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Policy Address 2023: HK$10 billion boost for innovation and technology development

  • By: Tsz Wing CHAN、Bella DingEdited by: Bella Ding
  • 2023-10-25

Chief Executive John Lee announced a HK$10 billion investment today, continuing his ambition to develop the city into a centre for international innovation and technology. The new Industrialisation Acceleration Scheme aims to promote the downstream development of enterprises in the fields of life and health technologies, AI and data science, advanced manufacturing, and new energy technologies.  These areas account for over 50% of all start-up industries. There are now 3,985 start-up companies, a 52% jump compared to 2018, according to Start Me Up, a team under InvestHK to help overseas start-ups enter the city. Hong Kong has topped the Emerging Ecosystems ranking in Asia and ranked second worldwide in 2023.  The funding support for the set-up of production facilities will follow the matching basis of one government to two companies, subject to a funding ceiling of HK$200 million.  “I firmly believe that these stakeholders will remain at the forefront of shaping and advancing the future of the fintech industry,” said Phoebe Kwok, Head of Partnership of AllStarsWomen DAO’s Asia Pacific Chapter, a global community empowering women in fintech, AI and Web3 field. “But I anticipate that the overall development for the fintech industry will also require further regulatory frameworks to support,” she added.  The government is still considering the feasibility of enterprises employing non-local technical personnel more flexibly and easing the restriction on subsidised research talent headcount this year. No detailed policy has been announced yet. Compared to last year, the government also doubled the financial input to HK$16 million into nurturing talents and commercialising Research and Development outcomes through its Research, Academic and Industry Sectors One-plus Scheme. Each R&D program submitted by eight UGC-funded universities will be capped at HK$100 million. Funding will be provided to support a minimum of 100 university research teams with the potential to become …


Digital Art Fair 2023 highlights AI-generated art on nostalgic theme

  • By: Juncong SHUAI、Junzhe JIANGEdited by: Bella Ding
  • 2023-10-19

The 2023 Asia edition of the Digital Art Fair kicked off with nostalgia at K11 Art & Cultural Centre today, highlighting AI-generated art. It is the first post-pandemic digital art fair in Hong Kong with a special exhibition zone dedicated to AI-generated art. “AI can unlock the creativity of artists,” said Jessica Marinaro, senior director at digital artwork market, MakersPlace, “Artists can train AI to be an expert in their work and be prompted like ‘if you were me, what would you do next’.”  The Red Prayer of Park Young Sook’s Moon Jar I & II is the result of collaboration between new media artist, Ming Shiu and her AI partner Genesis Kai.  They used traditional Korean Joseon ceramics to explore interaction with Asia’s diverse cultures. “We artists have also been super nostalgic but we will use the tools of the future,” said Herman Rahman, Co-Curator and Fair Manager of  Art & Technology. Take Your Time, a site-specific and multi-sensory installation, was created by Hong Kong artist, Jonathan Jay Lee under the inspiration of old neon lights in this city. The artwork is meant to showcase and preserve the cultural heritage of Hong Kong utilising digital technology, according to Digital Art Fair. Echoing a theme of nostalgia but beyond generative arts, digital artist Henry Chu launched Rainfall Piano this year, which is made of just LED lights, screens and stones. “I was driven by technology to showcase something new because it could easily attract people’s eyeballs and earn quick money,” said Chu, “But I want to go back to the purity of art…many artists are focusing on the origin of the art after the pandemic.” This year’s fair also includes four other sections: the immersive zone filled with 3D animations, the Inspire Zone of web3 technologies, the Prestige Zone displaying …


Young adults play hide-and-seek with modern technology twist

  • By: Lisheng CHENGEdited by: Yixin Gao
  • 2023-10-16

Hong Kong's first urban “cat-and-mouse” game took place at Kowloon Walled City Park on Oct 15, where 40 people engaged in an exciting chase through sharing satellite positioning.   The game was created and initiated by the HKGo organization, a business that has organized more than 100 outdoor and indoor activities that participants pay to play. The game is the company’s first outdoor game combined with modern techonology. The game is a combination of hide-and-seek and tag with players divided into cats and mice. The cats hunt the mice and gain bracelets when a mouse is hit with an inflatable stick. The game is played until all the mice have been converted to cats. Players must stay within the boundary of the park.  The cat with the most bracelets and the last surviving mouse are crowned kings.  Players pay HK$48 to join the game and kings win HK$88 each. Players share their real-time positions with the satellite positioning function of Gaode Map, a map app.  Bruce Shen, 28, one of the organizers, said the hide-and-seek aspect is not new, but adding the satellite positioning technology escalates the excitement and challenge level of the game. Shen, also a founding member of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Association, and his business partner, Michael Hua, 29, studied information technology. They aspire to combine traditional games and outdoor activities with new information technologies to bring a fresher experience to young adults. “Seeing the cat only ten meters away from me on the map without knowing the exact spot was a nerve-wracking moment,” said Clara Chen, 23, a mouse player. Yiqi Chan, 22, a cat player, united with other cats and discussed plans to catch mice. His partner distracted the mice from the front while he climbed up the hill from the back to chase …

From personal financial planning to institutional investing, AI pushes Hong Kong’s WealthTech to new heights

  • 2023-06-30
  • By: Man TSE、Yuchen LIEdited by: Bella Ding、Le Ha NGUYEN、Kin Hou POON
  • 2023-06-30

By indicating one’s daily expenses to a chatbot called SuiGor, one will be able to automatically receive a budget calendar to keep track of spending for better financial control. SuiGor (水哥), available on Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger, is a Cantonese intelligent wealth management program. It is designed to provide several functions, including bill bookkeeping, spending analysis and personal expenditure recommendations to help users align with their financial objectives. “I started this program because I hope to improve personal finance education for the public in this way,” said Sherman Lee, founder of SuiGor. “ People could form a habit of recording their daily consumption as well.” With over 500 free users and 100 paid subscribers now, SuiGor is one of the latest WealthTech applications empowered by Artificial Intelligence in Hong Kong. As a convergence of technologies, such as AI, big data and financial assets, which includes savings and investment, WealthTech provides digital solutions to individuals and companies to automate and facilitate the efficiency of the processes associated with wealth management and investments. Cyberport, one of Hong Kong’s business parks, housed around 60 WealthTech startups, including SuiGor, as of 2022. “WealthTech can lower the cost of wealth management services and enhance the efficiency of product development and operation, in turn lowering the threshold for customers to enjoy personalised investment products and wealth management advice,” said Eric Chan, the Chief Public Mission Officer of Cyberport, in the press release. Launched by Microsoft-Backed OpenAI in November 2022, the viral chatbot ChatGPT has been utilised worldwide to create content, generate cost-effective business proposals and streamline code development, creating a dynamic transformation for various business sectors, including Wealth Tech. “Our team use the most up-to-date Application Programming Interface (API) of OpenAI, which provides the interface for us to use OpenAI’s data and functionality, empowering SuiGor GPT …


The Versailles Palace comes virtually to Hong Kong

  • By: Jemima BadajosEdited by: Mollie Hib
  • 2023-04-30

Open from 19th April to 9th July, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum opens a virtual exhibiton of the renowned French estate, as part of the 14th French May Arts Festival, a month long cultural exchange event.

Hong Kong to invest in IT-education in bid to attract young talent

  • 2023-02-22
  • By: Elif Lale AYHANEdited by: Ming Min AW YONG
  • 2023-02-22

Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po announced in his budget speech today that HK$300 million would be provided to public secondary schools to continue subsidies for IT extracurricular activities. There has little increase  in innovation and technology employment, from 41,580 employed in the field in 2018 to 46,730 in 2021, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Tommy Kwan, a secondary school teacher at YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College, said his school has recently introduced STEAM education, a concept that the government promoted last year to include art subjects that give more exposure to other aspects of technology, like AI art.  ‘‘In our first semester, we taught 3D printing with some introduction to AI. The students enjoyed learning something new,’ he said. Kwan said that STEAM activities introduce new concepts to learning. ‘‘It’s not about textbooks or exams, it’s about exposure to new technology -- how to learn, how to create,’’ he said. “The limitation is that STEAM education is now only an activity and an extracurricular activity. But eventually, if one day our school incorporates STEAM education in classes, I think it will be a celebration,’’ he added.  Shirley Tang, the business administration manager of Functioneight, an IT company in Hong Kong, attributes the lack of IT talent to low salaries. ‘‘The struggle is not because people are migrating to other places, it is because people are not willing to work for a low level of duty like troubleshooting,” she said.  According to Statista, there was a 0.7% decrease in IT talents in Hong Kong, from about 126,000 in 2019 to 125,000 in 2020.  Some university students, such as Tanya Asnani, 19, student at HKUST, are hopeful that monetary funding can pave the way for more opportunities for IT talent through internships and volunteering. “I think money can be …


GIES 2022: Four-day expo with free admission, Gerontech enterprise expects more support from the government

With entrepreneurs expecting more support from the government on gerontechnology, Hong Kong’s largest public education event focusing on the technology relevant to the city’s ageing problem ended on Saturday. More than 180 exhibitors showcased over 700 products, covering medical, food, housing and transportation needs to the elderly, at the 6th Gerontech and Innovation Expo and Summit, GIES 2022, aiming to promote public awareness of the technology related to the elderly through exhibits. The exhibition was held in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from Wednesday to Saturday, with free entries to the public. “(In this exhibition) I can see so many products and even interact with them,” said Leung Shuk-bing, 82, a visitor. “It is interesting.” The self-sanitising door handle developed by the team of Li Kin-pong, the co-founder of Titanology Limited, an innovative technology company, has been adopted by a number of residential care homes. “We are pleased to have a chance to bring our products to the attention of the elderly and the community through this exhibition, ” said Li. Matthew Shum, a representative of two social enterprises which focus on elderly welfare, said he saw a more diverse age group in this exhibition than before. “Besides the elders, there are more students and caregivers participating in this year’s Expo,” said Shum. “That means the public awareness on the ageing problem, Gerontech and the Silver Economy in Hong Kong raised.” In Hong Kong, 28.6% of the population were aged 60 or above by the end of 2021, with the average life expectancy in 2022 being 85.16, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Shum said the government should not support the gerontech industry only, but to allocate resources properly to enhance the public recognition of the ageing problems. Li Kin-pong said the demand for gerontech would increase …