Hong Kong authorities say that the special autonomous region (SAR) can serve as a base for fintech companies hoping to expand into the mainland Chinese market.
Charles d’Haussy, head of fintech at InvestHK, said to China Money Network that Hong Kong wants companies to use the city as a base for the establishment of local operations, before “leaping” into the mainland Chinese market.
InvestHK is the government authority in charge of foreign direct investment in Hong Kong, providing support to foreign and mainland Chinese companies hoping to set up shop locally.
Nelson Chow, chief fintech officer at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, said that the city can serve as a launching platform running in either direction for both Chinese and overseas fintech companies.
“People are not seeing Hong Kong just as a market of seven million people,” said Chow.
“For mainland companies, they are seeing Hong Kong as a springboard to elsewhere and for global companies, they’re seeing Hong Kong as the gateway to China.”
Data from CB Insights indicates that investment in Hong Kong fintech companies saw a year-on-year rise of over 100% in 2017, reaching USD$545.7 million as compared to $215.5 million the year previously.
The Hong Kong government’s 2018 budget allocates HKD$500 million (approx. $63.7 million) to the development of financial services including fintech over the upcoming five years.