Electronics traders are setting their sights on smart homes around the globe, as the internet of things, or IoT, gains traction and supply chains re-stabilise following the pandemic.
In a survey of exhibitors and buyers at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) autumn electronics fairs this week, the HKTDC interviewed more than 1,100 buyers and exhibitors. Nearly 80% of exhibitors said they were trying to open up new markets. North America (30%), Northern and Western Europe (28%) and ASEAN countries (13%) were the most popular.
Respondents were optimistic about the development potential of smart home and smart living products and solutions (22%), and electronic and electrical accessories (19%) in the next two years.
Most survey respondents believed consumers would pay an additional 20% to buy household appliances that were compatible with smart-home applications.
The two four-day exhibitions attracted more than 60,000 industry buyers from 146 countries and regions, with numbers from ASEAN, Mainland China, Turkey and the UAE growing notably year-on-year, indicating enthusiasm for Hong Kong as a trade fair platform.
The fairs brought together nearly 3,200 exhibitors, representing 22 countries and regions.
Turning to Extended Reality, or XR, applications, survey respondents expected the highest market potential in mobile and online gaming (25%) and automotive or other navigation (24%). Most respondents believed robotics had the highest potential to be used in home appliances fields (28%), such as vacuum cleaning and household robots.
The much-discussed generative AI is gaining traction. Among respondents who currently use or plan to use the technology, customer service and support (52.1%) and product design and development (45.6%) were the most popular areas of application.
Pippy Zhou, the Overseas Sales Director of Shenzhen Orange Digital Technology Co Ltd, a manufacturer of high-end home and personal entertainment products, said the autumn electronics fair surpassed their expectations when compared to other overseas exhibitions they visited recently.
He said: “Every day, we met with around 50 groups of potential buyers, encompassing those from European countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy and Russia, as well as from the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and from Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, India, and Thailand.”
Chocho Group, a Hong Kong start-up that specialised in smart-product development, showcased their range of smart trackers, smart pet feeders, smart home technology solutions and other products at the fair.
Aurora Chan, Founder of Chocho, was impressed by the international nature of the event. She said: “We have received inquiries from numerous overseas buyers representing countries, such as France, Spain, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and various Middle East countries.”
The number and range of exhibitors impressed the many buyers who attended the fairs from across the world.
Bartosz Gorecki, Label Director at x-kom sp. z o.o. in Poland, has sourced electronic products at HKTDC’s electronics fairs almost every year since 2012. This year, he attended the fairs to source electronic products not yet available on the market, such as mobile phone accessories, computer components and peripherals. He engaged with more than 70 suppliers, including those he contacted through Click2Match.
The HKTDC’s Click2Match smart business matching platform proved useful for buyers physically at the event and those attending remotely.
Taresh Vadgama, Vice President of Product Development and Manufacturing at Canadian company Lenbrook International, participated in the fairs to source streaming and audio equipment, including speakers and amplifiers. He said: “During the event, I had the opportunity to engage with five to six promising new suppliers and conducted eight business meetings through the Click2Match platform. We are looking to establish long-term partnerships with one or two of these suppliers."
The events featured more than 80 activities and forums with more than 120 industry leaders from 11 countries and regions invited to bring the latest information and unique insights from the industry to the attendees.
These included The Symposium on Innovation & Technology, the Hong Kong Electronic Forum and the Reliability and Prognostics Health Management of Microelectronics Forum. Other events, such as the Investment Matchmaking, Hong Kong Value Creation for Technology: Pitching Competition and Meet the Mentors, attracted many industry players.
The two exhibitions will continue to be held under the EXHIBITION+ hybrid mode, where global exhibitors, industry professionals and buyers can connect online through the HKTDC’s smart Click2Match platform until 23 October.