How HKTVmall Became A Leading Mobile-First Marketplace

The growth of e-commerce in Hong Kong was ignited by the current leader in the marketplace: HKTVmall.

HKTVmall is currently known as the leading e-commerce platform in Hong Kong. While it may look like it took a smooth road, what really happened is the complete opposite.

See how the team behind HKTV managed to combat their rough beginnings, succeeded in their business goals, and even became one of the most discussed brands in Hong Kong last year:


Early beginnings


Originally, HKTVmall wanted to be a television station in Hong Kong. In 2009, HKTV (then-City Telecom) applied for domestic free-to-air television programme service license, but was rejected by the Hong Kong government in October 2013.

Later on, HKTV acquired a mobile TV license and decided to launch their first 2 channels, but this plan was hampered again. It commenced live and video on demand broadcasting through internet on November 2014 (while still applying an application for a free-to-air license).

The staff of HKTV and the public protested on the Civic Square outside the Central Government Offices against the government’s decision to deny HKTV’s application.


HKTV had fought a series of legal battles against the government, until it decided to just withdrew its application and surrendered its mobile television licenses to the Communications Authority in March 2018.


Becoming an e-commerce platform

After withdrawing plans on having a television station, Ricky Wong, the entrepreneur behind HKTV, decided to focus on starting an online shopping platform. This move gave them an opportunity to devote time and resources on improving their business.

In just a span of a year, HKTVmall successfully became one of the household e-commerce platforms in Hong Kong. How?

Ricky Wong and his team’s vision to break out from traditional strategies worked very well for them. They focused more on what is important such as brand image, logo and color scheme. They even considered the demand of their customers.


Becoming a leading mobile-first marketplace

With the advent of social media, more and more customers are heavily relying on their phones.

According to Nielsen’s data report, about 97% of Hong Kong’s population use smartphones to access the internet—either to browse social media and get inspiration from influencers (KOL), or do online shopping. This is one opportunity that HKTVmall did not let pass. Through it, they were able to attract a wide variety of customers.

Currently, HKTVmall offers online shopping experience on lifestyle items on its website. It also supports Android and iOS devices and its app is available in Google Play Store and the App Store.



HKTVmall’s struggles did not let them stop from building their business to cater to their target customers. And that is one thing that small businesses should admire. If you’re a lifestyle/retail or an e-commerce platform in Hong Kong, make sure to have a strong business strategy!