Internet Life In Hong Kong
turbotodd 100000388Y Visits (2576)
It's early Wednesday morning here in Hong Kong.
The global economic skies seem to have grayed a bit more since my arrival here.
Though I haven't had much opportunity between meetings and dinners with business associates to follow the news, I did catch the story that Rick Wagoner resigned from General Motors, and am aware the G20 Summit starts tomorrow in London.
Other than that, I've been in a bit of a news blackout.
Which may not be such a bad thing, considering it's given me an opportunity to get more familiar with this great city, its people, and the absolutely gargantuan opportunity the Internet presents as a marketing and communications vehicle in this market and the greater Asia-Pacific region.
According to one of our friends from Forrester Research, who phoned in an Asia-Pacific Internet update from Sydney, the continued CAGR for Internet use in the Asia-Pacific region mimics that of the continued GDP growth in China, around 9%.
In China alone, there are well over 250M Internet users today, and yet there are over a billion and a half people here. So, the Asian Internet upside is still ridiculously enormous.
Though the Chinese economic growth engine has slowed some, the IMF still expects it to grow 9.3% in China this year, and AP as a region around 5-6%.
Hence, no recession, but a slight slowdown with no one immune from the overall general slowing.
Though one shouldn't make too sweeping a generalization about a broad market like Asia-Pacific -- the wants, needs and uses of the Internet are typically idiosyncratic to each market -- it does seem quite evident that Asia is moving well beyond the vanilla uses of the Web and aggressively embracing social media such as blogging, podcasting, social networks and the like.
But those uses are greatly impacted by sociocultural and political forces (TGCF, for example), as well as by generations of business tradition, conduct and customs.
As with so many places on the globe, this region is finding its way towards trying to naturally adapt to and embrace the disruption of social media in a way that best befits the individual culture.
So, the ways in which blogging, for instance, are being embraced in a more open city like Hong Kong, are vastly different from, say, how they may be embraced in Beijing.
But make no mistake, they are being embraced, and in numbers that are simply staggering.
Time prevents me from elaborating further, and the wonderful Harbour Plaza Northpoint will be throwing me out shortly.
This PM we'll be off to Seoul, South Korea, where I hope to learn and share even more.
Until then, happy surfing!