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What did Hong Kong search for on Google in 2015?

What did Hong Kong search for on Google in 2015?

Originally published at the South China Morning Post on December 16, 2015

Google has categorised Hong Kong’s biggest query spikes in the past twelve months to reveal the city’s most searched items, from trending people in current affairs and favourite travel destinations to top keywords searches for English translation. About 79 per cent of Hongkongers now use a smartphone.

Here are some of the leading lists:

Top Trending Food on Mobile Search

Is there anything Hongkongers love more than their food? Yes - they love searching for more food. It’s no surprise that local cuisine tops the list when it come to food. Apart from classics like sweet and sour pork, the list also includes new twists like Maltesers glutinous rice dumpling and detox soup. If you haven’t heard of Omurice, it’s a Japanese style dish consisting of an omelette made with fried rice and topped with ketchup.

1. Sweet and Sour Pork

2. Pork Bones and Arrowroot Soup

3. Sour and Spicy Noodle

4. Maltesers Glutinous Rice Dumpling

5. Happy Meal

6. Omurice

7. Steam Hot Pot

8. Black Sesame Paste

9. Detox Soup

10. Buffet

Top Trending Travel Destinations on Mobile Search

It seems like Hongkongers are exploring new destinations for travel, with searches to Finland topping the list and Croatia making it into the top ten. Thailand and Japan remain crowd favourites, while the most searched Chinese city was scenic Zhangjiajie, in the northwestern part of Hunan.

1. Finland

2. Hainan Island

3. Okinawa

4. Kumamon

5. Bangkok

6. Hua Hin

7. Santorini

8. Bali

9. Croatia

10. Zhangjiajie

Top Trending Keywords Searched for English Translation

Dominated by Asian TV shows, the most pressing keywords for translation curiously included a mix of entertainment - like Japanese porn star Yui Hatano - and the more personal, such as enquiries for gastroenteritis, or ‘stomach flu’. Almost topping the list was parallel goods trading, referring to when traders from China take advantage of multiple entry visas to illegally import Hong Kong products to mainland China.

1. Year of the Sheep

2. Parallel Goods Trader

3. Yui Hatano

4. Bold and Unrestrained

5. Gastroenteritis

6. Lantern Festival

7. Taipei

8. Lead

9. Flu

10. Voice Actor

Top Trending Local Topics

Hongkongers grappled with a series of hot topic issues this year involving local politics, retail, China and housing. Surprisingly the hugely anticipated World Cup clash between China and Hong Kong didn’t rank nearly as enthusiastically as Hongkongers looking up more information about the 70th anniversary of World War II and how Hong Kong survived occupation.

Local elections and political reform also ranked high on the list, as well as the Hong Kong retail inflation-indexed bond and this year’s budget.

1. HSBC 150th Anniversary

2. iBond

3. District Council Election

4. De Novo

5. Political Reform

6. 70th anniversary of the end of World War II

7. The 2015-16 Budget

8. Illegal immigrant Xiao Youhuai

9. FIFA World Cup Qualifier HK vs China

10. Home Ownership Scheme Secondary Market to white form buyers

Top Trending Hong Kong People in Current Affairs

The chief executive’s daughter, the controversial infectious disease specialist turned politician who passed away this year, and the University of Hong Kong council member who was hospitalised following a July campus protest were the top three most searched Hongkongers in current affairs. Other highlights included Nakade Hitsujiko, the IT specialist and self proclaimed “social media celebrity” arrested for money laundering after losing the Yau Tsim Mong district council election, as well as Joshua Wong’s girlfriend Tiffany Chin Sze Man of local pro-democracy student group Scholarism.

1. Leung Chai Yan

2. Lo Wing Lok

3. Lo Chung Mau

4. Nakade Hitsujiko

5. Tiffany Chin Sze Man

6. Mandy Tam Heung Man

7. James Tien Pei Chun

8. Lam Jok

9. Lau Kong Wah

10. Johannes Chan Man Mun

Top Trending International Topics

Disasters and terrorist attacks were on the forefront of Hongkongers minds this year, with the Tianjin blasts, ISIS and the explosion that occurred during a colour party in a Taiwan water park in June.

Tragedies aside, the top ten also featured Blue Moon, the world’s most expensive diamond bought by Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau for his seven-year-old daughter.


2. Tianjin explosions

3. Greek bailout referendum


5. Formosa Fun Coast explosion

6. Nepal earthquake

7. Je suis Charlie

8. Paris attacks

9. Blue Moon

10. Severe tropical storm Linfa

Top Trending International People

Hongkongers went looking for more information on Lee Kuan Yew back in March, when Singapore’s late first prime minister passed away; his popularity pushed his name to the top of a very diverse list, ranking above the undefeated American boxer Floyd Mayweather, transgender reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner and US presidential candidate Donald Trump as the top trending international person this year. Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipino woman facing execution in indonesia for smuggling heroin and former wildcard presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu also made it to top ten.

1. Lee Kuan Yew

2. Floyd Mayweather

3. Caitlyn Jenner

4. Donald Trump

5. Manny Pacquiao

Top Trending International Celebrities

Not surprisingly, entertainers from mainland China like Mini Yang and Yao Beina dominated this list of top ten, along with celebrities from Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The sole western celebrity who made the cut was American actor Charlie Sheen.

1. Mini Yang

2. Hannah Qinlivan

3. Yao Beina

4. Wang Ta-lu

5. Fan Bingbing

6. Li Chen

7. Fukiishi Kazue

8. An Chun-tsan

9. Viann Zhang

10. Charlie Sheen

Top Trending Gadgets

Mobile phones appear to be the city’s favourite gadget, and Hongkongers favoured Apple products this year with iPhones, the iPad Pro and the Apple Watch all ranking within the top six. Android smartphones however also snagged second and third best, and the top ten included the ASUS Zenfone and Nexus 6P.

1. iPhone 6s

2. LG V10

3. LG G4

4. iPhone 6s Plus

5. Apple Watch

6. iPad Pro

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 5

8. ASUS Zenfone 2

9. LG G3

10. Nexus 6P

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