Hing Kong Holdings is to establish one of Shenzhen's largest data centres in the Shenzhen High Technology Park to tap into the rapid growth in the sector. Managing director Albert Chow Nin-mow said the company would build a 43,000 square foot data centre in its proposed 538,000 sq ft Shenzhen High Technology Park phase two development. The project probably would be operated in the form of a joint venture on which negotiations with various Hong Kong and mainland parties were under way, he said. He believed data centres would be sought after given that Shenzhen recorded the fastest development in information technology among major mainland cities. 'Most data centres now operating in Shenzhen are on a small scale,' he said. Mr Chow said it would be more feasible to develop data centres in the mainland instead of Hong Kong due to the lower land cost. Other Hong Kong data centre operators already in business or planning to enter the mainland market include Sunevision Holdings' subsidiary iAdvantage, iLink.net and Pingan.com. Pingan.com is a private investment of Chinese Estates (Holdings) chairman Thomas Lau Luen-hung. Data centres provide a secure physical environment for the storage and maintenance of networking equipment used by online business operators, such as Internet content and access providers, e-commerce and telecommunications services operators. Mr Chow expected the Shenzhen High Technology Park phase two plan to be completed next year with an estimated investment cost of about 200 million yuan (about HK$187.3 million). Its American joint-venture partner, e-Cell Technologies, was negotiating to lease substantial spaces at the phase two development as the United States company planned to expand into Asia in the future, he said. Hing Kong has a majority stake in e-Cell. Mr Chow said prospective tenants to lease 200,000 sq ft of space in the park's phase one would be signed within a month, saying monthly rental was about 80 yuan per square metre. The recent market correction in Internet companies would not affect Hing Kong as its investment was focusing on the information-technology infrastructure project instead of content provision, he said. 'We did not invest in Internet companies because of the uncertainties of their revenue models.' The company had invested HK$1 billion in information technology, representing about 40 per cent of its business portfolio, while property would account for the balance, he said. He expected the company's information technology projects would contribute revenues next year. Hing Kong planned to offer its e-Cell technology - which enables broadband multimedia providers to deliver their services with increased efficiency at an affordable rate - in Hong Kong, the mainland, India and Malaysia next year, he said. The company would also market its Chinese language keyboard technology next month to education departments in the mainland and mobile phone operators.