As 2016 draws to a close, tech giant Google has published its annual Year in Search report, revealing the most searched-for items among Hongkongers.

The lists highlight spikes in traffic over sustained periods in 2016, compared to 2015.  It reports the most searched-for keywords, topics, people, gadgets, games, movies and TV programmes. According to Google, 58 percent of Hongkongers used the search engine to look for hot topics, useful information and shopping tips, especially on mobile.

google trends

Pokémon Go – the augmented reality game that became hugely popular around the world – topped the list of the most searched-for term in Hong Kong during the past year. The app was launched in Hong Kong back in July, and became an instant sensation among gamers in the city.

pokemon go
Pokemon Go was launched in Hong Kong in July.

ViuTV, a newly launched local television station in April, was the second most-searched item. Third place went to Descendants of the Sun, a South Korean drama series.

Meanwhile, the top trending local topics were September’s Legislative Council election, the New Territories (East) by-election in February, as well as the District Council (Second) seats in the legislature.

google trends

Yau Wai-ching, who was barred from taking her seat in the legislature after she made derogatory comments towards China, won the top spot as the most searched-for person in the current affairs list. She was followed by Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, who received death threats after he was elected into the legislature, as well as Hong Kong Indigenous leader Edward Leung Tin-kei.

Yau Wai Ching Eddie Chu Edward Leung
Yau Wai-ching (left), Eddie Chu (middle) and Edward Leung (right).

The top trending international topics among Hongkongers were the US election, the Rio 2016 Olympics and Brexit. The most searched-for international people were Donald Trump, Lee Chong Wei and Tsai Ing-wen.

The most searched movie went to Your Name, a Japanese anime film centred on the story of two youngsters, while the top trending gadget was iPhone 7.

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).