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Hong Kong Startup News Round Up - 28 April 2019

5 in 5 minutes

FinTech Association of Hong Kong releases report on Fintech in GBA.

Fintech Association of Hong Kong released its 1st report on Fintech in the Greater Bay Area! The report maps out the Greater Bay Area (GBA), its cities and FinTech policies and provides key recommendations on how the region can achieve success going forward. The aim of the report is to advocate, collaborate, educate, and differentiate the area from other major economic zones, and make recommendations for future development & collaboration.

Here’s a snippet:

With Hong Kong’s internationally respected financial system, China’s abundant human capital and booming consumer marketplace, the region has emerged as a hotbed for FinTech innovations such as mobile payments, blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. However, the region remains relatively unknown to the outside world, and its differing tax and legal frameworks in particular have meant its full potential as a FinTech centre has yet to be fully realised.

Despite this, there is a significant opportunity for the promotion of cross-border initiatives, collaboration and integration across the whole region, which will be critical in helping to turn the region into a global FinTech powerhouse. To achieve this, the report has identified  key goals that the region should aspire to meet. These include regulatory and legal harmonisation across the region and simplifying cross-border taxation.

Amazon Web Services is now in Hong Kong

Amazon Web Services is now in Hong Kong! With Cathay Pacific, Bowtie, WeLend and Kerry Logistics as loyal customers, AWS is now enabling local customers to run applications and store their content in data centers right here in Hong Kong!

AngelHub and WHub host Blockchain Expert from Tel Aviv University

On 24th May, AngelHub together with Tel Aviv University and WHub had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Jacob Mendel, Managing Director of Blockchain Research at Tel Aviv University and former Intel Corporation General Manager of Cybersecurity. During this event, Dr. Mendel presented a Keynote detailing the various questions that always come up in relation to blockchain: Where should Blockchain Apply? Can it be trusted? How are companies applying it to the real world?

The event titled “Blockchain in Focus” also featured a panel discussion with Mark Cheng, CEO of Helix Accelerator, Bryan Wu, Cofounder of Bitwork, Dr. Jacob Mendel & Gram Milosevic, CTO of WHub & AngelHub. The panel discussion with these practitioners of the subject detailed very interesting discussions on community building around blockchain, how employees in a company should prepare in order to use these technologies and what investors are looking for when evaluating companies that use the technology.

This event marked an interesting collaboration between Israel and Hong Kong, both strong places for startups and their growth, creating an interesting synergy between them. Check out our LinkedIn page for key takeaways!

Google for Startups & Nigeria's CcHUB to bring 10 African startups for an Asia tour

African startups are looking to learn from Asia’s tech scene. Google for Startups in partnership with Nigeria’s Co-creation Hub is launching PitchDrive 2019, where they will bring 10 of Africa’s top hardware and deeptech startups on a tour of tech cities in Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore, Shenzhen, Seoul and Toyko. The focus of PitchDrive II is to facilitate Africa-Asia collaborations to strengthen deep technology companies in Africa by creating a platform for startups to:

1. Take key learnings from the Asian technology market and apply them locally to improve their businesses;

2. Discover and engage suppliers or manufacturing partners to strengthen their businesses;

3. Explore funding opportunities

If you wish to meet the 10 Elite startups from Africa in a city near you! Then do not miss out on the opportunity to engage with them in any of the cities. Request an Invite:

HKMA launches Simple Bank Accounts (SBA) to improve efficiency

The HKMA has ramped up efforts to improve bank account procedures for businesses. The HKMA has embarked on various initiatives, including issuing a circular to all banks in Hong Kong in September 2016 reminding them to be mindful of the needs of bona fide businesses for basic banking services and to adopt a risk-based approach when processing account opening applications.  Further, a dedicated team was set up by the HKMA in March 2017 to handle public enquiries about opening of bank accounts.  Our efforts are bearing fruit, with improvement seen in the situation of account opening for businesses.

The numbers prove how successful these initiatives were with the unsuccessful rate of account opening applications dropped to half.  Since its inception two years ago, the HKMA’s dedicated team has handled more than 580 enquiries and comments from the public. While the situation has improved, they have noted that some businesses may not require the full range of banking services offered by traditional bank accounts, particularly at the initial stage.  

With the concerted efforts of the HKMA and the banking industry, tiered account services that aim to enhance customer experience – “Simple Bank Accounts” (or “SBAs”) – have been launched to provide an additional option for business customers which require only basic banking services. While SBAs offer more streamlined CDD measures, it may not be applicable to some companies, especially offshore companies with complex structure.

SBAs offer an additional account option for bank customers while addressing the needs of corporate customers at different stages.  All three note-issuing banks in Hong Kong have launched the SBAs service, and we look forward to more banks coming on board to help further promote financial inclusion in Hong Kong.

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