Internet Economy Summit 2017 – Chambers Forum: Forging Ahead with Doing Business Online

Cross-border e-commerce has developed rapidly in recent years, despite the global trade slump. The whole world is witnessing an unprecedented opportunity in cross-border e-commerce. With a vibrant business community supported by robust ICT infrastructure and services, Hong Kong is well-placed and ready to take advantage of the e-commerce boom. However, scaling an online business somehow remains a challenge even for seasoned e-commerce experts. In addition, there are questions such as how to develop cross-border e-commerce in the Internet+ era. While many experts predict that e-commerce will continue to thrive for many years to come, some traditional retailers may fall by the wayside on the road to success or fail to capitalize on their digital sales channels.

Speaking at the “Chambers Forum: Forging Ahead with Doing Business Online,” part of five thematic events under the Internet Economy Summit, held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, industry leaders shared their expertise on e-commerce in the Internet+ era on 11 Apr 2017.

Alex Yung, Corporate VP and Managing Director of Amazon Web Services, said in his keynote address that the Internet + evolution would center around the applications of cloud, IoT, Big Data and AI in new economic development areas such as financial services and healthcare.

Nicole Chou, Head of e-Commerce, Greater China of Facebook, said in her keynote speech that in today’s connected world of global consumers, less than 25% of traditional SMEs sell goods across borders, so Facebook could help SMEs to tailor their markets and customer segments, and expand internationally.

Ricky Wong, Chairman of HKTV, pointed out in his keynote speech that Hong Kong is a small region where shopping in a physical store is so convenient that consumers need to “look and feel” before buying. Therefore, utilizing an O2O model with small shops supported by large logistics centres to engage offline customers to shop online might be the key to success. “We need to create the right supply platform to cater to unmet demand by consumers online,” he said.

The session co-organized by the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong, Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong Electronic Industries Association, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, and Hong Kong Young Industrialists Council. It provided a platform for government officials, business leaders, ICT experts, start-ups, academia and industry practitioners to discuss and exchange views on the latest developments and future trends in e-commerce, the use of digital marketing strategies and social media to engage customers and help SMEs expand businesses online and overseas, and the transformation of traditional businesses by embracing innovation and technology. They also discussed the development of e-payment to facilitate online shopping, and the sharing of successful business models such as “sales before build.”

This Forum was well-received by prominent speakers and honourable guests in town. It attracted more than 600 attendees. Invited speakers included CY Leung, Chief Executive, HKSAR; and founders, CEOs and heads of major companies including Amazon Web Services, Facebook, HKTV, Airport Authority, SaSa, Chow Sang Sang, Octopus, AsiaPay, QFPay, and Indiegogo among others.

At the Forum, participants had the opportunity to learn about recent developments and future trends in the industry, as well as create new business contacts and strategic partnerships with sponsoring companies such as Alibaba, Computer & Technologies, NEC, HSBC, Suga, Sunwah, CTPS Digiprints, Microsoft, Fujikon, CoreMinder, DynaSys, i-Sprint, PPAC and MYID through their representatives onsite.

The forum concluded with three intense panel discussion sessions that focused on business transformation with innovation, development of e-payment, and new online business models.

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