Taobao led the way in online auction and travel agencies websites
International fashion brands, H&M, Zara, ASOS gained in popularity

Hong Kong , January 19, 2012 – Experian Hitwise, a leading online competitive intelligence service, has released its first annual analysis of web searches conducted in 2011 by Hong Kong Internet users, providing insights that will be of relevance to marketers and commentators alike.

“The insights that marketers can gain from local web search patterns are extremely valuable in identifying key trends in a local market. These trends are key to helping marketers create effective and forward-looking go-to-market strategies to help improve audience engagement,” said Graeme Beardsell, Experian Asia Pacific’s Chief Customer Development and Marketing Officer. “Businesses can use online intelligence such as visits to popular shopping categories to keep track of the products that are top-of-mind amongst consumers when developing website content and forecasting product demand throughout the year.”

An area that has generated significant interest among Hong Kong Internet users is online auction websites. TaoBao jumped up in the rankings to become the champion among all of the auction sites with 35.9 per cent share of visits, surpassing Yahoo! Auctions Hong Kong (31.9 per cent), Paipai (14.3 per cent) and eBay (7.4 per cent).

The data also showed that Hong Kongers not only visit TaoBao for apparel and accessories, but also for travel packages. Taobao Trip ranked top among all travel agencies websites with 10.7 per cent share of visits, followed by with 8.2 per cent and with 7.2 per cent, signifying the increasing competition among Mainland China travel agency sites in Hong Kong.

“Auction sites like Taobao as well as group buying sites have become popular choices for people when seeking out deals. We expect this phenomenon to continue and see more businesses target these platforms to market their products and generate brand awareness through advertising,” said Graeme Beardsell.

Other key insights from Experian’s inaugural one-year online analysis are as follows:

Experian Hitwise Insights:

Social Networking

·         The popularity of social networking as a way to connect with people and brands continues to grow. Facebook alone accounted for 43.7 per cent share of visits in December 2011 and the term Facebook ranked top among all search terms in all categories.

·         Among the top three in social networking sites in Hong Kong, YouTube is the only website with a continuous increase in share of visits in 2011 compared to Facebook and Discuss.

·         Hong Kongers’ interest in sharing information on forums hasn’t waned, with local forums including Discuss, Uwants and HK Golden making it into the top five with 3.7 per cent, 2.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent share of visits respectively.


·         Hong Kong is a city full of IT gadget enthusiasts who like to research and review the latest gadgets and gizmos online. The top five electronic sites visited by Hong Kong Internet users were Apple (46.8 per cent) (7.19 per cent), Samsung Hong Kong (6.51 per cent), Engadget Chinese (5.16 per cent) and Sony Corporation of Hong Kong (3.78 per cent).

·         Samsung has been a fast mover with an accelerating increase in share of visits to both Samsung Hong Kong (176 per cent increase) and Samsung websites (214 per cent increase), demonstrating the growing popularity of the brand in 2011 with its recent product launches.

·         Apple-related search terms including apple store, iphone and itunes, occupied seven out of the top 10 search terms driving traffic to electronics, in a 12 rolling week period ending 31st December 2011. Samsung made its way into the top 10, ranking 2nd, whereas Sony and Canon ranked 9th and 10th respectively.

·         Hong Kong consumers went to to check out appliances and electronics, accounting for 33.3 per cent of share of visits in the shopping and classifieds – electronics category.

Beauty and Fashion

·         BeautyExchange continued to be the favourite site for Hong Kong’s beauty and fashion community to find out about the latest beauty trends and product reviews. It ranked as the number one website across three different sub-categories: shopping and classified – health and beauty (26.9 per cent) lifestyle - beauty (29.6 per cent), lifestyle – fashion (7.6 per cent).

·         Hong Kongers are crazy about fashion, and to ensure they stay in style, they visited e-commerce site ASOS (4.6 per cent) and community site (4.5 per cent), which ranked second and third in terms of share of visits behind BeautyExchange. Online magazines for fashion and culture including Elle Hong Kong and HypeBeast, took the final two places to make up the top five most visited websites in this category.

·         Chanel, Body Shop, Laneige, Clinique and Beauty Exchange are the top search terms related to lifestyle and beauty in the last three months (in 12 rolling weeks ending 31st December 2011).

·         International high street and online brands were searched for more than luxury brands. Uniqlo, H&M, Zara and ASOS made up four out of the top five most searched terms (in 12 rolling weeks ending 31st December 2011). This is a very different picture compared to the same period last year, where Chanel, Gucci and LV all featured in the top five.


·         In support of TVB’s claim to be the number one TV channel in Hong Kong, TVB, TVB Mytv and TVB Schedule dominated the top three websites in the entertainment television category. Visits to these TVB websites accounted for 63.4 per cent of share of visits, followed by ESPN (4 per cent) and Bloomberg (2.6 per cent).

·         Hong Kongers continued to show their avid interest in pop celebrities by visiting Mainland Chinese websites, as seen from the head to head competition in visits share between Sohu Entertainment (17.8 per cent) and Yahoo! China Entertainment (16.35 per cent), followed by KoreaStarDaily (7.96 per cent).


·         The top five most popular dating sites included, Adult, MeetU, Badoo and be2 Hong Kong. was top of the list with 11.2 per cent share of visits, closely followed by Adult with 10.2 per cent share and MeetU with 7.6 per cent.

Stocks and Property

·         Hong Kongers sought information about their stocks and shares at Yahoo! Hong Kong Finance website, which accounted for 22.2 per cent of all visits to websites in this category. They also visited and ET Net, which held 12.3 per cent and 5.8 per cent share of visits respectively.

· retained the top spot as the main source of property information, with 19.2 per cent share of visits. However, its share of visits has declined by 2.5 per cent from 2010.


Beardsell adds, “With capabilities to help businesses convert data into insights and delve into the search patterns of millions Hong Kong internet users, Experian Hitwise can play a vital role in helping marketers identify local opportunities in specific verticals to strategically conduct effective online marketing campaigns. This will help in ensuring sustained brand visibility and awareness among their target audience in an extremely online competitive environment.”




About Experian Hitwise

Experian Hitwise is the leading online competitive intelligence service. Only Experian Hitwise provides its 1,500 clients around the world with daily insights on how their customers interact with a broad range of competitive Web sites and how their competitors use different tactics to attract online customers. 

Since 1997, Experian Hitwise has pioneered a unique, network-based approach to Internet measurement. Through relationships with Internet service providers around the world, Experian Hitwise uses its patented methodology to anonymously capture the online usage, search and conversion behaviour of 25 million Internet users. This unprecedented volume of Internet usage data is seamlessly integrated into an easy-to-use, Web-based service designed to help marketers better plan, implement and report on a range of online marketing programs. 

Experian Hitwise, operates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. More information about Hitwise is available at

For up-to-date analysis of online trends, visit the Hitwise Intelligence – Analyst Weblogs at


About Experian

Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.


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Margaret Lam
Experian Public Relations
+852 2839 5276