Tencent, China’s erstwhile “startup killer,” is opening its doors to Hong Kong’s burgeoning startup scene, writes Entrepreneur:
In a bid to promote the growth of financial technology in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese Internet giant Tencent. The partnership is aimed to accelerate the R&D development and deployment of fintech in the city.
Through this MoU, Tencent will utilize its technological expertise in payment systems, electronic wallets, data security, Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to help the park companies and incubatees grow and fuel Hong Kong’s technology ecosystem by strengthening the innovation of artificial intelligence, robotics, healthtech and smart city.
For its part, HKSTP will provide access to its R&D capabilities, serve as a proving ground for Tencent-fueled innovations, and generate case studies for the enterprises. The two groups are also expected to explore investment opportunities together, and to launch several pro-fintech programs such as an open technology innovation platform.
The MoU is seen as quite a big deal. As Technode notes, the partnership highlights Tencent’s new, vastly more “open attitude in sharing its tech capabilities,” as well as its willingness to help startups flourish through investment, though they did add that this only came after it shifted its focus to enterprise services and cloud.
In any event, Tencent does seem stoked about the partnership. Here’s what Howe Zheng, Tencent’s Financial Technology Group vice president, had to say:
“As a leading provider of Internet value-added services in China, Tencent is excited about the collaboration with HKSTP to foster the Fintech development in Hong Kong, as well as to cultivate the local start-up community. At Tencent, we provide advanced financial technologies which make daily tasks easier, simpler and more secure. With our expertise and insights in a range of innovations such as payment, electronic wallets, data security, artificial intelligence and cloud, as well as our strengths, experience and network in the local Fintech industry and startup community, we look forward to working hand-in-hand with HKSTP and contributing to the Fintech growth and success in Hong Kong.”
Photo: Alan Lam