Shenzhen Qianhai Special / Multimedia

Industrial hub attracting Hong Kong entrepreneurs

By YUAN SHENGGAO |  China Daily Global |  Updated:2022-11-11

By offering a package of incentive policies and a favorable working environment, Qianhai in Shenzhen has been a hub for Hong Kong people to start up companies and move in their research and development institutes.

Located at the estuary of the Pearl River, Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Cooperation Zone is more than 10 kilometers away from Hong Kong.

In 2014, four years after its establishment, Qianhai opened an innovation hub for young entrepreneurs, especially for those from Hong Kong. The facility was almost doubled in size in July, expanding by a further 92,000 square meters. The expansion space mainly serves high-growth companies with strong innovation capability and some top R&D institutes to transfer their achievements, according to the Qianhai authority.

So far, more than 600 startup teams, including 331 from Hong Kong, have been incubated at the hub and raised funds of roughly 3 billion yuan ($276 million) in total.

Five Hong Kong-funded incubators and 21 companies, of which 13 are from Hong Kong, have settled in the new expansion area.

According to the authority, the hub will be further expanded in the near future to host mature companies which have developed as leaders of specific industries.

"Qianhai has stipulated many policies to help us attract and keep technical talent and concentrate on R&D, meanwhile greatly cutting our operation costs," said Kwok Wai-keung, a young entrepreneur from Hong Kong who started up his company in the innovation hub of Qianhai in 2016.The policies include subsidies for new products, tax cuts, apartments for skilled workers and office rent reductions, according to a report by Nanfang Daily.

Kwok's company, which specializes in making smart suitcases fitted with a Bluetooth chip that can be operated via a cellphone, was authenticated as a national high-tech company with more than 20 patents. Kwok was selected as one of the top 30 Chinese young elites aged under 30 by Fortune magazine in 2019.

While startups keep growing in Qianhai, the authority has worked out new measures to attract R&D institutes to the zone.

Each company, university and R&D center from Hong Kong and Macao can access a subsidy of up to 10 million yuan annually for three years to build up an innovation platform with domestic entities starting from September.

The research should center on high-tech sectors that Hong Kong and Macao have strong advantages in, including artificial intelligence, healthcare, finance technology and smart city. It can also center on strategic emerging industries that Shenzhen has promoted, including network and telecommunications, semiconductors and integrated circuits, software and information service as well as intelligent robots.


A view of the Shenzhen World Exhibition and Convention Center. CHINA DAILY

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