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  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 4:21pm
NewsHong Kong
INNOVATION

Hong Kong takes innovation lead in Asia, report says

City rises one slot to seventh in the worldwide Global Innovation Index but the hi-tech sector has become a smaller part of export trade

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 July, 2013, 5:32am

Despite lingering weakness in the economy, Hong Kong strengthened its position among the top 10 global markets for innovation, according to the latest rankings released yesterday.

Hong Kong was ranked seventh, up from eighth place last year, in the new Global Innovation Index (GII) survey. It moved ahead of Singapore, which fell to eighth place from third last year.

The city also sits alongside South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and mainland China as the top Asian markets for innovation.

The findings from the sixth edition of the GII - co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organisation - were unveiled at an event hosted by telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies in Shenzhen.

The GII report is a benchmark of the innovation capability of 142 global economies. It looks at criteria including institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, and knowledge and technology outputs.

Switzerland remained the top-ranked market for innovation this year, followed by Sweden, Britain, the Netherlands, the United States and Finland. Rounding out the top 10 rankings were Denmark and Ireland.

Ken Hu, deputy chairman and co-chief executive at Huawei, said: "Innovation is the lifeblood of social and economic development, but it needs structured environments with open markets, free trade policies and protection for intellectual property to thrive.

"Based on our experience, we believe the capacity for innovation of Hong Kong should not be ignored."

Hu pointed out that Huawei, the world's second-largest telecommunications equipment supplier, had established extensive scientific cooperation with five universities based in Hong Kong since 2009, and spent "tens of millions of dollars" on these initiatives. In addition, Hong Kong's open market and sound legal environment were important factors in fostering innovation, he said.

On the improved GII ranking, Herman Lam Heung-yeung, chief executive at Cyberport, said: "Hong Kong is a very competitive city. People here are energetic and full of innovative ideas."

The GII survey also ranked Hong Kong No1 in infrastructure and market sophistication, as well as in the credit and investment sub-indices. But the city showed weakness in the percentage of hi-tech exports over total exports, which shrunk to 13.1 per cent this year from 44.8 per cent in 2010.

Arthur Chow Bong-leong, chief executive at mobile games publisher 6waves, said: "Compared to Singapore, I think the Hong Kong government can do more to support innovative industries.

"Start-ups generally find it hard to get funding."

Michael Gazeley, managing director at security firm Network Box, called on the Hong Kong government to "adopt more high-quality local technology to support Hong Kong firms' continuous development".

 

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This article is now closed to comments

SpeakFreely
This is not good for HK as people will becoming complacent that we are ahead of SK, Japan and China in innovation. I'm a tech guy, we are so much behind in tech in everything. And money always do the talking, which VC is putting serious money in HK ? None or Micky mouse money only. So how can we be ranked 7? Crazy and stupid.
Wetworks
How this is responsible journalism is beyond me. SCMP is starting to report like a tabloid.
norodnik
Hey! HONG KONG IS VERY INNOVATIVE. The government repackages its dependence on the property market in every annual budget report. How many different ways to put old wine in new bottles....now tell me that's not innovation!
sydmel
Such news of no substance should go into tabloid. SCMP editors should have reflection on their quality of reports.
THC
This is a ridiculous report and it is waste of time to talk about something without any details. Any university undergrad can make such a report.
SpeakFreely
hK is 7, South Korean is 18, Japan is 22! This is ridiculous ! What Hk had innovated? Please give me a list! hK technology is so bad n terrible just look at the corporate website is like kindergarten.....
SpeakFreely
Actually can someone tell me which listed company in Hk is innovating something huge to make Hk ranked 7? At least South Korean has Samsung n they hold many patterns.
SpeakFreely
This is similar to a recent survey in May saying HKUST IT program is on top of the world or something like that. Is like a joke. How could we have a top program and we have not even one single decent IT company in HK in the like of Google, Apple, Oracle, MS,....the list just goes on. Hk IT company can't even make it to the bottom of the 100 or 500 list in Silicon Valley. The Valley has VC invested almost the same amount money IPO that Hk had last year. Every year.
Tech is not used in Hk at all. I'm retired tech executive living both in Hk and US. In US a one man shop online shop is often better than a major corp in HK! When I go to supermarket, they have a self serve machine connected to internet that u can measure your blood pressure, pulses and BMI and recorded in your account that connect to your iphone etc. and is free!
In my gated golf community, they have web site I log on to give them a list of visitors or permanent list for people to access. They use probably 10% of resource of a Hk property management company because of technology.
Automation is everywhere here in US including even low end furniture delivery that instant update to warehouse.
SCMP pleases stop this kind of tabloid. And HK people please not complacent as in terms of tech we are years and years behind.
blue
Can you kindly tell us about your tech background? What did you study in university?

Actually technology in HK is very good. The Internet infrastructure in HK is better and faster than in my old home town in the USA. The problem with HK is that companies do a bad job implementing the technology available to them.

That's why you see **** websites with horrible user interfaces and design. Companies here are stuck in a brick and mortar mindset despite the lightning fast connectivity provided by excellent network infrastructure.

You also tend to see poor unintuitive user interfaces from devices made in Korea and Japan too before Apple changed the game. Apple is widely credited in improving user interfaces on mobile devices through their innovative blend of intuitive user interface that powers an operating system tailor made for the hardware it runs on.

I do agree that one man shops in the US have better designed websites than most HK corporations, but that really has more to do with the bad application of technology in HK than the lack of technology.

I also agree that this survey result doesn't seem to reflect reality here.
blue
Can you kindly tell us about your tech background? What did you study in university?

Actually technology in HK is very good. The Internet infrastructure in HK is better and faster than in my old home town in the USA. The problem with HK is that companies do a bad job implementing the technology available to them.

That's why you see **** websites with horrible user interfaces and design. Companies here are stuck in a brick and mortar mindset despite the lightning fast connectivity provided by excellent network infrastructure.

You also tend to see poor unintuitive user interfaces from devices made in Korea and Japan before Apple changed the game.. Apple is widely credited in improving user interfaces on mobile devices through their innovative blend of intuitive user interface that powers an operating system tailor made for the hardware it runs on.

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