Technology changes rapidly, and so has the list of candidates running for the information technology (IT) functional constituency in next month's Legislative Council election. Front-running candidate John Tse Si-yin from the Hospital Authority and City Telecom chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay have been forced to withdraw because they held right of abode in other countries, and independent businessman Ringo Chan Kei-fu has joined the race. Mr Chan, a managing partner of software developer Timeless Software, submitted his nomination on Friday, just before the deadline. He belongs to Mr Tse's 20-member alliance formed for the Election Committee (EC) poll this month, and is regarded as a replacement for Mr Tse. Mr Chan, an EC member, won 411 votes from 1,472 IT electors who took part in the poll. Mr Chan, Democrat Sin Chung-kai and City University professor Yung Kai-ning now make up the IT election field. Mr Sin, who had regarded Mr Tse as the main competition, said he felt the race would be easier. 'The sudden change of leader in their team will hurt their morale,' he said. 'Also, they have less time to prepare and to adjust their strategy.' Mr Sin, the Democrats spokesman for IT policy, believed his party would back him in his vision to turn Hong Kong into a digital city, with widespread application of technology in daily life, by 2005. His selling point is his experience in government - he has held seats on the District Board and in the Regional Council and Legislative Council. Prof Edward Yung has played down his party links. He described himself as a non-active member of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance and said he would fund his own campaign. Prof Yung admitted he did not have a good chance of winning, but said his participation in the election was largely to promote his view about the future of IT. Prof Yung described himself as the most knowledgable IT candidate and said he would speak for lower-level people, including his students, graduates and junior IT professionals. More than 3,000 voters will elect the industry's representative to the Legislative Council on May 24. CANDIDATES AT A GLANCE SIN CHUNG-KAI, 38, assistant information technology project manager at Hongkong Bank. Democratic Party's spokesman for IT policy, he has 16 years' IT experience. Web site: http://www.sinchungkai.org.hk EDWARD YUNG KAI-NING, 51, department head of electronic engineering at City University. A member of Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, he has more than 20 years' IT education experience. Web site: http://home.netvigator.com/~knyung RINGO CHAN KEI-FU, 44, managing partner of Timeless Software, a two-year-old local start-up. He is supported by John Tse and is believed to have the backing of pro-mainland voters. He has more than 22 years of experience in IT.