What Hong Kong looked up on Google: Pokemon’s Pikachu more popular than Donald Trump

Pokemon Go tops the charts as the most searched term by Hongkongers in 2016, beating Apple’s iPhone 7 and the US presidential election

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2016, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2016, 10:51pm

Pikachu has done something that Hillary Clinton and 16 Republican candidates couldn’t: win against Donald Trump.

Google’s top searches - released by the company on Wednesday and compiled from searches on mobile and desktop - show Hongkongers had politics and entertainment on the brain in 2016. But it seems searching for Pikachu and friends in Nintendo’s smash-hit smartphone game was foremost in their thoughts.

Pokemon Go was the most searched keyword on Google by internet users with Hong Kong IP addresses this year, beating other popular queries including Apple’s latest smartphone, local politics and the US presidential election.

Pikachu, Eevee and Zubat weren’t just popular in Hong Kong - Pokemon Go was the most searched keyword of the year globally, with iPhone 7, Donald Trump and the late singer Prince coming in second, third and fourth place.

This was broadly in line with the top 10 global moments on Facebook, where US Elections, Brazilian politics, Pokemon Go, Black Lives Matter and Rodrigo Duterte took out the top five spots.

The top trending local topics for Hong Kong were dominated by politics, with Legislative Council Election taking out the top spot while disqualified pro-independence lawmaker Yau Wai-ching was the top trending local person in current affairs.

There was no surprise when it came to the top trending international person, with Donald Trump ranked number one, after coming in at number four last year, well ahead of his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton, who came in eighth place.

The United States election was the top trending international topic, with the Rio 2016 Olympics, Brexit, Belt and Road and Zika Virus also making the top 10.

The classic “how to” Google search showed Hongkongers are a tech-focused bunch, with “how to play Pokemon Go”, “how to solve wordbrain octopus” and “how to create two separate columns in word” among the top queries.

When it came to searching for the Chinese translation for English words, five of the top 10 were Pokemon, while “Zika virus”, “Brexit” and the poignant “faded” were also popular.

“Claustrophobia”, the East Asian goddess of compassion Guanyin and “Pheasant” were the top keywords searched in Chinese for an English translation.

Google compiled this year’s list from trending queries that had a large spike in traffic over a sustained period, rather than just total volume.

Last year, iPhone 6s, age-assessing website, Hong Kong television host Helen To Yu Fung and animated children’s film Minions made the top 10 list for most Googled terms from Hong Kong users.


1. Pokemon Go - the free augmented reality smartphone game launched in Hong Kong in July, prompting children and bankers alike to try to catch ‘em all

2. ViuTV - the Cantonese language entertainment channel began broadcasting in April

3. Descendants of the Sun - a South Korean television drama which finished airing in April on ViuTV

4. iPhone 7 - Apple’s latest smartphone offering, released in September, got plenty of buzz both in Hong Kong and worldwide

5. Pokevision - a tracking website that showed where Pokemon were lurking - until it shut down in July

6. A Fist Within Four Walls - a Hong Kong martial arts action television drama which premiered in August

7. Wu Xin: The Monster Killer - a Chinese web streaming drama which showed on Hong Kong’s TVB Jade at the end of last year and start of this year

8. Your Name - a super-popular Japanese anime fantasy film which may become the biggest grossing Japanese film of all time, after overtaking Hayao Miyazaki’s 2004 hit Howl’s Moving Castle

9. UEFA European Championship - also known as the Euros, the four-yearly tournament for European Union football associations was held in June

10. US Presidential Election - after an intense campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump triumphed in the November election over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton


1. Claustrophobia

2. Guanyin (East Asian bodhisattva associated with compassion)

3. Pheasant

4. Division of Labour

5. Siu Sai Wan (a newly developed residential area on Hong Kong island)

6. Smurf

7. Carat

8. Female protagonist

9. Sticky rice dumpling

10. Zika virus