As investment into fintech in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries booms, numerous cities are competing to become the most eligible hub in the area. One city looking to grab that title is Hong Kong — long known as a global financial services center, it's now working to expand that reputation to fintech. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has launched initiatives designed to encourage the development of the fintech industry, including a fintech sandbox to encourage innovation among banks. Meanwhile, InvestHK, the government department that looks to attract foreign direct investment to the city, has been hunting for established fintechs overseas that it can persuade to expand to Hong Kong. Notably, the city's top-down efforts have focused on the development of areas of fintech that can help its legacy financial services industry remain globally competitive, such as blockchain technology and regtech. That's in contrast to other cities that have centered their efforts on consumer-facing fintechs as a way of boosting competition within the domestic financial services industry. These efforts, combined with its proximity to China, will likely enable Hong Kong to establish itself as a leading center for business-to-business (B2B) fintech in the near future.
Hong Kong's Fintech Strengths
Talent. Hong Kong is home to several prestigious universities, one of which, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), launched an undergraduate degree in fintech in 2017. Additionally, the city's government has sponsored an accelerator in partnership with Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) that begins in July 2017. The scheme will provide internships of up to one year to undergraduate and postgraduate students in designated disciplines at 10 universities, during which they will participate in the [...]