Feature Stories


FinTech in Hong Kong

It was barely 18 months ago that Biz@HKUST last took a look at advances in FinTech, and the role our School played in supporting these developments. But such is the pace of change in technology, and in its transformative effect on so many aspects of the business world, that it is the right time to revisit different aspects of the subject again.

As part of our continuing efforts to promote the development of FinTech, we have already launched one of the first FinTech MOOC courses in the Asia Pacific Region and our new joint-school MSc in FinTech Program – that will start in the 2019-20 academic year. These new moves are just some examples of the ways in which advances in technology are creating significant opportunities for our School to work with the Schools of Science and Engineering on interdisciplinary research and joint programs.

We are also proud to receive funding for our FinTech Research under the Hong Kong Research Grants Council’s Theme-based Research Scheme. This is one of the most competitive and prestigious research funding categories in Hong Kong, and is the School’s first award of this type. The project aims to strengthen Hong Kong’s standing as an international financial center by examining the impact of FinTech on individual investors, financial institutions and the industry in Hong Kong and beyond.

While our rigorous research is well underway, in this issue of Biz@HKUST we first talk to a number of key figures engaged in different aspects of the FinTech development in our city.

Sharing their views on the role of regulators and of those charged with overseeing the promotion and stability of this brave new financial world are Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary Mr Paul CHAN; Securities and Futures Commission’s Chairman Mr Tim LUI; and Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority Mr Arthur YUEN (also a member of the HKUST Business School Advisory Council).

Shedding light on the way in which established banks and financial services operators are adapting to the opportunities and challenges opened up by new technology are Mrs Helen KAN, Executive Director and Alternate CEO of China CITIC Bank International (also a member of the HKUST Council); Ms Angel NG, CEO of Citi (HK and Macau); Mr Mike CHEN, CEO of China Everbright Bank (HK); and Mr ZHONG Xiangqun, COO of Bank of China (HK).

Meanwhile, we speak to key facilitators in the city including Mr Peter YAN, CEO of Cyberport; Mr Chares D'HAUSSY, Head of FinTech at InvestHK; and Mr Lukas PETRIKAS, Co-Head of Innovation Lab at HKEX. The positive environment they create have contributed to a growing number of entrepreneurs in the city, with more than 550 FinTech startups [according to InvestHK]. Our alumni are among the founding members of many successful FinTech startups. We take this opportunity to talk with four of them: Mr Mike GAULT of Guardtime, Ms Bianca HO of Clare.AI, Mr Don HUANG of Aqumon, and Mr Ken LO of ZhongAn International. They are not only a source of pride for HKUST, but also aspiring talent who fuel the FinTech revolution.

As a business school within a university of science and technology, we are ideally placed to promote FinTech. Four of our faculty of various disciplines: Professor KC CHAN, Professor HUI Kai-lung, Professor Allen HUANG and Professor CHEN Yanzhen write on FinTech regulation, blockchain and other financial innovations. They are also members of our multidisciplinary research team who are working closely together to seek a deeper understanding of the interplay between technology and financial services in Hong Kong, with a view to laying down a roadmap for transforming the city into a global FinTech hub.

Professor TAM Kar-yan