Startup How-Tos: Three pillars of e-commerce
Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, online platforms have become popular for consumption which create business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Be sure to check the three bullets below before you start an e-commerce business:
1. Legal requirements
The Government has enacted the Electronic Transactions Ordinance to provide a clear legal framework for the conduct of e-business in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Ordinance is to accord electronic record and electronic signature the same legal status as that of their paper-based counterparts; and establish a voluntary recognition scheme for certification authorities to enhance public confidence in electronic transactions. Be reminded to learn about the relevant legal regulations before you start an online service or trade.
2. Information safety
Information security is a crucial pillar for e-commerce development. You may refer to the Information Security Guide for Small Businesses - Security Tips for e-Commerce provided by Cyber Security Information Portal of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO). You may also learn about Information Security in Electronic Services from the InfoSec website. The Government Computer Emergency Response Team Hong Kong has been working closely with HKCERT and the industry to share information on security threats and vulnerabilities.
There are legal regulations on how data users should collect, handle and use personal data in Hong Kong. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) has provided advices for business through Guidance for Data User on the Collection and Use of Personal Data through the Internet and Information Leaflet on Online Behavioural Tracking on the collection, display or transmission of personal data through the Internet. You may also learn to handle personal data in daily operations through real-life examples and interactive quiz in the Self-training Module on Protection of Personal Data for SME produced by The PCPD.
Eligible enterprises may apply the “Distance Business (D-Biz) Programme”, “Technology Voucher Programme” or other funding programmes for developing digital business. For more information, please refer to the websites of individual funding schemes.
“Startup How-tos” is an introductory guidebook written for entrepreneurship newbies, providing startup tips and related public services information.