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Regulations in Hong Kong that suffocate innovation in financial technology

Hong Kong: What are some “broken” regulations in Hong Kong that suffocate innovation in financial technology?

To answer this question, we have to figure out whether innovation in financial technology has suffocated and if “broken” regulations in Hong Kong has caused that suffocation.

It’s pretty safe to say e-commerce or any advancement in Fin Tech in Hong Kong is dead. That is because Hong Kong prudence attitude towards finance. To innovate and encourage innovations means more work, and no on on earth wants more work unless he is a nut or have vested interest.  Most bureaucrat who are in-charge of finance in Hong Kong have no idea how internet works and what are the implications. They do not believe its worth the time to change the system to cater to these technological advancements.  This I believe is a form of myopia based on what has happened in their up bringing, from rag to riches because of labor intensive low tech venture instead of high tech ones.

However, to put the blame entirely on regulators and bureaucrats are unwise. Its never the regulations that is suffocating innovation in Hong Kong or anywhere in the world. If there’s money, people will do it. Government regulates prostitutes and drugs with a handful or ordinances, yet it flourishes in Hong Kong with flying colors.

The biggest hurdle towards innovations in Hong Kong is because of what I call the Chinese mentality.

Due to the early development of internet in Hong Kong. Locals can easily equate (Internet= paradise of scam artist=not trust worthy).

On top of that, locals Chinese like myself are infamous for creating scams, so level of trust in Hong Kong is fairly low.

When we are in business and we do not know the party very well, we perform top level “due diligence”, even for a few dollars of purchase. They do not mind 2-3 hours of travel to save a few penny. Time is not a precious rarity in the mentality of local. The most important thing is not to be taken advantage of, even with a high opportunity cost. When there’s a choice between phone and online. Phone is preferred. When there’s a choice between phone and brick, brick over phone any day.

As you can see there are a lot of automatic ordering machines, no local Chinese will use it when given a choice.

Locals will discuss whether a shop is pricey or not and discuss for days before making a purchase, the more they discuss, the less impulses there are as usual. And if they do want to make the purchase, hey hong kong is a small place, why dont i just walk down the street and use this price online to bargain with the shop owner instead of shopping online.

As you can see this is a vicious cycle, with little people preferring technology, no one will be interested in investing in anything. That means poor technology and even less willingness to use it.  Most websites in Hong Kong are not updated in ages. Even if they are functional, people will assume its out of date, guess what will they do? They will find a phone number and call it until its off the hook.

“As a side note, you can read my blog “Chinese Obsession with Fixed Line Phones

Hong Kong is the low tech capital of the world, to deter any complains, governmental organizations encourage people to use facsimile, since facsimile cost money, no one will complain and its another easy day for bureaucrats. And lets not forget, if you hang up the phone by “accident”, no facsimile will be received and everyone will be happily ever after.

However, if one is brave enough, its very profitable to turn high tech proposition like online testings, online material and turn it into profitable offline products in Hong Kong.

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Viral Youtube (13Feb2015)

This video is a demonstration of world famous penile artist- Tim Patch (a.k.a Pricasso). We bought his paint in Dec 2013. I took this video back in the adult expo in Macau in 2013. I posted this video on Youtube in Aug 2014, and after half a year, this suddenly popups and went viral. Amazing Youtube, you should never give up.

You never know when your video will become viral, probably a week, a month or a year. This is the internet, you will never know.

Pricasso in Macau [20_Dec_2013] - YouTube Pricasso in Macau [20_Dec_2013] - YouTube (1)

 

 

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Buy an internet property (domain name) in Hong Kong? (9Jan2015)

(Written by Conrad Ko, Edited by Margaret Jarvis)

vacant

Its not easy to buy any commercial real estate in Hong Kong with its sky high prices.

So have you consider buying Internet Real Estate?

ust like property in real life, a domain name is a piece of Internet Real Estate. Because it is unique and permanent. A domain name is a unique name that identifies an internet resource such as a website. It is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control on the Internet.
An example of a domain name is www.conradko.com. You can access www.conradko.com because I registered a domain name called www.conradko.com. If I want people to access my site with www.conradko.net then I will have to buy www.conradko.net. If www.conradko.net is owned by someone, I will have to buy it, because it’s someone else’s turf.

Conradko.com Whois Lookup - Who.is - Who.is

 

However, no one really cares about Conrad Ko unless I do something extraordinary in the next few years. Therefore, conradko.net is not registered by anyone. As of now, when people search for conrad ko, it is very likely this website will pop up on Google because of its high similarity with the keywords “conrad ko”. However, if one day one of my fans wants to be conrad ko himself, he will be interested in my site and want to own www.conradko.com, then what he can do is:

• wait for me to stop using this domain name
• buy it from me so that he can own it and use it

Why do people invest in domain names?

So you may say, why would I ever want to buy domain names? If you are an online store, you will want people to be able to search for you easily. If you sell cars and you name your website cheapcars.com, a lot of people who search for “cheap cars” will see your site on any search engine.

Other competitors in the field of selling automobiles will also want your domain name, but if they want to use it, they will have to buy it from you. Although it’s unlikely you will sell it to them. As a result they might register similar domain names like cheapcars.net, cheapcars.org.

Since people go online and search for products every day, having a good domain name will increase your online presence sort of like an online billboard.

With the online population growing each year, a good domain will appreciate over time as demand grows. Therefore, domain name investment is worthwhile if you have a good eye for domain names.
As a result a lot of investors wanting a portfolio of Internet Real Estate occupy the 5th Avenue, or Bond Street of the internet world. That’s why domain investing has been a sport since the dawn of the internet.
If you are interested in the subject you can visit:

http://www.domaininvesting.com/ – A blog about domain investment

 

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Internet Property (Domain) Development in Hong Kong (9Jan2015)

(Written by Conrad Ko, Edited by Margaret Jarvis)

conveyancing2_2350347b

As we mentioned from our last post one might argue that since the tech boom in 2010. Global domain names has risen both in number registered and price.

Year
(June)
Websites Change Internet Users Users per
Website
Websites launched
2013 672,985,183 -3% 2,756,198,420 4
2012 697,089,489 101% 2,518,453,530 4
2011 346,004,403 67% 2,282,955,130 7
2010 206,956,723 -13% 2,045,865,660 10 Pinterest
2009 238,027,855 38% 1,766,206,240 7
2008 172,338,726 41% 1,571,601,630 9 Dropbox
2007 121,892,559 43% 1,373,327,790 11 Tumblr
2006 85,507,314 32% 1,160,335,280 14 Twttr
2005 64,780,617 26% 1,027,580,990 16 YouTube, Reddit
2004 51,611,646 26% 910,060,180 18 Thefacebook, Flickr
2003 40,912,332 6% 778,555,680 19 WordPress, LinkedIn
2002 38,760,373 32% 662,663,600 17
2001 29,254,370 71% 500,609,240 17 Wikipedia
2000 17,087,182 438% 413,425,190 24 Baidu
1999 3,177,453 32% 280,866,670 88 PayPal
1998 2,410,067 116% 188,023,930 78 Google
1997 1,117,255 334% 120,758,310 108 Yandex
1996 257,601 996% 77,433,860 301
1995 23,500 758% 44,838,900 1,908 Altavista, Amazon, AuctionWeb
1994 2,738 2006% 25,454,590 9,297 Yahoo
1993 130 1200% 14,161,570 108,935
1992 10 900%
Aug. 1991 1 World Wide Web Project
Source: NetCraft and Internet Live Stats (elaboration of data by Matthew Gray of MIT and Hobbes’ Internet Timeline and Pingdom)

(Source: http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/)

However, the domain scene is much grimmer on the Hong Kong side of things.

Date
2rd Level ‘.hk’
3rd Level ‘.hk’
Total
.HK
.香港
.com.hk
.net.hk
.org.hk
.edu.hk
.gov.hk
.idv.hk




教育
.香港
組織
.香港
網絡
.香港
政府
.香港
個人
.香港
01-Jan-12
70726
13874
102373
208
4401
2273
491
1273
7196
208
672
103
236
195
204229
01-Jan-13
63366
12177
94571
171
4334
2310
503
582
6242
219
685
94
256
103
185613
01-Jan-14
54995
11241
85207
159
4325
2348
515
423
6187
224
705
91
263
41
166724
01-Jan-15
53908
10879
84593
162
4242
2423
551
399
6275
232
679
89
278
42
164752

(Source: https://www.hkdnr.hk/content.jsp?id=194#!/&in=/aboutHK/registration_statistics_hkdnr.jsp)

The number of active domains has decreased steadily over the past few years. That’s the fate of IT in Hong Kong, always a dream, never the reality.