Many trades and industries have in the past benefited from the use of electronic transactions or trading without the Internet. This similarly happens in Hong Kong. The EDI (electronic data interchange which has been moderated and promoted by Tradelink in Hong Kong's situation), electronic banking through public telephone and private ATM network and credit card transactions are the most obvious and prominent examples. The associated networks are costly and by nature a private network and hence their communications protocols are proprietary.
The welcoming trend of the use of the Internet as an alternative which carries little cost and wide openness has caused a lot of security concerns, name on authentication of the parties, on preserving message or data integrity made during communications. The most widely accepted technology presently is the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) . The use of PKI as a security safeguard is at the same time reinforced by the availability of an trusted third party (TPP), namely certification authorities. Hong Kong has given effect to the Electronic Transactions Ordinance, which is expected to govern transactions adopting the electronic channels as a means of communications.