Olympics 2012: Controversy, world records and local rising stars capture attention of Hong Kongers online

Hong Kong, August 14, 2012 — According to Experian, analysis of Hong Kong Internet users online behaviour during the London Olympics 2012 shows that athletes caught up in controversy, those who broke world records and successful members of the Hong Kong team attracted a significant amount of attention online.

Figure 1: Top search variations in Hong Kong over 12 rolling weeks ending 4 August

Online searches for Ye Shi-wen, the sixteen year-old who broke the world record in the 400 metres medley, which was later surrounded by speculation, increased 256,100 per cent on 4 August compared to the previous week. Meanwhile, searches on Sun Yang, the twenty year-old who won the 400 metres and 1500 metres freestyle and became the first Chinese man ever to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming, increased by 1,903 per cent during the same period.

In addition to following stories of the winning athletics from Mainland China, Hong Kongers showed their interest and support for new rising Hong Kong athletes. A sharp increase in search traffic in the week from July 28 to August 4 for Lee Wai-sze showed Hong Kongers were clearly keen to know more about the local racing cyclist, who won the bronze medal in the women’s keirin and who’s feat handed Hong Kong its first-ever Olympic medal in cycling.

Yip Pui-yin, the local famous badminton player, saw her online popularity increase as a result of her making her way to the women’s singles quarter finals against China’s Li Xuerui. Online search traffic for ‘Yip Pui-yin’ increased 2,337 per cent from June 30 to August 4.

Olympic athletes Tom Daley, Allison Stokke and Marcel Nguyen also caught the eye of Hong Kongers, with them featuring among the local and mainland Chinese athletes searched for online. Online searches increased 409%, 2241% and 369,500%.

For more general news, updates and information about the Olympics, Hong Kong Internet users frequently visited www.london2012.com and www.olympic.org, which registered 2,844 per cent and 467 per cent increase in traffic respectively in July 2012 compared to the previous month.

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