This year’s edition of the Rise Conference in Hong Kong opened with lively discussions on centre stage, which set the tone for this three-day event. • John Collison, the co-founder and president of US payments provider Stripe, said in his session on “Building for Asia’s New Economy” that the company is setting up operations in Hong Kong, following strategic partnerships with Ant Financial’s Alipay service, the largest third-party payments platform of mainland China, and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay. • The next session on “AI & AR: Hope or Hype?” yielded interesting points for discussion. Vitaly Pomomarev, founder of WayRay, which provides augmented reality (AR) displays for connected cars, played down concerns about autonomous driving vehicles because these would ultimately be safer means of transportation in future. • Li Zhifei, the founder and chief executive of Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) company Mobvoi, predicted that mainland China is likely to lead the world in introducing autonomous driving in cities. Alibaba executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai and SCMP group CEO Gary Liu on centre stage at the Rise conference. pic.twitter.com/M5ykcrubHY — Bien Perez (@BienPerez) July 11, 2017 <!--//--><![CDATA[// ><!--\n\n\n//--><!]]> • In his session “Transforming a news company in 2017”, South China Morning Post ’s chief executive Gary Liu pointed out that investments in artificial intelligence and natural-language processing would help the 114-year old media company to transform and further develop its business in future. • Joe Tsai, the executive vice-chairman of Alibaba Group Holding, which also owns the Post , said the e-commerce giant has long been investing in artificial intelligence to further improve the way consumers are served by its online retail businesses, such as at Tmall and Taobao Marketplace. Tiger Brokers’ chief executive Wu Tianhua says he has a platform that enables Chinese-speaking investors to out perform their home-turf markets. As the rise of protectionist and nationalist sentiments fragment international trade regulations, regulatory technology, or regtech, is becoming a new darling of the technology industry, as businesses demand automated solutions to meet onerous regulatory demands, said Tim Hwang, chief executive of FiscalNote, a New York-based regtech firm. Wayne Xu, chief operating officer at ZhongAn, said insurtech -- or technology in insurance -- is gaining traction in China as his company just filed for a US$1.5 billion IPO in Hong Kong. Jing Wu, partner of Qiming Venture Partners, said that insurtech rather than traditional fintech has become the new destination of many venture capital money. Frank Desvignes, founder of the AXA Lab Asia at AXA, said artificial intelligence is enabling insurers to tap into the opportunities presented by the emerging share economy model, which is taking China by storm. Jing Ulrich of JP Morgan Chase & Co. said traditional banks have to also become fintech companies to win business over in the era of fintech 2.0. She said the numbers of payment made on platform such as WeChat and Alipay have already dwarfed the same numbers made through traditional banks. She added that China is leading the world in fintech. Barry Freeman from Pintec said the industry of fintech is diversifying into different more specialised verticals.