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Old November 24th, 2004, 01:26 AM   #1
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Hong Kong IT News

South China Morning Post
November 24, 2004
Hong Kong chosen for network exchange
Sidney Luk

The Chinese Academy of Sciences will set up an Asian open exchange point in Hong Kong to operate a high-speed internet network interconnecting Beijing and other countries in the region.

The exchange point, to operate in the Mega-iAdvantage building in Chai Wan, is part of the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development (Gloriad) launched this year with an initial investment of 30 million yuan.

"The establishment of an exchange point in Hong Kong will connect Gloriad to other countries in the Asia-Pacific region," said Yan Baoping, director -general of the academy's Computer Network Information Centre.

The academy is expected to choose a local university to operate the exchange point next year. A connection from Hong Kong to Taiwan and Japan will be ready next month, and to South Korea next year.

It also plans to link up with India and Australia.

Gloriad has seen its data volume reach 200 trillion bits per second. Yesterday it upgraded its transmission rate to 2.5 gigabits per second from 2.5 megabits per second.

The high-speed network can support data, image and video exchange worldwide for applications such as digital libraries and virtual observatories.
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Old November 24th, 2004, 01:33 AM   #2
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ah...I don't get it..
whats the use of a network exchange point? Whats the use?
go faster to websites in southeast asia? well isn't it depends on what programmes you chose with your ISP? Even the max can go faster, the ISP already contols it...so I don't get whats the use...can any one explain to me? I am crap on Computer networks..haha
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Old November 28th, 2004, 04:42 PM   #3
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Hong Kong's hi-tech haven
By Dan Simmons, BBC
Friday, 26 November, 2004, 17:47 GMT

For decades the latest technology has always found a natural home on Hong Kong's shores. With new competition from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong has reacted by setting up an hi-tech business hub with superfast wireless internet access.

A technology war is being waged between Hong Kong and its big brother China.

China, which has been watching and learning from the former colony's success, has a battle plan involving Beijing and Shanghai as major draw cards for hi-tech businesses wanting to be at the heart of the China boom.

And the Hong Kong Government has responded swiftly.

By spending $2bn, it has created Cyberport - the newest "teleport" on the planet.

Although the name may suggest space-age travel, a teleport is the generic term for business complexes which are temples to technology.

If we talk of an information superhighway, teleports are the spaghetti junctions - the widest crossroads in town.

Located to the south of Hong Kong island, Cyberport is one of several large-scale technology projects aimed at retaining the region's reputation as the number one gateway to Asia.

It has taken four years to build and comes complete with a hi-tech hotel, apartments, shops and services.

But it is not just about good looks, according to David Chung, from Cyberport's computer operations.

"Our network is running at 100 megabits a second, which is 10 times faster than normal broadband connections.

"You basically can get all the wireless coverage everywhere, in any corner of Cyberport.

"We have a utility computing equivalent of 100 computers. So you can run different kinds of applications on top of it."

Blueprint?

Focusing on producers of online video, music and animation, Cyberport also offers those who move their business here access to some very specialised kit.

The award-winning special effects outfit Centro Pictures was one of the first to move in.

John Chu, chairman of Centro, says: "We use the motion capture studio, we use the rendering facilities here when we are short of them ourselves from time to time, as well as the high definition studio, which is the first one in Hong Kong."

So is Cyberport the island's saviour, a blueprint other countries should follow?

Professor Vincent Chen was an adviser to the politicians who introduced Cyberport and has taught at Hong Kong's University of Science and Technology.

He thinks it is a good idea but faces some very traditional problems.

"I have talked to companies who didn't want to move, so that's a location problem. So if in the future the transportation problem is eased, and if there is cheaper housing near Cyberport, then things may change."

He believes China could become a major threat to Hong Kong, but not at this very moment.

"Even though at this time their costs are low, their infrastructure is not as good.

"If Hong Kong can take advantage of this window of opportunity to make major developments in IT industries, they could hang on to their leadership position."

Cyberport has been built to aid that aim.

Inspiration

Despite opening with only half its office space filled, the sales director is not worried.

Cyberport's very nature means he cannot let just anyone set up business here.

Project director Mark O'Clift says: "The main focus currently is on creators, managers and deliverers of digital content, because that's where we see the big niche for Hong Kong going forward.

"I think when you look around you can see that it's meant to be an inspirational environment, to help our companies, to help Hong Kong."

The thing that Cyberport really delivers is the power, support and glamour that small and medium sized technology firms cannot afford.

And if it proves to be self-financing, while investing enough to stay at the cutting edge, then the bold idea of the teleport may well catch on in many other countries.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 04:46 PM   #4
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To speed the spread of the Internet in developing countries, the cost of Internet connectivity and bandwidth must be reduced and the quality of service improved. One of the most effective mechanisms to accomplish both cost and service gains is the Internet Exchange Point (IXP). An IXP interconnects Internet service providers (ISPs) in a region or country,
allowing them to exchange domestic Internet traffic locally without having to send those messages across multiple international hops to reach their destination.

IXPs are among the most critical elements in the infrastructure of the Internet. The Internet is a network of interconnected networks; IXPs are the points at which multiple networks interconnect. Without IXPs, there would be no Internet, as we have come to know it.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 08:24 AM   #5
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HKIX Launches Mirror Site To Handle Future Expansion, Internet Developments
By CMPNetAsia Staff, 29-Nov-2004

The Hong Kong Internet eXchange (HKIX) recently launched a mirror site to help enhance performance of local data exchange on the Internet.

The Hong Kong Internet eXchange 2 (HKIX2) was built with the combined resources of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and CITIC Telecom 1616, a subsidiary of the CITIC Pacific Group.

CITIC Telecom 1616 provided infrastructure and technology support for the project while The Chinese University handles the management of the new exchange.

For over a decade, HKIX has been servicing the needs of enterprises and local Internet Service Providers for access to local Internet content without the need for costly routing of traffic to the U.S. Operated by the Chinese University, HKIX also takes pride in being managed by a non-profit organization.

"With the expertise of CITIC Telecom 1616, Hong Kong Internet eXchange will break new ground while upholding its proud tradition of providing local ISPs, enterprises and Internet users with reliable, fully redundant and carrier-neutral Internet exchange service," said Professor Kenneth Young, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

"CITIC Telecom 1616 is proud to participate in building HKIX2 to spur the development of high bandwidth content such as multimedia or mobile data services. The formation of HKIX2 further enhances Hong Kong's IP network infrastructure, to cope with future expansion in the IP arena and lead Hong Kong to a new era as one of Asia's leading telecom hubs," said Mr. Shi Cui Ming, Chairman of CITIC Telecom 1616 Ltd.

“Local ISPs and content providers now have the impetus to develop new and exciting Internet applications and content, knowing that they have a stable and fully redundant infrastructure to back them up. Meanwhile, local Internet users are assured of continuous access to high quality Internet content,” Shi added.

HKIX2 will apply the same policy and free services as HKIX. HKIX's existing customers will continue to be served by HKIX while new customers or existing customers requiring additional connections may choose between the two exchanges for optimum flexibility and efficiency.
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Old December 10th, 2005, 06:33 AM   #6
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2005 "Household Survey on IT Usage and Penetration" & "Annual Survey on IT Usage and Penetration in the Business Sector" released
Friday, December 9, 2005
Government Press Release

The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) releases today (December 9) findings of the two surveys on the usage and penetration of information technology (IT) in Hong Kong conducted during April to August 2005. The Household Survey focused on IT penetration amongst households and IT usage amongst household members, and the Establishment Survey focused on the patterns of IT usage and penetration amongst business establishments.

According to the results of the Household Survey, personal computers (PC) and Internet connections were very common in households. Some 1 601 300 households, or 70.1% of all domestic households in Hong Kong, had PC at home in 2005. Among those households with PC at home, some 1 476 500 (92.2%) had their PC connected to the Internet, representing 64.6% of all domestic households in Hong Kong. This is similar to the situation in 2004.

The usage of PC and Internet services was also prevalent among persons aged 10 and over in Hong Kong. The 2005 survey revealed that some 3 645 500 persons aged 10 and over, or 58.8% of all persons in that age group, had used PC at least once in the twelve months before the survey. As expected, the rates of using PC were higher amongst younger persons, better-educated persons and students.

In 2005, some 3 526 200 persons aged 10 and over, or 56.9% of all persons in that age group, had used Internet service in the twelve months before the survey via various media including PC, WAP phones and personal digital assistants (PDA).

Utilisation of electronic business services was also high amongst people in Hong Kong. About 97.3% of all persons aged 15 and over had used electronic business services of one form or another for personal matters in the twelve months before the survey, slightly higher than that of 2004 (96.5%). The electronic business services covered in the Household Survey included the use of Octopus card, Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), e-cash, Easy Pay System (EPS), Payment by Phone Service (PPS), online searching for financial information/information on goods and services/information on job vacancies, etc.

Regarding the usage of online purchasing services, the 2005 survey estimated that around 498 200 persons aged 15 and over, or 8.6% of all persons in that age group, had used one or more types of online purchasing services for personal matters in the twelve months before the survey, being higher than the corresponding figures in 2004 (410 600 persons and 7.1%).

Use of online Government services was also more common. In the twelve months before the 2005 survey, 1 697 700 persons aged 15 and over, or 29.4% of all persons in that age group, had used online Government services for personal matters. The corresponding figure in 2004 was 28.5%.

According to the Establishment Survey, the percentages of establishments using personal computers (PCs) and having Internet connection in 2005 have increased over 2004, being 60.5% and 54.7% respectively. The corresponding figures in 2004 were 58.4% and 50.4% respectively.

Analysed by size of the establishments, 97.5% of large establishments, 88.9% of medium establishments and 56.4% of small establishments were using PCs. The corresponding figures for 2004 were 97.4%, 83.7% and 54.5% respectively. Besides, 91.5% of large establishments, 83.6% of medium establishments and 50.5% small establishments had Internet connection in 2005, as against 89.7%, 76.2% and 46.4% respectively in 2004. This represents a noticeable increase in the use of PC and Internet among small and medium establishments.

Among the major sectors, PCs were most popularly used in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector (87.2%) and the wholesale, retail, import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector (63.6%). The percentage of establishments with Internet connection was also highest in these two sectors, at 81.8% and 58.1% respectively.

In 2005, about 15.5% of the establishments had a Web page or Web site, as against 14.8% in 2004. The percentage continued to be much higher for large establishments (72.3%) than medium establishments (34.6%) and small establishments (12.0%). All establishments having Web pages/Web sites provided information about the establishments and the products and services offered in their Web pages/Web sites. Only 10.1% of the establishments having Web pages/Web sites used their Web pages/Web sites as channel for online ordering of their products and services.

In the 12 months before enumeration, 15.4% of the establishments had ordered or purchased goods, services or information through electronic means, up by 3.7 percentage points over 2004. Electronic means included Internet, Interactive Response System through telephone lines/mobile telecommunications network and designated private network.

About 52.3% of the establishments had received goods, services or information through electronic means, about the same as in 2004. In the Establishment Survey, goods received through electronic means were only restricted to those products that could be transmitted through electronic media, such as software packages and songs. Browsing information on the Internet was also regarded as receiving information through electronic means.

The percentage of establishments having sold goods, services or information through electronic means increased from 1.3% to 1.8%. In the survey, an establishment was regarded to have sold its goods, services or information through electronic means only if it offered them and accepted orders or purchases that were placed completely through electronic means.

About 15.7% of the establishments had delivered their goods, services or information through electronic means, 0.4 percentage point higher than that in 2004.

The total amount of business receipts received from selling goods, services or information through electronic means in 2004 was estimated at HK$27.6 billion, representing a 30.2% increase over the $21.2 billion receipts received in 2003.

Commentary

The survey results of this year revealed that the penetration and usage of PC and Internet in the households had been maintained at a high level. Hong Kong is now one of the cities with the highest PC and broadband penetration in the world. There is also a noticeable increase in the use of e-government services by the public. It is encouraging to see Hong Kong becoming a digitally inclusive society. The Government will continue to collaborate with IT bodies and non-government organisations to encourage different sectors of the community to adopt IT.

The survey also revealed that PC and Internet usage in the business sector had increased steadily, indicating an upward trend of IT penetration in the business sector, with fairly high PC and internet penetration rates among our large and medium establishments. There is also a noticeable increase in the use of PC and Internet among small establishments. Among the major sectors, the high penetration rates in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector reflect Hong Kong's competitiveness in its key economic sectors. Moreover, there had been a considerable growth of 30.2% in monetary terms in the business receipts from selling goods, services or information through electronic means from $21.2 billion in 2003 to $27.6 billion in 2004. Other e-commerce activities such as ordering/purchase and receipt of goods, services or information through electronic means in the business sector had also maintained a steady growth over the past year. We are glad to see the wider adoption of IT within the business sector.

The Government will continue with its efforts and strive to help the industry, especially the small and medium enterprises, to exploit the full potential and benefits of IT in advancing their business interests. Since 2004, six different industry sectors, namely travel agents, private medical doctors, drugstores, logistics, accounting and beauty services providers, have benefited under the sector-specific programmes launched by the Government to encourage the wider adoption of IT and e-commerce. The Government will launch similar programmes for other business sectors in future so that the SMEs can derive more benefits through IT adoption. Under the next wave of e-government, we are determined to serve the community by setting up a new One-Stop Access Portal in mid 2006 to facilitate better access to e-government services.

Background information

The Household Survey was based on a scientific sample of households that represent the population of Hong Kong. The survey successfully enumerated some 10 100 households, within which some 28 100 persons aged 10 and over were interviewed.

The Establishment Survey was based on a sample of some 4 700 establishments covering all industry sectors except the agriculture and fishing sector and the mining and quarrying sector. Specifically, the following industry sectors were covered: manufacturing; electricity and gas; construction; wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels; transport, storage and communications; financing, insurance, real estate and business services; and community, social and personal services.

The establishments were classified according to their employment size as at end-March 2005 as large, medium and small establishments. Large establishments referred to establishments with 100 or more persons engaged for the manufacturing sector, and 50 or more persons engaged for other industry sectors. Small establishments referred to those with less than 10 persons engaged regardless of sector. The others were regarded as medium establishments.

Since results of the surveys are subject to both sampling and non-sampling errors, care should be taken in comparing the 2004 and the 2005 figures, as a minor difference might not necessarily be statistically significant.

More detailed results of the Household Survey and the Establishment Survey are set out in the "Thematic Household Survey Report No. 23: Information Technology Usage and Penetration" and the "Report on 2005 Annual Survey on Information Technology Usage and Penetration in the Business Sector" respectively. The two reports are both in bilingual form.

The above publications are now available for sale. The print version and download version (in PDF format) of the Household Survey Report is for sale at HK$95.0 and HK$71.3 per copy respectively, while the print version and download version of the Establishment Survey Report is for sale at HK$39.0 and HK$29.3 respectively. It can be purchased online at the "Statistical Bookstore, Hong Kong" (http://www.statisticalbookstore.gov.hk) or by completing and returning an order form which can be downloaded from the website of C&SD (http://www.censtatd.gov.hk/eng/prod_...ms_index.html). Purchase in person can be made at the Publications Unit* of the C&SD (Address: 19/F, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai; Tel.: 2582 3025). Besides, a summary of the results of the two surveys is also available on the "Digital 21" website (http://www.info.gov.hk/digital21).
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Old April 28th, 2007, 04:57 AM   #7
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E-ready Hong Kong beats Japan and Singapore in global survey
28 April 2007
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong has jumped to fourth place in a global survey on e-readiness - systems in place for running business electronically - outperforming neighbours like Singapore (6th) and Japan (18th).

Only Denmark, which was ranked first, and the United States and Sweden, which tied for second, were above Hong Kong in the rankings put together by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The rankings are prepared using six categories, with the most weight given to consumer and business adoption of e-technology (25 per cent), followed by connectivity and infrastructure (20 per cent).

The business environment, social and cultural environment, and government policy and vision were all given 15 per cent each, while legal and policy environment accounted for 10 per cent of the total weighting.

The Economist Intelligence Unit said Hong Kong's rise was due to the government's "vision and commitment in pushing digital development" and the continued adoption of broadband and other advanced infrastructure. Last year, Hong Kong was ranked 10th out of 69 places.

The mainland ranked 56th, a slot higher than in last year's rankings, while Taiwan rated 17th in 2007 rankings.

Billy Yeung Tak-wa, managing director of Y5Zone, which has 280 WiFi "hot spots" around the city, said he was surprised Singapore, South Korea and Japan were not ranked higher because of their emphasis on technological development.

"The survey doesn't reflect how important this is and Hong Kong still has a way to go before they can catch up to these countries," he said. "But in terms of infrastructure and business adoption of e-technology, we are definitely on top of the list."

The government recently pledged HK$210 million over the next two years to install WiFi - as wireless internet is more commonly known - in more than 200 venues across the city including all libraries, major cultural and recreation centres and government offices.

"Hong Kong people really are walking robots, carrying at the very least a phone but usually a PDA or laptop as well," Mr Yeung said. "Nowadays, if you had a choice between losing your wallet or mobile phone, most people would keep the phone."

Internet Society chairman Charles Mok Nai-kwong, who has just returned from Britain, which slipped from 5th to 7th place this year, said there was no doubt Hong Kong was one of the most e-prepared places on the planet.

"We are far better than London; but just because we are e-prepared, it does not mean we are there yet," Mr Mok said. "We have to make the next step and make sure businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, know how they can make the most of these advantages."
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Old August 24th, 2007, 03:33 AM   #8
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HK slow to embrace e-commerce
Purchasing goods and services online is not big in this compact city, but industry players are seeing an uptrend

3 August 2007
South China Morning Post

While Hong Kong has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Asia at 68.2 per cent of the population, a 2005 ACNielsen survey has found that it lags other Asian markets such as Taiwan and South Korea when it comes to online purchasing. Less than two-thirds of the survey respondents in Hong Kong claimed to have purchased anything online, compared with at least 90 per cent of respondents in South Korea and Taiwan.

The city's compact geography may be the reason for it being slower to embrace internet buying. "It is not a big hassle to go out and buy things from the stores. We have great accessibility here," said Erik Johnson, regional general manager at Microsoft Online Services.

"I think that may never change in Hong Kong. I live on Hong Kong Island and if I wanted to buy a camera, it would be easy for me to take the MTR to the shops," Mr Johnson said.

David Ketchum, chairman of the Asia Digital Marketing Association (ADMA) and chief executive of Upstream Asia, said while Hong Kong was not the leader in online purchasing, there was an uptrend, whether it was on eBay, Yahoo or the PCCW website. "We are seeing the numbers go higher and higher for e-commerce," he said.

In terms of the volume of retail sales, Hong Kong's online travel market was expected to grow by 97.9 per cent by 2010, the ADMA said in its recently released Digital Marketing Yearbook 2007.

With the growth of the internet, marketers are continually being forced to rethink the way they reach out to consumers. Broadband technology and the World Wide Web have been impressive in flattening the world, but never more so than in the case of purchasing and merchandising.

Internet users can buy almost anything online, from air tickets which they can print for themselves and books, clothes, toys, and even hot soup, all of which are delivered to their homes, to individual songs rather than whole albums which they can download immediately on to their iPods. Mr Johnson said: "Where technology is going is very exciting. As technology evolves, we get a user-in-control concept, with users getting more and more control."

According to Mr Ketchum, one of the most interesting developments was how people's consumption habits were changing. "We are seeing a massive rise in the reading of blogs and publications online. For the first time, advertisers are starting to move their budgets online. In the past four to five years, companies have been spending 2 to 3 per cent of their ad budgets online," he said.

In Hong Kong, most companies see a huge advantage to having an online presence of some sort. "It is now so powerful, it can't be ignored. It must be part of the communications mix," said Mr Ketchum.

But an online presence is not just about online purchasing. John Lambie, regional integration director at BatesAsia, said: "It is about the whole marketing cycle, not just the selling phase."

Most companies already had a promotional tool on the net which would hopefully create a sale at the store level, he added.

The post-purchase phase is also important, and this is where companies have a good opportunity to build customer relationships, and to ensure that they are happy with the product - happy enough to buy from the brand again.

"I think the post-purchase phase is very important. Two years ago, I bought a Samsung phone and registered it online. The whole customer experience was very positive. They said thank you for registering online, here are a couple of free ringtones. I got a lot of customer information from them," Mr Lambie said.

Many people do their research online and end up buying in a shop, as the internet is one of the most efficient tools for getting unbiased information about products.

Mr Johnson said: "You can talk to people who are interested in the same thing. Through forums, for example, you can talk to strangers to get feedback."

When BMW discovered a group of bloggers in China who were fans of its cars, it turned the find into an online marketing opportunity. The carmaker designed an internet forum that would allow the bloggers to reach out to each other and to the world at large. Mr Lambie said: "People who create blogs are a great influence on those who read them." BatesAsia was the agency that helped BMW exploit this online presence.

"We brought the bloggers together and they, in return, got rewards for being brand advocates."

BMW organised preview evenings for the bloggers who got a chance to see the company's new cars before anyone else - and the opportunity to test drive them. "That's one way the organisation can tap into the digital space and find people who are already talking about the brand," said Mr Lambie.

The online market in Hong Kong is expected to get bigger, broader and deeper. Mr Johnson said: "It's not just an online phenomena. It is a change in the way people buy things. Technology empowers people."
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Old November 14th, 2007, 04:03 PM   #9
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LCQ12: Developing HK into a key data centre in the region
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, (in the absence of the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development) in the Legislative Council today (November 14):

Question:

In the Report on Economic Summit on "China's 11th Five-Year Plan and the Development of Hong Kong" published in January this year, the Focus Group on Professional Services, Information & Technology and Tourism put forth the proposal of promoting Hong Kong as the key data centre in the region. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the progress made by the authorities in developing data services in Hong Kong since the publication of the above Report, and apart from further facilitating the outsourcing of more data centres in the Government, whether the authorities have formulated concrete measures to help develop Hong Kong into the key data centre in the region; if they have, of the details and timetable of such measures; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) given that it is mentioned in the above proposal that "Hong Kong should actively promote overseas its numerous advantages that are conducive to the development of data services", whether the authorities have established promotion channels for this purpose; if they have, of the relevant details and timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) whether the authorities have drawn on the relevant experience of neighbouring regions to devise a set of development strategies taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of Hong Kong, so as to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness; if they have, of the relevant details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

Madam President,

Regarding the Hon Sin Chung-kai's question, my reply is set out below.

(a) and (b)

The Government has been actively promoting the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry in Hong Kong. Firstly, the Government as a major ICT user adopts an aggressive outsourcing policy to facilitate the development of ICT industries, including the data centre sector. We will continue to facilitate Government departments to outsource their data centre services to the market where appropriate. We believe that these measures and the potential synergy they will generate will facilitate Hong Kong to develop into a regional data centre hub.

Meanwhile, under the Digital 21 Strategy, the Government will continue to enhance and maintain a conducive business environment for Hong Kong to foster technological cooperation with the Mainland and international partners. The Government will also continue to engage in regular discussions and exchanges with the ICT industry through the ICT Industry Partnership Forum and other platforms, and strengthen Hong Kong's role as a hub for technological cooperation and trade.

The Report of "The Focus Group on Professional Services, Information & Technology and Tourism" under the Economic Summit on "China's 11th Five-Year Plan and the Development of Hong Kong" recommends that the Government should actively promote overseas Hong Kong's numerous conditions which are conducive to the development of data service, and should review the existing land policy to allow service providers to install concerned equipment or facilities in industrial premises without the need for special application or additional fees, so as to promote Hong Kong to be a key data centre in the region.

In respect of overseas promotion, Invest Hong Kong has identified Hong Kong's major advantages as a regional data centre hub, including proximity to the Mainland market, stable political environment, relative immunity from natural disasters, reliable and excellent telecommunications and electricity infrastructure, quality IT manpower, sound legal system for data protection and intellectual property rights protection. Invest Hong Kong actively promotes Hong Kong's advantages to existing and potential end users and data centre operators globally through its existing channels, including conducting overseas visits to potential clients and facilitating potential clients to develop business plans in Hong Kong.

As for the proposal relating to industrial premises, since it involves the utilisation of land resources, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) has consulted the Development Bureau on the issue and conducted a preliminary analysis on the different requirements for building facilities with respect to different types of data centres. CEDB is planning to commission a consultant to conduct a more detailed study. The consultancy study will look into the market demand for different types of data centres, analyse whether changing the relevant policy governing industrial premises can cater to the actual needs of developing data centres, and examine the relevant measures of other regions. We expect that the study will be completed in the middle of next year.

(c) In the preliminary analysis mentioned above, the Government has initially looked into the industrial land policies of other regions such as the United Kingdom and Singapore. The Government will conduct more in-depth study of this aspect in the planned consultancy study.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 04:48 PM   #10
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LCQ16: IT usage in business sector
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Wong Ting-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Frederick Ma, in the Legislative Council today (January 9):

Question:

The findings of a survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department revealed that the total amount of business receipts received from selling goods, services or information through electronic means in 2006 was estimated at HK$64.9 billion, representing a substantial increase of 47.7% over the corresponding figure in 2005. Moreover, in 2007, about 18% of the business establishments had web pages or web sites, and about 60% of the establishments had conducted electronic business activities in the 12 months before enumeration. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the main business sectors to which those surveyed establishments with web pages or web sites belong; and

(b) as it has been reported that the Government will sponsor the commercial sector to set up web sites, of the details of the sponsorship scheme concerned?

Reply:

Madam President,

My reply to the question asked by the Hon Wong Ting-kwong is as follows:

(a) According to Census and Statistics Department's Report on 2007 Annual Survey on Information Technology Usage and Penetration in the Business Sector, the total number of business establishments having webpage/website is 54 719. Among them, 60.2% belong to the wholesale, retail, import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector at 20.2% and the community, social and personal services sector at 10.2%.

(b) The Government is committed to driving the adoption of e-business in the community. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are amongst the primary targets of our programmes and initiatives. Sponsorships will be considered for meritorious industry-led proposals that aim at promoting the adoption of information and communications technology (ICT) among SMEs of various business sectors. Such sponsorships cover projects that align with our Digital 21 Strategy and include support facilities and services, development of practical ICT solutions, training courses and conferences, as well as promotional events such as exhibitions and campaigns.

In 2004, the Government provided a one-off sponsorship of around $100,000 for the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong to organise a project that offered SMEs with one-stop service package to help them set up websites. 200 SMEs have benefited from the project.

Since then, in collaboration with industry and professional bodies, the Government has launched the Sector-specific Programme (SSP) to raise the capabilities of SMEs in specific industries in leveraging e-business. Under the SSP, we have provided sponsorship of around $3.2 million between 2004 and 2006 for industry bodies to organise eight projects. Amongst these, three projects were targeting at SMEs from the travel industry, beauty service sector and the logistics sector. An integral part of these projects was the development of an industry portal site (Note 1). These were completed by 2007.

In the first half of 2007, we provided sponsorship of $4.9 million for five new projects that aim at driving the development of industry-specific e-business applications or platforms. Out of these new projects, three aim to establish/enhance portal sites at the sector level targeting at SMEs from the watches and clocks sector, the social service sector, and the beauty service sector respectively. The portal site for the watches and clocks sector will facilitate SMEs to develop e-commerce and conduct virtual exhibitions of watches and clocks products. The portal site for the social service sector will facilitate the sharing of frequently-used reference materials in digital format from the Hong Kong Council of Social Service Library whereas the portal for the beauty service sector will provide an online booking function. These portal sites will be available for use by SMEs in the relevant industries within 2008/09.

Note 1: Portal sites are websites that offer information and services, such as news and discussion forum to multiple establishments in the related sectors.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 05:25 PM   #11
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Technology keeps Hong Kong running smoothly
26 January 2008
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong's dependence on information technology (IT) has steadily risen over the past four decades and the systems used now are some of the most sophisticated in the world. The local IT revolution can be traced back to 1967 when HSBC installed the IBM S/360 system. IBM engineers designed, built, delivered, installed and tested the system in less than 18 months.

IBM systems have also changed the way the Hong Kong Immigration Department, the Inland Revenue Department and the Hong Kong Observatory operate.

Horace Ip Ho-shing, deputy chairman of the information discipline advisory panel of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, said IT applications were so widespread that they were taken for granted. "We rarely question why our mobile phones work in the MTR, or appreciate the convenience of common stored value cards such as the Octopus system."

Hong Kong-based international courier companies rely heavily on IT functions to track and trace consignments, and keep clients informed of shipment and delivery processes.

Professor Ip said IT applications were also widely used in the entertainment and film industries. Hardware and software applications have also changed the way the advertising industry operates.

"These applications and the ongoing developments in the industry are expanding the horizons for IT engineers," said Professor Ip, who is the founding president of the Hong Kong Society for Multimedia and Image Computing.

Professor Ip said Hong Kong's education system was also benefitting from IT applications.

"We are seeing plenty of use of IT applications in schools universities and colleges. This is positive for our students and positive for Hong Kong's future," he said.
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Old April 29th, 2008, 02:14 AM   #12
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Five broadband internet service providers publish performance statistics
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Government Press Release

Five major broadband internet service providers (ISPs) have made a significant step in enhancing the transparency of their service performance by publishing their first batch of performance statistics against their services pledges for the first quarter of 2008 (three-month period ending March 31).

This is one of the major joint initiatives of the industry and the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) in further enhancing the quality of customer service of the internet service industry. The five ISPs who have published the service performance statistics are Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited (HKBN), Hutchison Global Communications Limited (HGC), New World Telecommunications Limited (NWT), PCCW IMS Limited (PCCW-IMS) and Hong Kong Cable Television Limited (HKCTV).

"We are pleased to see that the performance statistics of the broadband ISPs are available to the public on schedule. The published information covers network reliability, service restoration time, technical performance, customer hotline performance and customer complaint handling," an OFTA spokesman said. "With the availability of the information, consumers will be able to make better-informed purchasing choices based on their own needs. We believe the initiative will encourage the ISPs to further boost their service quality, help enhance the level of customer satisfaction, and enable consumers to monitor the service performance of the ISPs on a continuous basis. The ISPs will update the performance information quarterly in future."

The performance statistics are now available on the respective websites of the five broadband ISPs as follows for public access:

* HKBN: www.hkbn.net/bb1000/cc_pledge.htm
* HGC: www.hgcbroadband.com/per_pledge_eng.html
* NWT: www.newworldtel.com
* PCCW-IMS: www.netvigator.com
* HKCTV:http://www.i-cable.com/cs/announceme...ce-pledge.html

Hyperlinks to the above web sites are also provided in OFTA website for easy access: http://www.ofta.gov.hk/en/consumer_i...broadband.html
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Old June 27th, 2008, 04:12 AM   #13
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Ma upbeat on .hk domain
Hong Kong Standard
Thursday, June 26, 2008

The government says it remains confident about continuing to hand out ".hk" domain names through its arms-length nonprofit firm Hong Kong Internet Registration Company.

The assurance comes just weeks after the Hong Kong domain was revealed as one of the most attacked by cyber spammers and hackers.

Speaking to lawmakers yesterday, outgoing Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si- hang admitted attempts to make registration for .hk domain names in 2006 made the territory's domain name attractive to cyber criminals.

He said 14,000 dubious domains had been closed so far, bringing the number of spamming and phishing reports weekly from 262 in 2007 to only three in the first three months of this year.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #14
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Apple iPhone on Sale in Hong Kong
http://hkdigit.blogspot.com/2008/07/...hong-kong.html

image hosted on flickr


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Old May 7th, 2009, 05:56 AM   #15
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IBM sees HK as cloud computing hub
IT giant says new laboratory at Cyberport will become a global centre for services

28 April 2009
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong, aided by a recent spate of strategic investments by leading information technology services companies, is being transformed into a potentially lucrative cloud computing centre for Greater China.

It is a welcome development brought to the recession-hit city by International Business Machines Corp, the world's biggest technology services provider, and NTT Com Asia, part of Japanese telecommunications giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

Cloud computing puts the availability and management of various software, stored data and services used by organisations and consumers on to the internet - via remote, large-scale data centres run by providers who charge a monthly or annual fee. These Net-based facilities are usually represented as clouds in network diagrams, hence the name.

Though still in its infancy, it is a computing model that is now offering a much cheaper and viable way for businesses to acquire and use information technology, especially in these tough economic times.

"Cloud computing introduces new options and flexibilities for a corporate chief information officer and ought not to be written off simply as marketing hype," said Steve Hodgkinson, a research director at technology consultancy Ovum.

Market research firm International Data Corp has estimated worldwide spending on cloud computing services will grow almost threefold to reach US$42 billion in 2012.

Following its acquisition for an undisclosed amount of the messaging business assets of Outblaze, a privately held local technology company, IBM has set up its first cloud computing laboratory in Cyberport.

"IBM is focused on helping businesses, large and small, work smarter to drive innovation up and costs down and this new cloud lab will reinforce that," said Bob Picciano, general manager at IBM's Lotus Software business unit. "We see this Hong Kong lab as a global hub for IBM's cloud collaboration services."

The company will start with 70 employees, but expects to add more staff and put more substantial investments based on growing demand for cloud services in Greater China.

Stephen Mak Hung-sung, the acting Hong Kong Government Chief Information Officer, said: "The new IBM laboratory marks a milestone in Hong Kong's information technology industry as it has the potential to help businesses jump-start their cloud computing projects and enhance their computing capabilities to compete in the global marketplace."

Businesses of all sizes will be able to use IBM as the provider for their full range of e-mail needs, whether on-premise or hosted, from casual to intense usage.

Business partners, such as telecommunications operators and internet service providers, will be able to package and sell collaborative services to their clients under their own brands.

The business acquired from Outblaze offers hosted e-mail and collaboration services in 22 languages to more than 40 million users worldwide.

NTT Communications Corp, which directly runs NTT Com Asia, acquired for HK$161 million at the end of last year a data centre in Tai Po from Skywork Corp and Singasat, which ran it under APT Satellite Telecommunications.

That facility has since been upgraded into a strategic cloud computing hub for NTT Com Asia. "The new NTT Communications data centre is the embodiment of the company's resolution to explore business in Greater China," said Masaaki Moribayashi, the president and chief executive at NTT Com Asia.

Brandon Lee, the executive vice-president of NTT Com Asia's new business division, said service providers see Hong Kong as a much more stable location to set up these kinds of facilities because of the city's advanced communications infrastructure, the rule of law, protection of intellectual property rights and close proximity to the mainland and other Asian markets.

"We're looking at faster growth than expected in this market," Mr Lee said.
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Old June 28th, 2009, 09:42 AM   #16
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Wi-Fi facilities installed at 350 government premises
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Government Press Release

The GovWiFi programme has been rolled out in some 350 government premises as scheduled, providing around 1,500 Wi-Fi hotspots, and there are more to come, the Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Technology), Mr Duncan Pescod, said today (June 27).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the "Ubiquitous City - Hong Kong" (U-City) Fun Fair today, Mr Pescod said, "Building Hong Kong into a wireless city is one of the key initiatives under our Digital 21 Strategy. We launched the GovWiFi programme to provide the public with convenient and free access to wireless Internet facilities at government premises."

"These are not just passive access points. We are introducing services that can make use of the new Wi-Fi infrastructure to serve the public better by providing easy access to site-specific public information and services when connecting to GovWiFi at government premises," Mr Pescod said. The information available includes job vacancies, application procedures, various reports and forms at Job Centres, and the latest weather information in the vicinity of the GovWiFi premises.

Usage statistics show encouraging growth in adoption of the GovWiFi service by the public. With reference to the starting position of July 2008 when 130 premises were rolled out, the monthly usage in number of GovWiFi service connections has increased from around 59,000 to around 210,000 in May 2009, representing an average monthly growth of around 13%. In response to user demand, the Government will provide Wi-Fi facilities in 30 more premises, including venues of the Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games, major district parks, more community halls and centres and a few more government offices.

The U-City project, run from November 2007 to June 2009, is a collaboration effort between the Government and the information and communications technology (ICT) industry to encourage the development of wireless applications using the public Wi-Fi networks in Hong Kong. It has in place an award scheme to encourage, subsidise and recognise the development of innovative Wi-Fi applications.

"As a direct result of the U-City project, there have been innovations that will have a positive impact on many different aspects of our daily lives. I am particularly excited by the fact that some of them have already been successfully commercialised into usable products and more are expected to do so," Mr Pescod said.

"The widespread availability of wireless networks will facilitate application developers to come up with new applications and will no doubt create business opportunities. This should mean additional employment and help foster further development of the ICT industry, truly a win/win outcome," he concluded.

At today's ceremony, 12 of the most innovative Wi-Fi applications received awards. They included a wireless location based system; mobile map; mobile portal; mobile video broadcast; peer-to-peer video streaming service on Wi-Fi networks; location based shopping search service and digital publish platform.

Details of the applications are available at www.hkwdc.org/marketing/captive.html. More information on GovWiFi can be found at www.gov.hk/wifi.
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Old September 10th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #17
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Hong Kong named world's spam capital
9 September 2009
Agence France Presse

Hong Kong is under siege from legions of "zombies" attacking people with spam and leaving in their wake a trail of destruction costing millions of dollars a year, analysts have warned.

It sounds like the plot of a surrealist B-movie but it is the worrying scenario computer users are facing in a city which has been awarded the unenviable title of spam capital of the world.

The problem has taken a sinister new twist with the rise of so-called zombies -- computers infected by a virus that are sending reams of spam, or unsolicited emails, without their users' knowledge.

There are an estimated 4,000 zombies active in Hong Kong and their criminal puppet masters use them to fire off thousands of messages offering products ranging from jewellery to pornography.

According to the 2008 Annual Security Report by Internet security firm MessageLabs 81.3 percent of emails sent to Hong Kong computer users last year were spam, more than in any other territory or country in the world.

And the problem is getting worse, with figures for August this year showing the spam rate in Hong Kong had risen to 93.4 percent.

"Nowhere is quite like Hong Kong. Location, history and inherent character combine to give it a special identity that sets it apart from anywhere else in the world," says Internet data analyst Dan Bleaken.

Bleaken believes the city’s status as a financial and commercial hub makes it a lucrative target for spammers.

"According to some estimates, spam-related activities cost Hong Kong 770 million dollars (5.5 billion HK dollars) in 2001, for example," he said.

Internet security firms say the money is lost primarily through the disruption caused to business by malicious software and viruses -- lost productivity through system downtime, slow system response times, technicians' time, extra hardware and software.

Bleaken analysed data gathered by MessageLabs for a research paper entitled "Hong Kong and the Internet: Key Threats, Current Trends".

"Proximity to the rest of China -- a spammers’ haven" is another root cause of Hong Kong's problems, Bleaken says in the report.

"Although the rest of China is the origin of only seven percent of global spam, it accounts for nearly 24 percent of the spam heading for Hong Kong."

Under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance, which came into force here in December 2007, companies are required to provide an "unsubscribe" facility that requires no further correspondence within 10 days.

They also have to provide their name, a telephone number and postal address in messages, including a valid email address.

Companies breaching the rules face fines of up to one million dollars (128,000 US), although there have so far been no prosecutions.

Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority says it had received 13,055 reports of suspected contraventions up to the end of July and had sent out 89 warning letters.

But spam is an international problem and legislation can only be effective if countries work together on targeting the spammers, says Roy Ko, manager of the government-funded Hong Kong Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Centre.

"These days we receive spam from around the world... They are being sent out from locations that haven't implemented anti-spam laws. Unless we have a group effort on fighting spam we will keep receiving spam mails."

Part of the problem, say experts, is that the cyber criminals are often one step ahead of the legislators.

"Botnets" are the new weapon of choice in the remorselessly rising tide of spam. Short for "robot network" -- these are networks of zombie computers that, unknown to their owners, have been taken over by a remote controller to undertake all kinds of skullduggery.

Highly professional gangs are responsible for a vast majority of online crime -- now a burgeoning 100 million-US dollar global industry. Such gangs are a worldwide phenomenon and many operate from China, though not from Hong Kong itself.

"Botnets are fast becoming the air supply of the spammers," Paul Wood, a senior analyst at MessageLabs, told AFP.

"In 2008, botnets were responsible for as much as 90 percent of all spam." Wood estimates that there are around 4,000 zombie computers active in Hong Kong, around 40 times higher than would normally be expected for a region of around seven million people.

"This is due to the high concentration of computers in Hong Kong, which is itself a function of the region's affluence and the substantial commercial presence there," he said.

Patrick Lee, a Hong Kong-based internet entrepreneur and co-founder of the Rotten Tomatoes film reviews website, advises people to filter out spam using the software that comes free with most internet email accounts.

But all of us already have access to the most effective weapon in the fight against spam, he says, and that is plain old common sense.

"If it looks shady don't click on anything," he said.
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Old September 12th, 2009, 06:01 PM   #18
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"Spam Capital of the World" should be the new nickname after "Asia's World City" to promote the city's internationalism and freedom of media.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #19
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HK ranks third in Web table, but for how long?
3 October 2009
South China Morning Post

While Hong Kong might lead the world in broadband penetration, the quality of its internet connections is not "ready for tomorrow", a global survey has found.

A local industry veteran said broadband operators in Hong Kong lacked initiatives to roll out the next generation of internet services and urged the government to ensure more effective use of broadband capacity.

The city was ranked third of 66 countries and regions - behind South Korea and Japan - for broadband "leadership". The study, conducted by the University of Oxford and the University of Oviedo, combines the countries' broadband penetration data with a measure of the service quality experienced by users.

Other places on the ladder included Singapore (7th), the United States (15th), Taiwan (23rd) and the mainland (49th).

The study found Hong Kong and Luxembourg led the world with a 99 per cent broadband penetration rate, but Hong Kong's score for connection quality was well behind other leading countries.

Nine countries, including South Korea, Japan and Sweden, are now enjoying the broadband quality required for future Web uses, such as delivering high-definition internet television and high-quality video communication. These new features are expected to become mainstream in the next three to five years.

South Korea overtook Japan this year to claim the top spot for the best broadband quality. Researchers said that achievement was driven by continuous government efforts to strengthen the country as one of the world leaders in information technology.

Hong Kong is one of 39 countries and regions on the second tier, able to deliver consistent performance for the most common Web applications today, such as social networking, streaming low-definition video and Web communications.

Internet Society chairman Charles Mok said the findings reflected the situation in the city, where almost everyone was now connecting to the Web via broadband. He said keen competition in the broadband market had enabled Hongkongers to enjoy speedy internet services at a very low price. But it might have lowered operators' incentives to launch new services.

"Mobile TV and WiMAX [a new broadband wireless technology] have been rolled out in South Korea for several years but local operators are not keen to catch up with the development," he said.

Local mobile operators are expected to roll out LTE (long-term evolution), the next generation standard of existing 3.5G mobile networks, next year.

LTE could replace fixed-line broadband and offer mobile television and mobile online gaming.

Mok said the government should make sure the capacity was properly used and could also consider introducing "spectrum trading" to encourage new services.
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Old July 31st, 2010, 07:41 AM   #20
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LCQ13: Development of data centres in Hong Kong
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Samson Tam and a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, in the Legislative Council today (June 23):

Question:

Regarding the development of data centres in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that the "Consultancy Study on the Development of Data Centres in Hong Kong – Final Report" published by the Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee of the Government in May last year points out that Hong Kong should target at developing itself into a hub for high-end data centres, of the progress in developing data services in Hong Kong since the publication of the report;

(b) of the number of land applications received by the authorities in the past three years for developing data centres, the average time taken to handle each application, and what concrete measures the authorities have put in place to assist the industry in expediting the setting up of data centres; and

(c) given that the authorities intend to develop innovative technologies in the Hong Kong-Shenzhen river-loop area, whether they will also consider developing data centres and related value-added services in that area; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

Regarding the questions raised by the Hon Samson Tam, my reply is as follows:

(a) The Digital 21 Strategy Advisory Committee discussed the "Consultancy Report on the Development of Data Centres in Hong Kong" in May last year. The Committee generally echoed the conclusion of the report that Hong Kong was a desirable place for high-end data centres and called for a more comprehensive and proactive policy on data centre development.

In this connection, we are commissioning an economic benefit analysis to study into the wider economic benefits that data centre development may bring to Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the Government has been working with Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTPC) to support those companies intending to establish data centres in the Industrial Estates (IEs). Invest Hong Kong has been providing free, customised and confidential one-stop shop services to potential data centre investors from overseas. The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer will also be active in promoting Hong Kong to companies considering establishing data centres in the Asia Pacific region.

(b) Under the planning and land regimes, data centres are normally permitted as part of the commercial and/or business uses. The Town Planning Board and Lands Department have not received specific applications for data centre sites in the past three years.

The IEs, managed by the HKSTPC, offer venues for the development of high-end data centres. Data centre projects meeting the admission criteria of IEs (including the requirement that their activities cannot be carried out in an ordinary multi-storey industrial or commercial building) can apply for admission. In the past three years, two new data centres were built in the IEs.

(c) The Hong Kong and Shenzhen governments' initial view is that higher education could be the leading use in the development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop, to be complemented with high-tech research and development facilities as well as cultural and creative industries. On the basis of this, the Planning and Engineering Study on Development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop was commissioned jointly by the two governments in June 2009. According to the current progress, public engagement is scheduled to commence in 2010 with a view to consulting the public, concerned stakeholders, organisations and committees including the Legislative Council on the Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP). The views received will serve as input for refining the proposals of the PODP. The proposal of developing data centres and relevant value-added services will be considered together with the views collected in the public engagement in finalising the themed development of higher education, high-tech research as well as cultural and creative industries in the Loop.
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