Date
24 September 2017
Leonie Valentine, Google Hong Kong's managing director for sales and operations, said the government and the commercial sector should cooperate in developing Hong Kong as a smart city. Photo: HKEJ
Leonie Valentine, Google Hong Kong's managing director for sales and operations, said the government and the commercial sector should cooperate in developing Hong Kong as a smart city. Photo: HKEJ

Only 42 percent of Hongkongers digitally savvy: Google HK report

Less than half of the people in Hong Kong are digitally savvy, and most consumers in the city just focus on the services aspect of digital products, without raising their digital literacy to a higher level, according to a white paper released by Google Hong Kong.

The findings, based on a survey on Hong Kong’s smart city developments, showed that only 42 percent of the respondents consider themselves genuinely digital, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The survey was commissioned by Google Hong Kong and conducted by market researcher Nielsen, using focus groups, online questionnaires and interviews.

The respondents included more than 1,000 consumers, over 100 enterprises, members of the Legislative Council, Cyberport coordinators, and leading representatives of the retail, tourism and financial sectors.

According to the survey, 58 percent of smartphone users are classified as having mid-low to low digital engagement, meaning they only use their phones for such activities as communication, free entertainment and information search.

The report also showed that 62 percent of local consumers expect to see Hong Kong speed up its digital transformation in two years, and current lifestyles to be transformed by emerging technologies.

Seventy-nine percent of enterprises interviewed ran digital activities.  Digital marketing and advertising accounted for 86 percent of those activities, while building corporate webpages and creating digital content represented 79 percent and 74 percent respectively.

Overall, 97 percent of the respondents understand the term “smart city” but the majority of the respondents, 77 percent, considered Tokyo as having the best smart city developments in Asia.

Next to Tokyo are Singapore, 65 percent, and Hong Kong, 59 percent.

The white paper recommends that local enterprises first develop and nurture talent, understand user experience, and boost investments in key technologies in order to speed up the city’s digital transformation.

Developing Hong Kong as a smart city does not only depend on the government but requires the involvement of the commercial sector, and cooperation between the two, said Leonie Valentine, Google Hong Kong’s managing director for sales and operations.

Valentine said education is crucial in developing a smart city, especially for the new generation.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 13

Translation by Jonathan Chong

[Chinese version 中文版]

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JC/RT/CG

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