Synovate PAX – Hong Kong Fact Sheet

HONG KONG – Global market research company Synovate today announced the annual results of its long-running Pan Asia Pacific Cross Media Survey (Synovate PAX) for 2011.

In its 15th year, Synovate PAX is the region’s most comprehensive media study on elites, business executives and top management. Covering 11 markets from Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan to Australia, PAX provides up-to-date insights on the lifestyle, habit, product ownership, digital and media consumption of this affluent group.

The study is conducted year-round surveying over 20,000 affluent Asians. In Hong Kong, 1,747 affluent residents were surveyed to obtain the 2011 results.

The Synovate PAX study is a comprehensive guide for Asia’s media owners, agencies and marketers to understand affluent Asians, typically the top 20% of society based on monthly household income. The study answers key questions such as:

  • Which personal and household items – financial products, technology, luxury and all – do elite Hong Kong residents currently own?
  • What are the latest trends?
  • What are the lifestyle choices of wealthy Hong Kong elites?

Mapping Hong Kong’s elites in the last 15 years

  • Hong Kong elites’ access to the internet has doubled over the past 15 years, from 45% in 1997, up to 89% in 2011. This has been above the regional average since 1997 (30%) to now (82%).
  • The elites, decision makers and top management groups are early adopters of mobile phones, as early demand for a mobile was often for business use. Over half of Hong Kong’s elites (55%) owned a mobile in 1997, whilst now almost every elite has one in their hands (95%).
  • Hong Kong elites’ laptop and desktop ownership has jumped from 49% in 1997 to 78% in 2011.
  • Increased indulgence can be seen in Hong Kong’s affluent group over the years. Wine and champagne consumption has tripled over the past 15 years (For wine, 9% in 1997 to 27% now; for champagne, 3% in 1997 to 9% now).
  • As the financial capital of the region, ownership of financial instruments by elites in Hong Kong has significantly increased over the past 15 years. Those owning unit trusts/ mutual funds tripled (6% in 1997 to 19% in 2011), while elites holding stock/ securities doubled (26% in 1997 to 51% in 2011).

Strong hold as financial capital

  • Hong Kong’s affluent is the highest group in Asia Pacific to have a privilege/ priority bank account (40%), which is double that of the regional average (21%).
  • Over half of the elites (51%) in Hong Kong hold stocks, securities and bonds, above the regional average of 33%, following Taiwan (57%).
  • Hong Kong is the second highest group in the region with foreign currency as an investment (28%), which increased from 2010’s 24%. The top market is Taiwan at 30%.
  • Twelve percent of elites in Hong Kong hold offshore accounts for investment purposes, increasing from 9% in 2010. Regionally, only 7% indicated ownership.
  • Hong Kong’s affluent who own one and more financial products have increased from 77% in 2010 to 83% in 2011.
  • Similarly for the property market, more Hong Kong elites have acquired a private property over the past year, from 44% in 2010 to 48% in 2011.

Hong Kong’s technology trend

  • The explosive growth of the HDTV category continues, from 36% in 2009 to 53% in 2010, to now 65%. Another 10% said they intend to buy one in the next 12 months. Hong Kong’s elites are the top group in Asia Pacific embracing this new technology and the new forms of media that it is making possible.
  • The highest increase across Asia Pacific’s affluent groups, SLR digital still cameras continue their popularity among Hong Kong’s elites, with a 14% jump in ownership from 2010’s results (27% in 2010 to 41% in 2011).
  • Over the course of a year, smartphone ownership has again doubled, rising from 22% to 48%.
  • Ownership of a mobile that is not a smartphone continues to decline, dropping from 88% to 78%.
  • Similarly, a smart gadget that does all and keeps people mobile is displacing other products in the market. On the decline are desktop computers (from 71% to 67%), MP3 players/ MP3 hard disk players (from 41% to 32%) and MP4 players (from 19% to 16%).

Let’s talk about luxury and indulgence

  • There has been an 11% jump in Hong Kong’s elites stating they will buy a new product or service if it makes their lives more enjoyable (from 38% in 2010 to 49% in 2011).
  • Hong Kong has the highest average monthly spending on cosmetics, fragrances and cologne at US$143 compared to the regional average of US$91.
  • The highest increase across Asia Pacific, champagne consumption by the elites of Hong Kong is now above the regional average (8%), which rose from 4% to 9%.
  • On the wrist of one in three elites in Hong Kong (35%), the city is the top market across Asia Pacific with the highest ownership of luxury watches above US$1000+, compared to 16% regionally. The love for luxury watches will continue, with 11% indicating an intention to purchase one in the future.
  • Ownership of US$1000+ quality/ designer clothes & leather goods and accessories & footwear all increased over the year. Quality/ designer clothes & leather goods increased from 16% to 21%, while accessories & footwear from 10% to 12%.

Most enjoyed leisure activities

  • Hong Kong’s elites like the cinema, 42% have visited in the past six months, followed by music concert (26%) and the museum (25%).
  • Some of the most popular sports for elites in Hong Kong are soccer/ football (22%), basketball/ netball (14%), badminton (12%), and swimming (10%).
  • Thirteen percent of the affluent in Hong Kong hold a social club membership and one in ten has a fitness club/ gym membership.

Hong Kong attitudes

Respondents were asked if they agree with a variety of statements. The results for those saying they agree or strongly agree with the statements are:

  • Spending time with family and friends is important to Hong Kong’s affluent, the highest agreement by 83% of the respondents on the 22 statements surveyed.
  • Eight out of ten elites, decision makers and top management in Hong Kong (79%) believe that companies and businesses should demonstrate the practice of corporate social responsibility.
  • Two-third (66%) of Hong Kong’s affluent indicated they care about environment protection.