Commerce 3.0: Enabling Hong Kong Entrepreneurs (English)

Through the power of the Internet and technology, small businesses are able to reach beyond a local consumer base and access global markets like never before.

Commerce 3.0 is the term we use to describe this coming together of online and offline worlds and the merging of local and global markets. The idea that technology-enabled small businesses can maintain a local presence while providing goods and services on a global scale points to a novel and exciting story, particularly for those engaged in trade policy.

International trade has traditionally been the privilege of the largest players. This is changing. The Internet creates a truly global network. Combining it with technology solutions and services enables merchants and consumers to connect and establish trust across national and cultural borders.

The analysis in this report is based on research by Sidley Austin LLP on two datasets from eBay and PayPal, respectively, and follows research conducted in the Asia Pacific, United States and Europe.

The eBay data covers all eBay sales by Hong Kong sellers from 2007 to 2013. ‘eBay Commercial sellers’ are defined as those with annual sales of USD10,000 or more.

The PayPal data relates to PayPal Hong Kong commercial sellers’ transactions from 2007 to 2013. ‘PayPal Commercial sellers’ are those with annual receipts of USD50,000 or more.

Internet-empowered small businesses and entrepreneurs are able to overcome some of the traditional barriers associated with international trade. But some barriers remain while new ones arise as large corporations are joined by small firms and entrepreneurs on the global stage.

This report will provide several ideas for consideration to overcome these challenges.