out the attraction points of it as bellows:
・Discounts and campaigns only available during streams
・Knowing more about the products through demonstrations
・Quantity limited items only available during streams
・Sales point of the products being accurately mentioned
・Useful information about the items
78% of the interviewees said they would not mind the streams having indirect advertising as long as the content is funny. 73% even said they would trust the recommendations and experience sharing of KOL even if they know there is advertising or commercial collaboration in the content. Also, 77% of the interviewees show they would more believe in the recommendation of KOL rather than that of idols and entertainers, and they feel more willing to purchase the recommendations of KOL as they think those would become a key item of the trend or fashion.
On the other hand, 65% of the interviewees showed an aspiration of becoming a KOL by using their own hobbies and skills, mainly because of the highly flexible working style with high income. However, about 70% do not know about the requirements and equipment of being a KOL, and 75% said they hope there would be companies providing one-stop supporting service from shooting to production.
As the usage rate of IT related items increases nowadays, the efficiency of advertising on paper media and TV has been reducing. It is obvious that the internet would become the main stream of advertising in the future. KOL show their influencing power on affecting the young adult segment’s purchase intention by using social commerce and live commerce skills. It would surely be an advantage if companies take up these strategies to their marketing plans.
MAY Planning provides support on your expansion and promotions to the Hong Kong market. Support for advertising on social media such as Facebook and Instagram, live commerce strategies by KOL are available. Feel free to contact us anytime.
Fact of Hong Kong Population and Labor Market! Statistical Report of 2021
The Census and Statistics Department (CSD) of Hong Kong Government has issued the “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2021 Edition)”. This statistical report is being issued each year, and the statistics cover widely from population structure to education, labor, medical and diffusion rate of internet usage. As there is data of the year 2020 and also the previous years, it is an important index to know about the transition of Hong Kong’s society. Here we are going to introduce the impact brought by the series of activities from 2019 to Hong Kong’s population and labor market now based on this statistical report.
Impact to Hong Kong’s population structure
The series of activities, including the Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement in 2019~2020, the implementation of Hong Kong national security law, and the COVID-19 situation from 2020, brought a great impact to Hong Kong not only on the economic side, but also on the population and labor market.
On the population side, it can be found that Hong Kong has had its population increasing continuously for the past several decades, but got a decrease in the year 2020’s data. Despite the decrease of birth rate which can also be found in the past decades, the population drain such as emigrations would also probably be one of the reasons.
Based on the CSD’s statistical report, the population, including foreign domestic helpers, in Hong Kong in 2020 was 7,481,800 (female 4 065 500, male 3 416 300).
Compared to the same data 14 years ago (female 3 587 000, male 3 270 100), both female and male got an increase, while the increase rate of females is 3 times of male’s.
However, despite the rapid increase, the year 2020’s data got the only decrease, which was about 25,000 less, compared to the previous year’s population.
The Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong conducted phone interviews about emigrations with 716 Hong Kong citizens from 16 to 25 September 2021. It shows that 42% are considering moving out from Hong Kong, while 12% among them are considering moving out to mainland China.
On the reasons of their consideration, 22% suggested “liberty and human rights”, 18% suggested “the spacious living space and environment overseas”. For the ones who are considering to move out from Hong Kong, 38.7% answered they had already started their preparation of emigrations, and the popular destinations are the United Kingdom (26.1%), Canada (14%), Australia (11%), and Taiwan (7.5%). The ones who are considering moving to mainland China expressed their reason as “unaffordable housing price, constrained living space, high cost of living and severe economic prospect”.
Impact to the labor market
On the labor market’s statistics, it shows there was a great increase over the past 30 years, while the data changed to a continuous decrease starting from 2018 (data collected in 2019).
In the past 30 years, the number of Hong Kong’s employees increased for 38.7% from 2,800,000 in 1991 to 3,890,000 in 2020. The number of female employees increased by 85.9% while male employees increased only by 10.5%. Female foreign domestic helpers would be one of the reasons, but the main reasons are popularization of higher education among local females, increased number of unmarried local females and age at marriage becoming late.
However, comparing 2020’s data to 2019’s, the number of male employees decreased by 103,100 while female employees also decreased by 85,300. It shows that there is a significant decrease of employees in these 2 years for both male and female.
Reasons of decrease on employees’ population
According to Hung Wong, the associate professor of department of social work, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, this phenomenon has various reasons behind. The 2 main reasons would be:
1．Decreasing number of graduates
2．Part of the employees moving out of the labor market
Especially for the moving out from labor market, there could be 3 more reasons which lead:
People of age 50~69 are actually still labor force in the labor market. However some of them may take their choice of early retirement instead, due to the scarcity of employment. They are so called as “discourage workers”, which is different from the government’s definition of unemployment.
People of age 30s choosing to leave their current work and move to other countries can often be heard.
3．Decline of labor market
There might be a possibility that the employers are not willing to hire young people, and the young people also are not willing to work as employees, due to various reasons.
To conclude, the data of population and labor market of Hong Kong shows that Hong Kong citizens’ hope for the future has been fluctuated by the series of activities since 2019. There is a significant trend of increasing numbers of Hong Kong citizens willing to move out of their home, Hong Kong.
Reference: Census and Statistics Department of HKSAR (2021). “Women and Men in Hong Kong – Key Statistics (2021 Edition)”
MAY Planning provides support on recruitment and human resources management to serve your company’s needs. We would be glad to provide guidance for your company in Hong Kong or overseas. Feel free to contact us anytime.
COVID-19 Moves the IT Industry into A New Era
“The Covid-19 outbreak pushed digitization forward for 8 to 10 years.” said by Mok Wai-hin Peter, head of Strategic Partnership at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation.
Digitalization is already underway in almost every organization. The business model has shifted from intensive manpower to light manpower with technology and innovation equipments.
“Before the crisis, it have to take a year to implement the level of remote working but now it took an average of 11 days to implement a workable solution”
Some companies acted 20 to 25 times faster than expected. In the case of remote working, people actually say their companies moved 40 times more quickly than they thought possible before the pandemic. Before then, respondents say it would have taken more than a year to implement the level of remote working that took place during the crisis but it took an average of 11 days to implement a workable solution, and nearly all of the companies have stood up workable solutions within a few months.
According to statista.com, all Information technology (IT) spending are forecast to return to growth in 2021. Enterprise software (e.g. ERP, CRM) is expected to have the strongest rebound (8.8% growth) as the remote work environments are expanding.
Company strategies are changed. For example, a Japanese company, Fujitsu Ltd. said it would split its office space over the next 3 years to encourage around 80,000 employees of electronics maker to work remotely.
IDC Spending Guide 2018 estimated that spending on technologies and services that enable digital transformation will reach almost US$2 trillion in 2022 worldwide. Brands and companies have started to get a better understanding when it comes to the benefits of digital transformation and digitally native offerings.
Information technology development requires long-term investment. MAY Planning has strong experience on integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally change how your business operate. We will be pleased to provide consulting service for your company in Hong Kong or overseas, please feel free to contact us anytime.
Published: 26 Jan 2021
5G network in Hong Kong and How will 5G impact business and the world?
5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard. 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver faster speeds, ultra low latency, more reliability, greater load capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Some researchers believe that 5G could deliver 10 – 20 times faster than 4G.
Sending a message at 6pm in Central station will no longer be a problem
In 2019, the Government planned to make available a total of 160 MHz spectrum in the 600/700MHz bands to enhance indoor hotspots and the network capacity of indoor mobile telecommunications services which would help relieve congested traffic indoor mobile hotspots, such as MTR stations. The earliest release date (available for release to the market through auction, tendering or other appropriate) will be in 2021. The decisions will be made in the first quarter of 2021.
The 85 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz and the 850 MHz bands can be deployed in both indoor and outdoor locations for the provision of public mobile services; while the 70 MHz of spectrum in the 600 MHz band is designated for indoor use to enhance the mobile services provided at indoor hotspots, such as shopping malls and confined areas like premises inside the Mass Transit Railway.
5G will change the world
–For business (For example, an enterprise tool)
5G helps to upgrade on the existing system. With 5G, over 1 million devices can operate within the same area which is a 250 times growth in capacity. 5G is nearly 8 times faster in speed and boasts of more than 5 times the bandwidth. 5G is a critical enterprise tool to accelerate digital transformation, particularly in their supply chain management initiatives.
–For our life (For example, autonomous cars will be on our roads)
5G network will offer new application options advancing the development of autonomous cars. Drivers running red lights will become a thing of the past. Traffic jams will be reduced or eliminated as self-driving cars can drive in closer proximity to each other. Also, autonomous cars don’t slow down to rubberneck. Tesla founder Elon Musk says Tesla will release its ‘full self-driving’ feature as a subscription in early 202. Apple’s plans to develop an electric and driverless car featuring its own battery technology are reportedly back on the table, with a new target production date estimated for 2024.
Lots benefits of 5G for our life or for our business that I couldn’t mention in one time.5G allows organization hiring process will not limited to the candidates location. Some organizations are going to have a remote team in their company by hiring top talent outside of their local area. Businesses will rely on mobile networks more and more. They will need to work with IT specialists to redesign and improve their internal work efficiency.
MAY Planning provides professional IT consulting services to meet your expectations. We will be pleased to provide guidance for your company in Hong Kong or overseas, feel free to contact us anytime.
How to apply for extension of stay if non-permanent residents currently outside of Hong Kong under the COVID-19
Published: 14 Jan 2021
We received few enquiries about the Hong Kong visa is going to expire and how can they do if they are not in Hong Kong currently. Here is the update from Hong Kong Immigration Department:
“The Immigration Department accepts applications for return to Hong Kong from non-permanent residents who is outside of Hong Kong under the COVID-19 Pandemic (Not Applicable to Foreign Domestic Helpers and Imported Workers) In general, persons admitted into Hong Kong under various immigration policies/schemes may apply for extension of stay within four weeks before their limit of stay expires. Applicants should be physically present in Hong Kong both at the time of applications and collection of the relevant labels (for approved applications).
Some persons outside Hong Kong with their limit of stay about to expire / expired and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may not be able to return to Hong Kong timely (Note 1) to apply for extension of stay. For those whose limit of stay is about to expire (within four weeks) / has expired for less than 12 months, they may submit a duly completed application form (Note 2) together with the required supporting documents required for application for extension of stay under the relevant immigration policy/scheme concerned in general situations, and a letter setting out the details on their inability to return to Hong Kong timely for the extension of stay formalities. If the applicants continue to meet the eligibility criteria under the relevant immigration policy/scheme concerned and it is satisfied that the applicants’ circumstances are a continuation of their previous residence in Hong Kong, the Immigration Department may consider issuing the applicants with a visa/entry permit for their return to Hong Kong within the validity of that visa/entry permit. For more details, please email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The webpage link for prevailing restrictions on entering Hong Kong is as follows:
Capital Investment Entrant Scheme entrants should complete application form ID 967 . Other applicants should complete the application form ID 91 (even if they are outside Hong Kong and apply for a visa/entry permit to return to Hong Kong under this arrangement).”
1. Applicants should be physically present in Hong Kong both at the time of applications and collection of the relevant labels
2. For those whose limit of stay has expired for less than 12 months
Getting a flight ticket might get harder than before. Plus, since December 25, all oversea arrivals into HK have to quarantine in designated hotel for 21 days which is up from 14 days. You need to pay for almost ten thousand for you quarantine cost before you physically present at The Immigration Department for extend your Visa. If your Visa is about to expire, you could wait and see what happens next to save your high cost of quarantines. Keep checking updates from government website or subscribe us to get the latest updates.
The Immigration Department Accepts Applications for Return to Hong Kong from Non-Permanent Residents Outside Hong Kong under the COVID-19 Pandemic (Not Applicable to Foreign Domestic Helpers and Imported Workers), The Immigration Department, 31 Dec 2020
Happy New Year 2020!
Happy New Year to all our partners, readers, and friends. The team of the MAY Planning Co., Ltd wishes you a great 2020 full of innovation, passion, and satisfaction. We thank you for your continued support and faithfulness to us and promise to deliver even more thought-provoking and fascinating service.