Hong Kong — a Digital Advertising Hub that Connects the World with Mainland China

The Trade Desk empowers marketers and advertising buyers with data-driven insight for more targeted media purchases.

Hong Kong’s role as a media and creative centre relies upon openness to ideas and talent, and the interplay and connection with cities and countries across the region.

Chris Ngan
General Manager, Hong Kong & Taiwan, The Trade Desk

The swift pace of technological advancement impacts every industry, including traditional ones such as advertising. The Trade Desk (TTD) was established to empower ad buyers through a demand side platform tool, allowing them to use data-driven insights to effectively plan, forecast and purchase digital media. In just a decade, it has become a leader in programmatic advertising, facilitating advertisers to target specific customers across different media channels and devices. Since it listed on NASDAQ in 2016, it has become one of the world’s fastest growing and most profitable advertising technology companies.

With 26 global offices, TTD’s Hong Kong office opened in 2015 and concentrates on regional business development, sales, marketing and technical support with over 60 members now. “Hong Kong is home to many multinational iconic brands, which makes it a centre of gravity for advertisers and marketers,” said Chris Ngan, The Trade Desk’s General Manager, Hong Kong & Taiwan. “The largest global agencies are all here. Hong Kong is also a gateway to Mainland China, in particular, the Greater Bay Area, a market with huge potential and a business hub for many Mainland enterprises. Brands and agencies here have been keen to learn more following the general availability of our Chinese inventory with Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, which lets brands outside buy advertising inside Mainland China.”

A Media and Creative Centre

Ngan, himself a native of Hong Kong, feels that the city is conducive to TTD’s flourishing. “The city’s role as a media and creative centre relies upon openness to ideas and talent, and the interplay and connection with cities and countries across the region,” he stated. “We see Hong Kong as an ideal connecting point between the East and the West, a regional hub where we have built a strong business foundation before we expand our operations to the Mainland. Leveraging on our local network and expertise accumulated from our business operations in Hong Kong, we have developed strong partnership with Chinese publishers and are able to offer premium ad inventory to international brands that want to target Mainland customers, and vice versa.”

“Hong Kong has a crucial role to play in the growth of our company in the region,” affirmed Ngan. “It is an important market in its own right, as one of the hubs for regional marketing. Our product and marketing team oversees the activities of our regional operations in Asia, and because of the city’s strategic location, our Hong Kong office has set up a new engineering department as one of our global technical support centres. Our technical team works closely with their counterparts in other regions to provide round-the-clock support to our clients.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited Hong Kong people in physical engagements and hence accelerated the growth in eCommerce and online spending. With Hong Kong as one of the mature markets with smartphone penetration in the world, TTD is aiding advertisers to outreach local customers via multiple touchpoints in smartphone and mobile devices. The growing ecosystem also leads to the increase in digital ad inventory, enabling more opportunities and rapid development of programmatic advertising.

As digital ad inventory increases, TTD is also seeing new forms of engagements, such as metaverse in gaming, Connected TV (CTV), cryptocurrency and Internet of Things (IoT). The company believes these new trends will bring unlimited opportunities to the digital advertising industry.


Fast Facts

  • Founded in 2009 in Ventura, California, its Hong Kong office opened in 2015 and serves as one of the hubs for Greater China and North Asia as well as its regional marketing and technology hub for the whole of Asia
  • The NASDAQ-listed company has 26 global offices and more than 2,000 employees dedicated to empowering buyers of advertising through a cloud-based demand side platform

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