A Deeper Look into The Greater Bay Area, China’s Answer to Silicon Valley

A Deeper Look into The Greater Bay Area, China’s Answer to Silicon Valley

by May 2, 2019
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The Fintech Association of Hong Kong has released a new report exploring the Greater Bay Area (GBA)’s cities, policies, and fintech landscape.

The report, gives an overview of the GBA’s demographics, fintech companies, projects and goals, including policy and regulatory initiatives, ambitions for capital markets and funding, and the region’s supporting ecosystem for fintech.

The research aims to educate stakeholders, and formulates recommendations for industry’s future development, providing advice on how the region can achieve success going forward.

The Greater Bay Area

The GBA consists of nine cities and two special administrative regions in south China: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, and whole of Huizhou and Zhaoqing, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. These make up the Pearl River Delta and is at the heart of China’s openness policy.

Cities of the GBA, The GBA Fintech Report 2019: Hong Kong-Macau-Guangdong Greater Bay Area Fintech Analysis & Recommendations, The Fintech Association of Hong Kong, April 2019

The GBA aims to act as the metaphorical “buckle” in the Belt and Road Initiative, a development strategy unveiled in 2013 that involves infrastructure development and investments.

According to the report, the economy of the GBA is already larger than Australia’s and by 2030, it is predicted to be the world’s leading metropolitan bay area, overtaking Tokyo, New York and San Francisco.

“The Greater Bay Area is one the most progressive plans ever undertaken to link multiple cities within a region to create a global tech hub,” said Henri Arslanian, chairman of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong.

“The resources, infrastructure and ambition are already in place, but greater cooperation between the cities is essential if this dream is to become a reality.”

Musheer Ahmed, general manager of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, called the region “one of the most unique, intricate and prosperous regions in the world,” but noted that its potential as a global fintech powerhouse is yet to be fully realized.

The Greater Bay Area’s fintech industry

Currently, the major cities of the GBA are Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Foshan and Dongguan. Though they are economic powerhouses, they aren’t all necessarily fintech focused.

The report seems to indicated that much of the concentration of fintech big wigs are mostly in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

With Hong Kong being home to the likes of WeLab, TNG, Neat, Quantifeed, FinFabrik and 8 Securities and Shenzhen being home to household names like Ping An, Tencent and WeBank.

The report also highlights the existing initiatives aimed at supporting the fintech industry in the GBA. These include accelerators and incubators such as the Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab, the DBS Accelerator and Supercharger in Hong Kong. Whereas Shenzen houses labs such as PingAn-Sparklabs Fin+Tech Accelerator, Plug + Play Tech Centre, and Tencent WeStart.

The region is also home to several fintech business centers including the China Fintech Incubation Zone in Guangdong, Cyberport in Hong Kong, and the Qianhai Investment Zone in Shenzhen.

Recommendations

In order for the GBA to reach its full fintech potential, the Fintech Association of Hong Kong recommends the creation of an “inter-association collaboration group.”

The core aim of this proposed collaboration is to promote the Greater Bay Area as a global fintech hub to attract more companies and investments. It would serve the purpose of analysing feasible cross-border initiatives to fulfill that purpose.

 

Featured image: The GBA Fintech Report 2019: Hong Kong-Macau-Guangdong Greater Bay Area Fintech Analysis & Recommendations, The Fintech Association of Hong Kong, April 2019

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