Login / Register

Market OpportunitiesTech & InnovationEntrepreneurshipSustainabilityCreativity & LifestyleHKTDC Updates

My Feed


Opening vast cross-border market


Hong Kong SMEs have a chance to learn how to monetise mainland e-commerce traffic.


The vast e-commerce market in Mainland China is unique as well as enormous, posing a challenge for Hong Kong SMEs that want to tap access it.

The market was worth CNY43.8 trillion (US$6 trillion) in 2022, up 3.5% year‑on‑year, of which CNY14 trillion came from online sales, China’s Ministry of Commerce reports.

The many unique features, which set this giant market apart, include the importance of livestreaming for product and service promotion and universal electronic payment systems.

To help Hong Kong enterprises seeking to tap the mainland buying power adapt to this environment, a webinar on 26 June organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) Digital Academy will explain how SMEs can boost cross-border sales.

Two mainland e-commerce portals, Douyin and Xiaohongshu have found that many SMEs have opened accounts and attracted traffic, but do not know how to monetise the traffic by generating sales.

Digital Academy has invited Clement Yip, Founder of Growforce who has more than 20 years of marketing experience in Mainland China, and Dr Bernie Wong, Founder of Social Stand Media, to discuss operational strategies and tactics of Douyin and Xiaohongshu for SMEs. They will also explain content planning solutions for discovering potential customers.

HKTDC staff will also explain the HKTDC's EXHIBITION+ hybrid model to help SMEs maintain their promotional advantages and leverage online and offline synergies to seize business opportunities.

The seminar will take place in-person and will also be livestreamed.

At the Digital Academy webinar last month, SMEs learned more about how they could reach out to consumers in leading ASEAN markets.

A major concern among Hong Kong SMEs is that going global requires a great deal of money and effort. But the webinar explained that entering overseas markets and discovering potential customers was easier than believed. Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam all have many customers waiting for Hong Kong goods.

Dodo Kwong, Head of Partipost Hong Kong, outlined the trends and features of these Southeast Asian markets to help SMEs accurately identify potential overseas markets that are appropriate for your business.

She also discussed popular social media marketing strategies in each of these regions, helping SMEs rapidly increase brand visibility at low cost.

She said the social media landscape in Southeast Asia is vast, with its more than 482 million users accounting for 70% of the region’s population. Effective social media operations are essential in accessing this market.

Apart from the renowned Facebook and Instagram platforms, she pointed out that X (formerly Twitter) is often ignored, but is widely used in the region, especially in the Indonesian and Filipino markets, where over 50% of the population use it.

X topics are often more news-oriented and professional, implying that active users are more well-educated and have higher spending power.

Another advantage of X is its text-dominant contents, good for SMEs who do not have many resources at their disposal to develop image or video content.

The return on ad spend (ROAS) on X is also much higher than other social media, indicating its effectiveness.

In addition to X, Ms Kwong discussed the Southeast Asian version of Xiaohongshu, Lemon8, its features and social media tips. Owned by ByteDance, Lemon8 has also been described as the sister of TikTok.

Discover More

Subscribe free e-newsletter

Latest on Asia business intelligence
Mobile-friendly design to read on the go
Customise your news by registering online

Learn about latest market updates and insights to empower your business.