International Shipping

Hong Kong Shipping and Selling eCommerce Guide


by Jules

On 2019 M05 16

by Jules

Shipping to Hong Kong offers a lot of potential for savvy online merchants looking to go cross-border. Boasting a resilient economy, Hong Kong has many sustainable economic drivers and a diverse economic base with a wealthy populace.

With a population of approximately 7.4 million people, the country’s GDP Per Capita as of 2017 was $46,150, which is expected to reach approximately $54,008 by 2021. Its overall GDP was $341.2 billion as of 2017, making it an economic powerhouse despite its small size.

The Hong Kong economy offers a particularly attractive market overall, as it's not only a free port with zero customs tariffs and limited excise duties, it also maintains a solid rule of law and maximum respect for property rights.

Here’s a quick look at some insights the eCommerce market for "Asia's World City," popular places to shop online in Hong Kong, what people in Hong Kong like to buy and some important information about shipping to Hong Kong!

Hong Kong Market Insights

Statistics indicate that there are approximately 4.2 million eCommerce users in Hong Kong. This number is expected to continue growing, with up to 1.2 million new users being expected to join the existing online users by 2021. In fact, by 2021, approximately 5.4 million online shoppers are expected to spend an average of $1,021.81 shopping online annually.

74% of Hong Kong Residents Shop Online via Desktop

Although approximately 74 percent of eCommerce users in Hong Kong shop through their desktop, despite the fact that mobile devices are certainly popular there, most people in Hong Kong simply prefer to shop online the good, old fashioned way!

Internet and mobile device usage in Hong Kong currently stands at 81.6 percent and is expected to reach 84.3 percent by 2021. The use of smartphones in Hong Kong stands at 76.1 percent and is also expected to reach 80.7 percent in 2021. Though smartphone usage is high in Hong Kong, few online shoppers actually use them to buy products and services.

Hong Kong has an interesting mix of local and international online marketplaces which have achieved popularity there. Some of these popular online marketplaces include:

  • Alibaba Taobao
  • WeChat
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • YOOX Net-A-Porter
  • JD
  • Alibaba-Tmall

What Do People in Hong Kong Like to Buy Online?

Currently, revenue from Hong Kong eCommerce sales across all product categories is approximately $3.71 billion. By 2021, revenue is expected to increase to $5.47 billion. Some of the categories that recorded the most sales include:

  • Electronics and media, which accounts for approximately $1 billion in eCommerce market share. By 2021, the market share is expected to increase to $1.6 billion.
  • Fashion, which accounts for approximately $991 million in market share, with an expected increase to $1.5 billion by 2021.

Other product categories include travel and tourism, consumer goods such as cosmetics, packaged food, wine and toiletries, and safety and security equipment.

Shipping to Hong Kong

Shipping to Hong Kong is a great choice for entrepreneurs given its lack of tariffs, robust economy and close proximity to China. But as with anywhere, they don’t let just anything in, regardless of what it is! Before shipping to Hong Kong, it’s important to understand the region's restricted and prohibited items:

Restricted items to Ship to Hong Kong:

  • Agricultural pesticides
  • Radioactive substances
  • Rough diamonds
  • Optical disc mastering and related equipment
  • Dutiable commodities
  • Strategic commodities
  • Reserved commodities
  • Pharmaceutical products
  • Left-hand drive vehicles
  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Explosives

Prohibited items to Ship to Hong Kong:

  • Asbestos
  • Actinolite
  • Controlled chemicals
  • Dangerous drugs like opium, heroin, cocaine and morphine
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Ivory and ivory-related products
  • Pesticides

A more exhaustive list of prohibited items and restricted items can be found here.

Fortunately, Easyship knows a thing or two about shipping to Hong Kong as well - it’s where it all started for us! In particular, we offer useful guides for shipping and selling to Hong Kong while our rates calculator is a neat tool that shows you the couriers which offer the fastest, cheapest and best value shipping solutions to the East Asian city-state.

Hong Kong: A Prime Opportunity for Cross-Border eCommerce

eCommerce is really starting to take off in Hong Kong, making it a prime opportunity for smart online entrepreneurs. Sign up for a free account today if you’re shipping from the U.S. or other countries to Hong Kong to take advantage of all our resources!