'Facebook' the most googled word last year
Hongkongers' insatiable appetite for current affairs, social media, gossip and technology remains unbowed - if the top Google search terms for last year are any guide.
The search engine has released its Zeitgeist lists for a range of categories, including the most-searched-for brands, travel, entertainment and people.
Facebook was the most-searched term, followed by Google, Yahoo, YouTube and local forum site HKGolden.
The most-searched-for brands were Apple Daily, Samsung HK, Rockson Piano, PCCW and MTR.
The top five fast-rising terms, which indicate seasonal trends, were: Google+; Japan earthquake; Taiwanese movie You Are The Apple of My Eye; mainland model Shuangshuang Pan; and Galaxy Note, a smartphone.
However, the results only showed part of the picture, said Professor Wong Kam-fai, director of Chinese University's Centre for Innovation and Technology.
'In general, the results are slightly biased because Google is more popular as a search engine for academics,' he said, with most Hongkongers preferring to use Yahoo as their default search site.
He was surprised with some of the findings, including the presence of Samsung HK as the second most-searched-for brand.
'I would have expected something like iPhone or iPad,' Wong said.
The popularity of HKGolden reflects how active the local online community is.
'HKGolden is a local phenomenon for people to discuss or criticise people, especially the government,' he said.
The forum, popular with people in their 20s and 30s, has also been used to track down individuals, Wong said, citing the example of one video posted on the website by a woman claiming that staff in a shop had treated her poorly.
Wong said the woman had wanted to win the support of website users, but she was tracked down, along with her family and her boyfriend, and she ended up having to apologise for her accusations.
In the most-searched social phenomena category, You Are The Apple of My Eye, grabbed the top spot, with iPhone 4S, 'scheme HK$6000', Steve Jobs' and 'recycle bags' rounding out the top five.
Wong said the university had conducted research into search-terms trends, most of which had a lifecycle of about three months.
He said the Google search reflected young people's focus on local issues, as 65 per cent of internet users in the city were under 25.
'The terms are mostly about daily life, not global news or politics. Our education system should try to do something to make our young people have a wider perspective of the world, not small day-to-day problems.'