Published: 14:42, June 23, 2022 | Updated: 14:44, June 23, 2022
Entrepreneur: HK has much to offer in nation's inno-tech bid

Editor’s Note: This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. Over the past quarter-century, many Hong Kong people have crossed the border to seek new lives on the Chinese mainland. In the second part of China Daily’s “Anniversary Talks” series, we put the lens on them to record the drastic changes on both sides and reveal how the closer cross-border connections have left an imprint on their lives.

In this article, Steven Pun Chi-ho, CEO of Shenzhen-based tech firm Protech, discusses how his company has developed amid greater interaction between Hong Kong and the mainland. He notes that with fierce global inno-tech competition, Hong Kong has much to offer for the nation to stand out.

This undated file photo shows Steven Pun Chi-ho, CEO of Shenzhen-based tech firm Protech. (PHOTO / PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

1. Hong Kong people living on the Chinese mainland are significant practitioners of “one country, two systems”. As one of them, would you please share us with the policy’s specific impacts on your life?

Under “one country, two systems”, I believe Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland’s economic development can complement each other.

On the one hand, as the “super link”, Hong Kong is a bridge between the markets of the Chinese mainland and the global one, and a window for the Chinese mainland to introduce capital, technology, and management experience, contributing significantly to the reform and opening-up of the Chinese mainland.

On the other hand, Hong Kong has rapidly developed its economy based on the Chinese mainland’s vast land resources and also introduced China’s “world factory” brand to the world.

2. What do you think about the development of “one country, two systems” in the past 25 years? Hong Kong has experienced many changes in recent years, such as the social unrest, the implementation of the National Security Law for Hong Kong, and the three elections under the new electoral system. In your opinion, how will these changes affect the city?

After the handover, various significant changes have brought challenges to our lives in the economy, culture, education, and social security. These are historic reforms Hong Kong must undergo. I’m glad to see that we have achieved a high degree of unity in national security and established the framework of patriots administering Hong Kong.

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3. What motivated you to work and live on the Chinese mainland? How has this decision changed your life?

Attracted by the mainland’s large land area, mature upstream and downstream supply chains, and abundant talent resources, I crossed the boundary to start my business.

I have lived in Guangdong province for 14 years and traveled to mainland cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and also Foshan, Huizhou, and Dongguan. Now I am settled in Shenzhen.

Living in Shenzhen has helped my company grow from a 2-person e-commerce company into a 200-person integrated industrial and commercial technology company. We also established chip design and manufacturing bases in Hong Kong Science Park and Dongguan’s Songshan Lake Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone.

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4. Could you share the developments of your industry in recent years, especially under the framework of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area blueprint? How has Hong Kong and the mainland people’s understanding of each side changed?

The development of the Greater Bay Area in recent years has offered Hong Kong’s youth more favorable conditions in entrepreneurship and employment.

In terms of technological innovation, Hong Kong and the mainland have collaborated closely,  leading to remarkable technological achievements in emerging industries.

At the same time, the cultural exchanges between the two places have been enhanced. For example, more and more Hong Kong artists and performers have gone to the Chinese mainland to participate in variety shows and movies.

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5. Based on your experience, how will Hong Kong’s integration into the nation benefit Hong Kong people? In terms of exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland, what areas have the potential for closer collaboration?

Hong Kong plays a crucial role in developing the Greater Bay Area. Now the global competition between major powers highlights technology and innovation. China must pay attention to the role of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region if it wants to scale a new height in technological innovation. Hong Kong is an international financial center but will also be an innovation and technology hub in the future.