Jake's View

Science Park's tech hub dream a waste of money and scarce land

Science Park claim of 'ringing endorsement' by 'industry leaders' just goes to prove hollow nature of Hong Kong's technology hub pretence

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 12:48am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 January, 2014, 12:48am

Twenty-two industry leaders from Hong Kong, the mainland, Germany, USA, Denmark and the UK today confirmed that they will be expanding here in a ringing endorsement of Hong Kong's mission to take an unassailable position as Asia's top technology hub.

Science Park promotion
January 9

We are then shown 23 corporate logos to highlight this "ringing endorsement", followed by the statement: "Placement in random order", which, as readers of such announcements will immediately recognise, means: "Placement in order of importance."

As to 22 equals 23, let's not be pedantic, shall we? We transcend grade school arithmetic in the higher levels of science, you know.

Right then, we have three rows of logos, all industry leaders in an unassailable hub of technology at Science Park, all getting cheap rent to take Hong Kong into the future. Let's start at random with the beginning of the second row.

Foxglobal A Shenzhen-based business management consultancy with its technical centre in Shenzhen, not Hong Kong. Among its many attributes it can "deploy clients using Excel plug-in". If you're so thick that you can't even run a spreadsheet, Foxglobal will do it for you. High science indeed.

Hong Kong Institute of Education for Sustainable Development This offshoot of our teacher training college in Tai Po believes greenery is a good thing. The United Nations says so and the HKIESD supports the UN. Science Park likes green causes, too, and it wants green tenants.

Hi-tech is not our strength and we just waste good money and scarce land in this pretence

Hong Kong Intellectual Property Agent Psssst … want HK$150,000? Give this firm an idea, it'll help you write the patent and you collect from the Hong Kong government. Patents do more to inhibit than to promote innovation in my view, but leaving all that aside, this is law, not science.

Jiuling An ancient drinking game, a prominent scholar of the Tang dynasty, or a mountain range in Jiangxi; take your pick from a search engine. Those are all the references I could find to Jiuling. It's not even on Science Park's own tenant list.

iMusicTech Not half as bemused as I am by the choice of which letters to make upper case and which lower. It might be following Apple's lead in typography, but apart from that, what we have here appears to be a relatively low-end producer of audio accessories with a sideline in app writing. It is a perfectly decent company, I'm sure, but helping build an unassailable hub of technology?

Megasoft Micro in the name would have suited this bunch better than Mega but, unfortunately, the Microsoft name has already been taken. Megasoft's line is tracking real time customer movements. Building security applications are to come next. Careful now, Big Brother's baby sibling is in training to watch you.

Mekoprint A Danish maker of printed circuit boards and related equipment. It needed a new office to service a growing number of Asian customers, but does the Science Park really think it will transfer innovation work to Hong Kong?

Penvico A Shenzhen-centred database of trade information. This firm will tell you what your rivals are doing or, at least, says it will. Of more interest to me is what they can possibly say they are doing at Science Park.

Quant Finance Lab A "quant" is an investment analyst who believes mathematics holds the key to getting rich. Quants are generally regarded in the financial business as modern versions of alchemists. Is this the new leading edge of technology?

Sencon I quote from the website; "With R&D and manufacturing facilities in the USA and the UK, and a new office in Hong Kong, Sencon has acquired a strong global reputation for both technical innovation and customer service." Was that Science Park or Sales Park?

Financial Data Technologies I skipped one logo on the list as I could not read the lettering. We can also skip this one. It was incorporated four months ago and has posted some job ads. I can discover no more. But, no doubt, it is another unassailable industry leader.

Let's skip the rest as well, even the name I did recognise. The point is obvious. The technology claim is as hollow at Science Park as it is at Cyberport. Hong Kong is not a technology hub.

Hi-tech is not our strength and we just waste good money and scarce land in this pretence.