Hong Kong electronics tradefairs thrive despite protests

Continuing political unrest failed to dampen the spirits of attendees at the 39th HKTDC Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition), and the 23rd electronicAsia.

Hong Kong Electronics Fair is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), and electronicAsia is jointly organised by the HKTDC and MMI Asia Pte Ltd.

Organisers said 67,000 buyers attended the events held over four days and concluding 16 October at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

“Despite the ongoing trade friction between the United States and Mainland China and the continued social unrest in Hong Kong, the twin electronics fairs and associated events ran without a hitch,” said Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Acting Executive Director.

He added that the two electronics fairs actually saw an increase in buyer attendance from various markets, including Macao, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Mexico and Iran.

The HKTDC commissioned an independent survey during the fair, interviewing 1,055 exhibitors and buyers. It showed 55% of respondents expect overall sales to remain steady next year, while 25% expect sales to increase and 17% expect a decrease.

The survey respondents view Korea (62%) as the most promising traditional market with the strongest growth potential, followed by Taiwan (55%). For emerging markets, the Middle East (80%) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries (69%) are expected to show the most promise.

In terms of product trends, the survey revealed that three-quarters (75%) of industry players have a positive view towards augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices in the coming two years, of which mobile or online games have the greatest market potential.

Respondents are most optimistic regarding electronic or electrical accessories (18%), followed by audio visual products (16%) as well as computers and peripherals (12%), which are all seen as significantly more promising compared to last year.

As 5G technology matures around the world, with Hong Kong's 5G network scheduled to launch next year, this year's Autumn Electronics Fair invited experts to share the latest 5G technology developments at the Symposium on Innovation & Technology, as well as launching the new Nanjing 5G Pavilion at the Tech Hall to showcase the latest 5G industrial and commercial applications.

Dedicated to developing innovative medical and healthcare products through the deployment of North European technologies, MiNiSV Holding participated in the Nanjing 5G Pavilion for the first time. The company's President, Kevin Liu, said it received more than 10 orders on the first day of the fair, comprising some 5,000 product units. "An Irish buyer bought 3,000 of our baby monitors,” he said.

Tuncay Gulcu, a first-time buyer from Turkey’s Gulcu Security Systems, also placed on-the-spot orders at the Autumn Electronics Fair. Looking for adapters, cables and professional outdoor cameras, he was able to find four reliable suppliers and placed onsite orders worth US$50,000. He added that the recent situation in Hong Kong did not affect his decision to visit the Autumn Electronics Fair. “I believe that Hong Kong is still a safe place to do business,” he said.

VIISA, a venture capital company from Vietnam, found new investment opportunities in the Startup zone at the fair. Phuc Nguyen, the company's Senior Program Manager, said: “We have found four start-ups from Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Our average investment amount is around US$200,000 for each venture.”