The main reasons why Hong Kong will NEVER be a technology hub is because:-
- The government has no idea what innovation and technology is
- The government penalises entrepreneurs with the high-admin cost and low return scheme called MPF
- The government technology fund http://www.itc.gov.hk/ is a complete waste of time
I just spoke to two people at the Innovation and Technology Fund and asked what they could do for a Hong Kong company who has built a cutting-edge App and Internet platform in 11 languages and is looking for funding to push the product globally. Both said that the government could not help. They were both typical bureaucrats working in government departments answering the telephone and were just dying to get me to hang up and call another department. They tried to sound helpful but didn’t know what they were talking about. The woman on +852 3655 5847 (The enterprise support scheme) even hung up on me when I asked her to name just one successful project that they had funded – I guess 5:20p.m. on a Monday afternoon was biting into her personal time.
You will also notice from their website that there are some people who get funding for about 10-20 projects, such as Henry Chun-bun CHAN wh0 have obviously worked out how to work the system. HK$ 11 billion has been spent and what results can we see? When will Hong Kong develop a global brand like Facebook or whats app or Air B’n’B.
For a city who’s collective mindset is measured in HK$ / sq ft. return – only a disaster in Hong Kong could precipitate innovation; in the absence of that, the property-based mindset will prevail.