The 13th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) and the concurrent HKTDC International ICT Expo concluded on Saturday.
Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the four-day twin fairs (13-16 April) welcomed nearly 93,000 buyers from 145 countries and regions, up 1.3 per cent over last year. Buyer attendance from ASEAN countries saw good growth, with visitors from Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand recording a satisfactory increase. Attendance from the United States, the United Kingdom, Argentina, Spain and Australia also saw solid growth.
The HKTDC commissioned an independent on-site survey during the fair, interviewing more than 820 exhibitors and buyers about their views on the market outlook. Early results show that more than 80 per cent of respondents expect overall sales this year to increase or remain unchanged over last year. As for product trends, respondents consider electronics/electrical accessories to be the product category with the best growth potential in the sales/export market this year (15%), followed by audio-visual products (15%), mobile devices and accessories (10%), and home appliances (9%).
Latest smart products and technology
“The electronics and ICT industries have been striving for technology innovations and advancements to push the industry ahead,” said Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director. “The Electronics Fair and ICT Expo provide the ideal platform for the industry to explore business opportunities and share insights. Exhibitors can promote their latest products and ICT solutions to international buyers to show their uniqueness and connect with the global market. We saw vibrant business momentum at the fairground this year, with buyers eager to purchase the latest products and technology, in particular high-tech products with smart-home applications.”
Amid the continued development of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology applications, the trend towards smart home has become more prevalent. The Connected Home zone returned to the fair this year, showcasing a wide spectrum of innovative products. The on-site survey showed that the smart-home products considered to have the biggest growth potential in the next two years are systems with Internet/mobile network connections (wireless and Wi-Fi) and audio-visual items with smart functions. In addition, around 40 per cent of the respondents believe that consumers are willing to pay an extra 10 to 20 per cent to purchase electronics and home appliances with smart-home applications.
Among companies featuring smart-home products was Korea’s IM Healthcare Co., a first-time exhibitor at the Spring Electronics Fair. It showcased its Wellet Smart Balance, an IoT-based body composition analyser. “We have already had in-depth meetings with new buyers from Asia and Europe who are interested in Smart Balance,” said Bruce Lee, the company’s General Manager. “IoT products are hot items on the market. Wearable tech products will be the next trend, so we are now collaborating with a business partner to work on these types of products.”
Robotics attract attention
With ongoing developments in artificial intelligence, robotics technology has also become increasingly mature. The Robotics & Unmanned Tech zone in the Spring Electronics Fair featured various models of remote-controlled airborne cameras and robots, which generated strong interest among buyers.
Hong Kong exhibitor Intelligent CAD/CAM Technology Ltd returned to this year’s Spring Fair to raise brand exposure and showcase its robotic solutions. The company’s Director of Automation, CH Lai, said he has seen growing demand for robotic applications among the Chinese mainland manufacturers. Mr Lai said the company will follow up on meetings held at the fair with manufacturers from several mainland provinces, including Guangdong, Hunan and Zhejiang.
Start-ups showcase innovations
The effective use of ICT can increase sales and cut cost by raising business efficiency and productivity. Held concurrently with the Spring Electronics Fair, the International ICT Expo is a signature event in Asia, providing the ideal platform for start-up companies to meet potential business investors.
The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) set up an iStartup@HK pavilion at the ICT Expo to showcase products and ideas from local start-ups. City Image Technology Ltd displayed its latest 3D photo-creation and printing system. John Tang, the company’s Project Manager, noted that initial response was good, with enquiries from several buyers from Australia, the Philippines and the Chinese mainland to be pursued further.
New E-Commerce Zone presents cloud solutions
A new E-Commerce Zone was launched at this year’s ICT Expo to present a range of e-commerce technology and related services. Participating in the fair for the first time, the Hong Kong Cross-Border e-Commerce Association provided briefings on e-commerce platforms, third-party payment, O2O, e-commerce training courses, and third-party logistics. Association Chairman Liu Shaohua said that they received many visitor enquiries and believed that the expo offers an excellent opportunity to promote cross-border e-commerce. The Association plans to return next year with more companies showcasing in its pavilion.
The expo also featured business cloud solutions, including from Hong Kong’s uCloudlink Network Technology Ltd, which launched a series of Wi-Fi Hotspots and services under the brand “GlocalMe.” The company’s products and services drew interest from Belgian, Spanish and Indian companies, according to Sandy Zhu, Sales Lead, APAC, who noted the company may distribute its products and services to those countries. Ms Zhu added that they will follow up on negotiations with a US buyer, who can help the company explore the US market. The exhibitor also attracted sales and on-the-spot registrations for its Wi-Fi Hotspot during the fair.
Connecting global business opportunities
The HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Spring Edition) is Asia’s largest spring electronics event. Together with the ICT Expo, the twin fairs attracted more than 3,400 companies from 24 countries and regions. Thanks to the wide range of products available at the events, many buyers said they planned to visit the fairs again next year.
Hernan Dipace, Purchasing Manager of Ribeiro SA from Argentina, attended the fair to look for new suppliers. He said that due to the recent relaxation of Argentina’s import regulations, his company plans to import more electronic products. The company planned to buy US$1 million worth of televisions, audio equipment and small home-appliances through the Spring Electronics Fair, and found two potential Hong Kong suppliers for smart TVs and speakers. He said the company would confirm orders after completing product tests.
Dave Hrynkiw, CEO of Solarbotics from Canada, said that he found two potential suppliers at the fair, including one that provides components and software for producing robots. He plans to place an initial order worth US$20,000. He also identified another potential supplier that provides USB extension cord bracelets and power supplies, and plans to buy 3,000 pieces and 1,000 pieces respectively from that company.
Malaysia’s Boulevard IT Superstore Sdn Bhd, which runs a chain of 20 retail shops selling a wide range of computers, mobile phones and telecom products and accessories, visited the fair to source e-commerce, m-commerce and POS solutions and related products. “The business matching meetings arranged by the HKTDC proved to be fruitful,” said Tom Ling, the company’s Managing Director. “So far, we’ve found potential suppliers from India, Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland for various solutions. We will examine the quality carefully before finalising the details of operation.”
At the International ICT Expo, Yohanes Herby Gisorv Mogot, Sales Director of PT Adiraja Integrasi from Indonesia, said he found potential suppliers from Hong Kong and India that provide e-commerce and fleet-management solutions. He said his company will study the solutions closely and compare their pricing and advantages before concluding negotiations, with plans to place initial orders worth an estimated US$20,000 to US$30,000.
In view of the demand for sourcing in small amounts, the hktdc.com Small Orders display offered more than 300 showcases with some 3,000 products, available in minimum order quantities of five to 1,000 pieces. During the four-day event, more than 30,000 buyers visited the zone and over 21,000 business connections were established.