Residents in the dark amid the blackout in Shek O. Photo: Amanda Johnstone
Residents in the dark amid the blackout in Shek O. Photo: Amanda Johnstone

Shek O in rural Hong Kong hit by blackout from power cable glitch

  • HK Electric is investigating matter and the company has arranged mobile generators for residents
Topic |   Accidents and personal safety in Hong Kong

TOP PICKS

Residents in the dark amid the blackout in Shek O. Photo: Amanda Johnstone
Residents in the dark amid the blackout in Shek O. Photo: Amanda Johnstone

A part of Shek O in southeastern Hong Kong was hit by a blackout on Wednesday evening when a cable glitch affected the power supply at 8.39pm, according to HK Electric.

The power company said it still needed to investigate the case, adding that workers were deployed to conduct emergency repairs in a bid to resume services soon.

Shek O district councillor Chan Lee Pui-ying said even lamp posts were out of power in the affected area.

“It’s dangerous. Elderly people who live in village houses have doors with high thresholds [so they may trip in the dark],” she said, referring to a traditional design in which the base of a doorway is lined with an elevated strip of wood or stone.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Chan said the supplier had arranged mobile power generators for residents.

In a reply to media inquiries, the company said: “HK Electric apologises to customers affected.”

Both police and the Fire Services Department said they had not received any report as of 10.20pm.

At midnight, power had partially resumed in the area.

Chan Ka-keung, chairman of WeLab virtual bank, speaking at the “Redefining Hong Kong Forum” in Admiralty on Wednesday. Photo: Xiaomei Chen
Chan Ka-keung, chairman of WeLab virtual bank, speaking at the “Redefining Hong Kong Forum” in Admiralty on Wednesday. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Hong Kong government has ‘not been bold enough’ in nurturing fintech development, says WeLab Bank chairman, former finance secretary Chan Ka-keung

  • Government must play a more active role in nurturing financial technology development to maintain Hong Kong’s position as a finance hub, said Chan at Post forum
  • ‘Hong Kong has to be a fintech hub; if you are not a fintech hub you will no longer play any role in finance in the next decade,’ Chan warned
Topic |   Fintech

TOP PICKS

Chan Ka-keung, chairman of WeLab virtual bank, speaking at the “Redefining Hong Kong Forum” in Admiralty on Wednesday. Photo: Xiaomei Chen
Chan Ka-keung, chairman of WeLab virtual bank, speaking at the “Redefining Hong Kong Forum” in Admiralty on Wednesday. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

The government needs to play a more active role in nurturing financial technology development to maintain Hong Kong’s position as a financial hub, said Chan Ka-keung, the WeLab virtual bank chairman and former Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury.

“The government needs to be bold. They have not been bold enough in fostering technology development in Hong Kong,” said Chan during a panel discussion at the South China Morning Post’s Redefining Hong Kong Series on Wednesday.

“Hong Kong has to be a fintech hub; if you are not a fintech hub you will no longer play any role in finance in the next decade.

READ FULL ARTICLE

“Every financial centre has to be a fintech hub. Today, fintech is part of the finance environment. There is no way you cannot use technology, artificial intelligence, data to improve financial services. Fintech is already very much ingrained in every financial centre.”

The discussion, titled “Asia’s fintech hub – Hong Kong’s future as the region’s financial centre”, focused on the development of the city’s fintech sector and the need to nurture and attract talent.

Speakers at the panel session said the city’s regulators must be bold and adventurous in pushing for the development of the sector, while being mindful of the need to protect consumer interests at the same time.

The government and regulators were also urged to develop a mechanism to help retool people in the financial services sector in Hong Kong so they can leverage their expertise to launch start-ups.

“We need people who actually want to be in the technology area. Universities and educational institutions like the Vocational Training Council have to be very serious about educating and training up tech talents,” said Chan.

“We cannot just rely on the talent in the Greater Bay Area and Shenzhen, because if we do not have local talent, it would be very difficult to maintain Hong Kong’s position as a fintech hub.”

Hong Kong enjoys certain advantages in the fintech space, including the transparency of its legal and regulatory regimes, said Jack Chan Hoi, EY Greater China financial services managing partner and EY Greater China regional managing partner-elect, also speaking at the conference.

“[Hong Kong] has a very deep pool of capital, and we also have a very simple and straightforward tax system,” he said.

But he warned that the city lacked a centralised and coordinated mechanism for directing its many start-ups towards a common goal.

“How we are going to nurture and attract talent in the technology space will be key to position Hong Kong as a fintech hub in Asia,” he added.

While speakers on the panel acknowledged the recent political turmoil could damage Hong Kong’s efforts to attract talent, Edith Yeung, managing partner at blockchain venture-capital fund Proof of Capital and adviser at 500 Startups, believed the crisis could also provide opportunities to develop local talent in the city.

“It is a problem. But this is actually the best time for us to train our own people on technology,” said Yeung.

“Whatever role or brand we want Hong Kong to be, we need to stand up for ourselves and train our own people. The outside world may see Hong Kong as a dangerous place for a few more months or even a year, but this is the time for us as Hongkongers to really build ourselves up and have an identity to the world to attract more people to come.”

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our
tech newsletters
, subscribe to our award-winning
Inside China Tech podcast
, and download the comprehensive
2019 China Internet Report
. Also roam
China Tech City
, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site
Abacus
.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Government ‘must be bold’ to boost city’s fintech role