In a bid to promote the growth of financial technology in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese Internet giant Tencent. The partnership is aimed to accelerate the R&D development and deployment of fintech in the city.
Through this MoU, Tencent will utilize its technological expertise in payment systems, electronic wallets, data security, Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to help the park companies and incubatees grow and fuel Hong Kong’s technology ecosystem by strengthening the innovation of artificial intelligence, robotics, healthtech and smart city.
HKSTP, on the other hand, will provide access to the park’s Research & Development capabilities, serving as a testbed for innovations powered by Tencent’s technologies, and developing case studies for the initiatives. There is also expected to be an experience centre at HKSTP’s premises for Fintech R&D.
A fintech hub
With an economy heavily dependent on finance and property, Hong Kong is working hard to achieve its goal of becoming a regional hub for innovation and technology.
In October last year, chief executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had announced her administration will allocate HK$28 billion (US$3.6 billion) to further promote innovation and technology in Hong Kong. The money, she said, would be used to expedite re-industrialization, promote research and development in universities, tap into the latest innovation and technology to revamp e-government services, and encourage innovation in society. This amount was in addition to the HK$50 billion announced by Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po in February 2018 to support I&T development in key areas such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence, smart city and financial technology.
Albert Wong, chief executive officer of HKSTP, says, “Hong Kong is becoming an international Fintech hub with more than 100 Fintech companies and start-ups at Hong Kong Science Park conducting R&D in technologies covering artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity and other key technologies.” The addition of Tencent, a global technology powerhouse, he added in the press release, “will not only attract more technology companies and start-ups, but also allows our park companies and incubatees to benefit from their knowledge and expertise, which will accelerate their speed to the market.”
Besides technology support, Tencent and HKSTP will also work together to nurture and support the growth of start-ups in Hong Kong through exploring investment opportunities, and establish a talent development programme to facilitate and promote knowledge exchange among programme participants, launch a joint incubation programme and set up an open technology innovation platform to support fintech innovation and R&D.