The internet contributed over $12 billion to Hong Kong's economy in 2009, and this could grow to HK$146 billion by 2015, according to new research.
A report commissioned by Google Hong Kong and prepared by Boston Consulting Group found that the internet was responsible for roughly HK$96 billion ($12.35 billion), or 5.9% of Hong Kong's total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 2009.
The share of GDP is also projected to grow to 7.2% in 2015. The leading European internet economies generate between 6% and 7% of GDP from the internet.
The report, which Boston Consulting said is the first in Asia to identify the size of the internet economy in a particular country, states that the internet has transformed major industries including international trading, finance and small businesses.
Hong Kong boasts one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the world of 83%, and 34% of households are connected via FTTx technologies.
Around a third of Hong Kong's internet economy is driven by consumption – evenly divided between online shopping and consumer spending on telecom services, hardware and software, the report states.
But while business to business e-commerce amounted to HK$61 billion during the quarter, consumer commerce generated a comparatively small HK$16 billion, due to the popularity of brick-and-mortar shopping in Hong Kong.