Known as one of the four Asian Tigers in the world economy, Hong Kong has fast developed into a strong economy. With no substantial natural resources and favorable agricultural conditions, the country imports its consumer goods.  The economy of Hong Kong is largely dependent on the service sector which generates around 93% of the country’s GDP.

Hong Kong offers several opportunities for businesses looking to enter or expand their presence in the region. As a result, conducting market research in Hong Kong is essential for companies aiming to succeed in this dynamic and highly competitive environment. 

By providing valuable insights into consumer demographics, industry trends, and the competitive landscape, market research in Hong Kong empowers global companies to make informed decisions and develop targeted strategies to attract and retain customers effectively.

Asia’s World City

The Hong Kong business market has been highly adaptable to globalization, rising competition, and technological advancements in the last two decades, allowing it to overcome the dynamic challenges faced by the world economy.

With the handover and Mainland China’s rising, the question of Hong Kong’s relevance in a flat global economy may be raised.

Overview of the Hong Kong market

Driven by its well-developed financial sector, robust trade relations, and strong ties to mainland China, Hong Kong has undergone steady economic growth. Market research in Hong Kong can assist businesses in identifying growth opportunities and positioning themselves for success in this prosperous economy. This is why.

Hong Kong became a regional trade and investment hub due to its highly competitive business environment, minimal government intervention, and low taxes. In addition, Hong Kong has a workforce that is highly educated and skilled, possessing professional expertise. A sophisticated and discerning consumer base has emerged due to the diverse population, high-income levels, and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

Businesses can attract and retain the right talent for their operations by conducting market research in Hong Kong to understand the local talent pool, recruitment landscape, and workforce trends. Businesses can expand their reach and capitalize on opportunities in the broader Asia-Pacific region by gaining insights into the region’s consumer preferences, trade regulations, and market dynamics.

Global Financial Center

Over the years, Hong Kong has emerged as the international financial center for the Asian markets. Hong Kong Dollar is the eighth highest traded currency in the world. The financing and insurance sector accounts for the major portion of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. The financial market of Hong Kong is highly diverse and holds special expertise in IPO’s and Fund Management.

With a population of approximately 7 million in 2012, Hong Kong has a small populace with a high standard of living.  The Hong Kong Stock Exchange ranks as the seventh largest in the world, which raised 22% of the total world’s initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2009. Hong Kong has one of the strongest stock markets and banking sectors in the world.

Other major service industries that play a vital role in the economy of the country include insurance, real estate, food services, and business services. The country is the ninth most expensive city to live in for expatriates and is host to numerous millionaire households, ranking as the fourth country with the highest number of them.

Emerging trends in market research in Hong Kong

  • Market research purposes can benefit from the wealth of data generated by the growing use of digital platforms and social media networks. To gain insights into consumer behavior and preferences, businesses are utilizing digital data collection methods like online surveys, social listening, and web analytics.
  • Incorporating advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is becoming increasingly common in market research in Hong Kong. Researchers can analyze large datasets more efficiently, identify patterns and trends, and generate more accurate and actionable insights using these technologies.
  • Market researchers in Hong Kong are adopting mobile research methods, including mobile surveys, in-app questionnaires, and location-based data collection, as smartphone penetration continues to increase. Businesses can engage with consumers in real-time, collect valuable feedback, and more accurately monitor consumer behavior.
  • To address their specific needs and objectives, businesses are increasingly looking for customized and personalized market research solutions. In response to this demand, market research firms in Hong Kong are providing tailored research services, such as customized surveys, focused group discussions, and thorough interviews with specific audience segments.

Opportunities in Hong Kong

One factor that makes Hong Kong a preferable business market for most foreign investors is the ease of regulations and business policies, and the high protection of rights that the country offers. Hong Kong has been consecutively ranking second in the Ease of Doing Business Index for the past four years. The country is also ranked as the freest world economy according to the Index of Economic Freedom since 1995.

The financial services industry remains one of the largest industries in Hong Kong. The business services and tourism industry also shows substantial growth in the recent years. The country is further making efforts to expand into industries that complement its current core industries. The industries that are indicated to grow include education services, environmental industries, innovation and technology, medical services, testing and certification services, and cultural industries.

Real Estate is also a major industry and a source of investment from global and Mainland Chinese investors.  The scarce space makes Hong Kong one of the most expensive places in the world to live and own property.

Some other key elements of market research opportunities are:

  • Emerging industries: Hong Kong is home to a variety of rapidly evolving industries such as fintech, e-commerce, and healthcare. Market research in Hong Kong can help businesses identify emerging sectors with strong growth potential and assess the viability of entering or expanding within these industries.
  • Innovation and technology adoption: Hong Kong is known for its innovation-driven economy and rapid adoption of new technologies. Market research in Hong Kong can help businesses identify technological advancements and trends that could create opportunities for growth such as the development of new products or services, or the optimization of existing processes.
  • Niche market segments: Hong Kong’s diverse and sophisticated consumer base offers opportunities for businesses to target niche market segments with specialized products or services. Market research in Hong Kong can help identify these niche segments, their unique needs and preferences, and the most effective marketing strategies for reaching them.
  • Partnerships: Forming strategic partnerships and collaborations with local businesses, government agencies, or educational institutions can help companies access new resources, expertise, and market opportunities. Market research in Hong Kong can help identify potential partners and assess the feasibility and potential benefits of such collaborations.
  • Product and pricing strategy: By understanding consumer preferences and the competitive landscape, businesses can develop products and pricing strategies that appeal to the Hong Kong market. Market research can also help identify potential gaps in the market that companies can exploit to gain a foothold.
  • Digital transformation: The rapid digitalization of Hong Kong’s economy has created opportunities for businesses to leverage digital platforms and technologies to enhance their operations, customer experience, and marketing efforts. Market research in Hong Kong enables businesses to identify digital trends and opportunities and develop strategies for embracing digital transformation.

Gateway to China

Another major attraction that lures businesses to Hong Kong is the prospect of gaining entry into the world’s largest market by population, China. Since Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, their business practices are often integrated. Hong Kong works as a gateway for most companies to expand their business to mainland China. The FDI inflow of the country is constantly on the rise in the past few years.

Hong Kong is not only a gateway to the Chinese markets, but it also lies in the heart of the major Asian markets, located almost within a distance of a four-hour flight from them.

Importantly, Hong Kong is the gateway to China because of its rule of law, stability and transparent way of doing business.


Hong Kong is a major cultural center and has a strong influence from Cantonese, Chinese and British cultures.  HK boasts growing film, theater and entertainment industries.  It has major theme parks such as Hong Kong Disney.

Ease of Doing Business

Starting a business or establishing branch offices is relatively easier in Hong Kong than in other markets.  The World Bank rates Hong Kong as #2 in the world in Ease of Doing Business.  As a financial capital with robust infrastructure, transactions and investments are world-class in Hong Kong.

Future outlook of market research in Hong Kong

The future outlook of market research in Hong Kong appears promising based on current trends and factors. Here are some key aspects that may shape the industry in the coming years:

  • An attractive location for market research is Hong Kong due to its position as a global financial center and its proximity to the booming Chinese market. Hong Kong is likely to benefit from increased demand for market research services as China grows and integrates with the global economy.
  • Market research services providing customized solutions will experience a growing demand as businesses in Hong Kong work towards meeting the unique needs of their customers. The development of more specialized market research firms catering to specific industries or niches could be a possible outcome.
  • The market research industry will continue to be transformed by the adoption of advanced analytics and AI. Firms can analyze large amounts of data more efficiently with these technologies, resulting in better insights and more accurate predictions. Helping businesses in Hong Kong make more informed decisions will drive growth in the industry.
  • Businesses in Hong Kong will increasingly prioritize providing exceptional customer experiences as competition intensifies. Market research services that can help companies understand customer preferences, expectations, and pain points will be in demand.
  • International market research firms are likely to be attracted to Hong Kong’s strong business environment and strategic location as they seek to expand into the Asia-Pacific region. Increased competition and industry growth may result from these firms partnering with local companies to provide their services.

About Market Research in Hong Kong

SIS International Research provides leading Market Research and Strategy Consulting solutions in Hong Kong.  We have over 30 years of experience in conducting research and strategy in Hong Kong and China.  Our key services include:

  • Focus Groups
  • Consumer and B2B Interviews
  • Online Digital Communities
  • Industrial Market Research
  • New Product Concept Testing
  • Marketing Consulting
  • Competitive Analysis
  • China Market Research

About SIS International

SIS International offers Quantitative, Qualitative, and Strategy Research. We provide data, tools, strategies, reports and insights for decision-making. We conduct interviews, surveys, focus groups and many other Market Research methods and approaches. Contact us for your next Market Research project.

Contact us for your next Market Research and Strategy Consulting project in Hong Kong.