Hong Kong is seen as a top regional hub for technology set for further expansion, according to a large number of local and global artificial intelligence and big data companies surveyed by the FinTech Association of Hong Kong (FTAHK), an industry advisory group. The city is considered an attractive location to build an AI or big data business because of its role as a financial hub and well-developed tech ecosystem, according to the Artificial Intelligence and Big Data report by the FTAHK, which surveyed 88 tech companies, including IBM, KPMG, and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp. However, the city still needs to address regulatory challenges and provide more government support to bolster the sector’s development, according to the survey. Start-up ADDX links investors to pre-IPO companies via security tokens Financial technology, or fintech, involves applying AI, blockchain, cloud computing, big data and other technologies to financial services such as payments, insurance and investment management among other things. As one of the world’s top financial centres , Hong Kong has attracted over 600 sizeable fintech companies and over 3,700 start-ups in recent years, according to a report by the city’s legislative council . About 70 per cent of survey participants said they see Hong Kong as their top market, and over 80 per cent of them plan to expand and increase headcount in the city, as they are “positive” about future opportunities. “Hong Kong is fertile ground for AI and big data companies wanting to expand into mainland China, North Asia and internationally,” said Lapman Lee and Medhy Souidi, FTAHK board members and sponsors of the AI and big data committee. The survey’s publication comes as Hong Kong has been ramping up efforts to support the tech sector in recent years, especially applications of AI and big data in the financial industry, a pillar of the city’s economy. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the city’s de facto central bank, announced its “fintech 2025” strategy last year, and said it planned to make the financial industry fully adopt fintech solutions by 2025 and provide more efficient financial services. Ant Group to take control of Singapore-based payments platform 2C2P The HKMA has also rolled out multiple initiatives to cultivate the local AI ecosystem, including career acceleration schemes and programmes that aim to help institutions achieve financial innovation. However, the FTAHK stated that more needs to be done, as companies expect a better regulatory environment to support new entrants and innovative business models.