An Emerging Industry: Hong Kong’s transistor radios, 1962 Government trade bulletin
HF: A 1962 Commerce and Industry Department trade bulletin, “An Emerging Industry” is subtitled Hong Kong transistor radios.
An extract from the report, The structure of the industry is international, some units being entirely owned and operated by Hong Kong firms, and others either joint ventures between local and overseas companies or financed by foreign capital, chiefly American.
Hong Hong’s initial aim is to provide moderately-priced transistor radios. As a result of this, production at the moment is in most cases confined to the manufacture of 6-transistor sets having one or two wave bands. The models themselves are made to the most stringent requirements and the designs are modern and pleasing.
It is an interesting fact that a number of satellite industries have grown up around the electronics industry for making of such things as moulded plastic cases, metal fascia and leather carrying cases.
The meteoric rise in the popularity overseas of Hong Kong’s transistor radios can be shown by the fact that in 1960 only HK$200,000 was exported, whereas in 1961 a total of 263,423 radios were exported valued at over HK$12 million.
So far Great Britain has been Hong Kong’s best customer having imported more than HK$5.25 million worth, closely followed by the United States of America and Western Europe
An examination of the order books in early 1962 would seem to indicate that the Colony’s transistor radio industry can expect a even more dramatic rise in its overseas sales.
HF: Here is a list of companies manufacturing transistor radios in Hong Kong. I shall add to the list when I receive further information about such companies. Any linked articles have been posted on our website unless otherwise stated.
While the general public in HK might be familiar with Andrew Yuen Wai-man (阮偉文) from the society/entertainment pages, most are probably less familiar with his father Jack Samuel Yuen (阮家傑), a pioneer of the HK electronics industry who established Kendy Enterprise, one of the early manufacturers of transistor radios in the 1960sand built Dayton Industrial with the help of his wife and children into one of the world’s leading OEM manufacturers of micro-electronic products such as bicycle meters, heart rate monitors, ABC watches, sensors and parts for smartphones over the past half a century.
The couple returned to Hong Kong in 1958 and founded Kendy Enterprise which was one of the first electronics factories in HK and began making 6-transistor radios in 1962 under its own “Kendy” brand.
From Transistor Radios to Bicycle Meters: the Yuen family and Kendy Enterprise (堅力實業) and Dayton Industrial (達騰工業)
Source: An Emerging Industry: Hong Kong’s transistor radios Commerce and Industry Department, “An Emerging Industry”, Hong Kong trade bulletin, Hong Kong: Commerce and Industry Department (February 1962), pp.51-53, Public Records Office, via The Hong Kong Memory Project.
See: The Hong Kong Memory Project Hong Kong Memory (HKM) is a multi-media web site that gives free and open access to digitized materials on Hong Kong’s history, culture and heritage. The materials include text documents, photographs, posters, sound recordings, motion pictures and videos.
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