Director of Financial and Fintech of Invest Hong Kong: Don’t want to miss out on Web3. Hong Kong is building a virtual asset ecosystem in three steps.
InvestHK's Director of Financial and Fintech says Hong Kong is creating a virtual asset ecosystem in three steps to embrace Web3.
Don’t want to miss out on Web3 Hong Kong builds virtual asset ecosystem in three steps
① “Hong Kong missed out on the dividends of Web1 and Web2, so we will not miss out on Web3.”
② At this time, the Hong Kong SAR government clearly stated its support, established an association, and the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR attended and delivered a speech, undoubtedly providing a very good soil for the development of Web3, and to a large extent, forming a gathering place for Web3 and forming an industry gathering effect.
“Hong Kong missed out on the dividends of Web1 and Web2, so we will not miss out on Web3.” Recently, Leung Hon-king, the director of the financial and financial technology at the Invest Hong Kong of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, emphasized in an interview with MetaUniverse NEWS reporter. Since the Hong Kong SAR government issued the “Policy Statement on the Development of Virtual Assets in Hong Kong” on October 31 last year, the development atmosphere of Web3 in Hong Kong has been hot. It is understood that more than 150 related companies have settled in the Hong Kong Cyberport in the past year. On February 22 this year, the “2023/2024 Financial Budget” allocated HKD 50 million to the Cyberport to accelerate the development of Web3, the third-generation Internet based on blockchain technology. Starting from June 1, the “Guidelines for Virtual Asset Trading Platform Operators” issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission officially took effect, and began to accept applications for licenses from virtual asset trading platform operators.
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From a series of actions, the Hong Kong SAR government is full of expectations for the development of Web3 in Hong Kong, hoping to build a vibrant Web3 ecosystem, and even lead the industry in technological breakthroughs, model innovation, and application innovation.
Hong Kong does not want to miss Web3
According to the “2022 Global Blockchain Talent Report-Web3.0 Direction” jointly released by OKX and LinkedIn, as of June 2022, Singapore’s blockchain talent has grown rapidly and has become one of the top five countries in the world for blockchain talent. In September 2022, almost all global events in Asia were held in Singapore.
However, Hong Kong, China is also not standing still and is trying to regain its status as the financial center of Asia, with Web3 becoming an important direction of its efforts.
In order to seize the opportunities of Web3, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government announced a new budget plan in February this year, allocating HK$5,000 to Cyberport to accelerate the development of the Web3 ecosystem in Hong Kong, especially to promote cross-industry business cooperation.
On April 11th, the Hong Kong Web3 Association held its inauguration ceremony at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Co-initiated by several Chinese institutions in Hong Kong and Hong Kong universities, members include academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, practitioners in fintech, and professors from various universities.
To demonstrate the Hong Kong SAR Government’s support for the Web3 industry, Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR, attended the inauguration ceremony and delivered a speech, saying that the 14th Five-Year Plan of the country has clearly supported Hong Kong in building an international innovation and technology center, and innovative technology is a key area of development in Hong Kong. The development of Web3 is at a golden starting point. This disruptive technology can change many of the original business operation models and create more new opportunities. She looks forward to the association working together with the SAR Government to accelerate the development of innovation and technology and finance in Hong Kong, and to embrace the huge opportunities brought by the development of Web3 and virtual asset industry.
As of June 1st, the guidelines for virtual asset trading platform operators and the anti-money laundering guidelines issued by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission have been officially implemented. From now on, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission will begin to accept applications for licenses from virtual asset trading platform operators, and many companies have already applied for licenses.
“The overall Web3 industry in the world is still in its early stages of development. At this time, the Hong Kong SAR Government has made a clear statement of support, established an association, and the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR attended and gave a speech, which undoubtedly provides a very good soil for the development of Web3 and to a large extent can form a gathering place for Web3, forming an industry gathering effect,” said Wang Siyuan, Vice President of the Shaanxi Blockchain Technology and Industry Development Research Association, to Yuan Universe NEWS. “Hong Kong itself is one of the global financial centers, and has the advantages of openness, flexibility, and stability. From this perspective, Hong Kong is more advantageous in developing Web3.”
What do Hong Kong Web3 entrepreneurs think?
Liu Haoyu, head of the Digital Finance Lab at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, previously worked in traditional finance and is now working on a Web3 public education project.
“Previously, I used an offshore framework to do a DeFi (decentralized finance) project. Now, under the policy framework in Hong Kong, we have transitioned to a Web3 project.” According to Liu Haoyu, the most important thing about Hong Kong’s Web3 policy is telling you what is certain, what is compliant, and what is not compliant.
Moons (Chinese name: Li Mengsi) was previously an employee of a virtual currency exchange and now runs a Web3 investment research firm in Hong Kong.
“I didn’t really want to be too far away from mainland China, because Hong Kong itself is a free trade port and there is now an opening for virtual currency here.” Li Mengsi told MetaUniverse NEWS that after the new policy came out, he wanted to find experienced friends around him to start a Web3 fund.
“I think the entrepreneurial environment in Hong Kong is still pretty good. Cyberport has a cultivation program, and the Science Park has a replication program. If you apply through them, you can get some subsidies and some free offices.”
However, Li Mengsi believes that the current group of Web3 Chinese who have migrated abroad from mainland China have not returned to Hong Kong.
“They only came to Hong Kong for a round trip at the Web3 conference in April this year, and did not set up an office in Hong Kong to take root again.” Li Mengsi believes that these people are still in a wait-and-see state, and need to see the determination of the Hong Kong SAR government to develop Web3 and whether Web3 can bring them real benefits.
Gillian Wu (Chinese name: Wu Xuejing) has been in Hong Kong for more than 10 years. She was previously a fund manager at a virtual asset exchange and is now working on a Web3 insurance project in Hong Kong with a team of more than 20 people.
“I think it’s a good choice to do compliance in Hong Kong, and the regulation is relatively open.” Wu Xuejing told reporters that besides high labor and living costs in Hong Kong, everything else is quite convenient; the Hong Kong market is easy to recruit talent, but it is difficult to recruit local technical talent, so the technical team is mainly in India.
Li Mengsi feels the same way. In many of the Web3 startup teams she has contacted, their technology is not locally located in Hong Kong, but in mainland China, Thailand, India, etc. The relevant departments in Hong Kong have already noticed this issue.
On June 20th, the Information Research Group of the Secretariat of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region released a document “The Development of Web3 Technology in Selected Places” . The document mentioned the recent development of Web3 in Hong Kong, and received opinions urging the government to formulate a blueprint for promoting the comprehensive development of Web3, focusing on talent cultivation and start-ups; In addition, there are also suggestions that the Hong Kong government should make strategic investments related to cooperation with Web3 technology through the newly established Hong Kong Investment Management Co., Ltd., while actively exploring various Web3 technologies, such as blockchain-based applications (including DeFi and smart contracts), because in addition to virtual assets, Web3 also has a wide range of application potentials in other areas.
For more information on the development of the virtual asset industry, please continue to follow the official account of the Invest Hong Kong of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Investment Promotion Agency, or directly contact our industry experts:
Head of Financial and FinTech of Invest Hong Kong
Mr. Liang Hanjing
Phone: +852 3107 1058
Email: [email protected]