Since 2000, the Census and Statistics Department has been conducting annual surveys on information technology (IT) usage in the business sector. The survey findings have recorded a steady increase in the adoption of IT and e-commerce in the business sector over the past three years. The penetration rates of personal computer and the Internet have increased respectively from 51.5 per cent and 37.3 per cent in 2000 to 54.8 per cent and 47.5 per cent in 2003. In addition, more and more business establishments have started to order/purchase, receive, sell or deliver goods, services or information through various electronic means.
With a view to encouraging more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt IT, Information Technology Services Department has been cooperating with the relevant trade associations and IT industry organisations to promote IT adoption by SMEs in specific sectors. We have already started two sector-specific programmes to promote IT adoption by travel agents and private medical practitioners. We expect that e-commerce adoption in Hong Kong will continue to grow steadily over the next few years.
Hong Kong ranks ninth overall (10th and 14th respectively in 2003 and 2002) in the Economist Intelligence Unit's 2004 e-readiness rankings, which covers over 60 economies. The rankings are based on criteria in six categories and Hong Kong comes 11th in the category of consumer and business e-commerce adoption.
Those ahead of Hong Kong in the 2004 e-readiness rankings are mainly the United States and European countries leading in IT adoption, including Denmark, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway and Finland, etc. The Mainland ranks 52nd.