World-Wide House in Central, Hong Kong IslandPhoto: Wikimedia Commons, Wing
World-Wide House in Central, Hong Kong Island Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Wing

Domestic workers in Hong Kong are targeted by a new app that aims to save them from spending too much time shopping for necessities on their only day off.

Filipina Charmine Ang and friends launched a website and a mobile app dedicated to overseas Filipino and Indonesian workers looking to buy products from their home countries online, news website reported.

As the first online marketplace selling Filipino and Indonesian branded products in Hong Kong, the start-up Bilibeli offers prices 30% lower than can be found in “bricks and mortar” retail stores.

Ang said domestic workers in Hong Kong work long hours with only one day off a week. But even on their rest day, many find themselves spending hours in crowded shops in Central or Causeway Bay buying their own daily necessities.

“My grandmother and my mother are both domestic workers. They don’t have time to shop on weekdays, and on Sunday, they want to have some rest or spend time meeting friends, not lining up to buy things,” Ang said.

She said that this way, Filipinos can support their country’s economy by buying Filipino brands, as well as gaining some comfort when they miss home.

The business requires no warehouse space, as they purchase goods directly from a supplier before delivering them to the customer. In doing so, they claim to be able to offer good deals that save Ang’s compatriots money.

Despite being in its infancy, the shop received 300 purchase orders in its first week.

Ang and her partners are now looking for more funds to help expand the business to Singapore and Dubai.