‘Smart city Hong Kong’ dreams risk being dashed without ambitious leadership on tech

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 July, 2018, 7:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 July, 2018, 7:47pm

The catchphrase “smart city” has been in circulation in Hong Kong for over a decade. We used to be a leader in innovation – building one of the world’s first citywide smart card payment systems in the 1990s. We have full mobile network coverage in town. We are a society with one of the highest smartphone and household broadband penetrations. We own the world’s most intense submarine cable and satellite connections, providing abundant international telecom bandwidth. We are a showcase for the world.

I used to dream of Hong Kong becoming the first fully cashless city on this planet; of Hong Kong having a world-beating digital traffic control system – giving us the smoothest driving experience amid the highest urban density in the developed world. I even dreamed of Hong Kong becoming the first zero-carbon-footprint city in the world. But will those dreams ever be realised?

We must prepare for the AI revolution

We are efficient, and we deserve to be more efficient with technology. Hong Kong has an edge in its uniqueness. We have the best ecosystem here with a high-quality population, even if declining. We have a world-class education system, with leading universities; we have an international mindset; we have the best infrastructure and, most importantly, we have ambition (“Collaboration across universities and sectors the way forward for Hong Kong innovation”, June 19). All this creates the conditions for an ideal testing ground for a technology-driven lifestyle for our 7 million or so people.

Unfortunately, with the current administration, I don’t see that aspiration to lead the world.

Wilson Lee, Ho Man Tin