Golden Week woes: Hong Kong lost HK$2.8bn
over the recent National Day holiday period, according to according to local analysts and business
leaders quoted by SCMP. Read more.
Senseless: Hong Kong-based AI unicorn Sensetime
is in danger of losing a precious relationship with MIT, the world’s premier
tech university, due to its landing on the US Entity List, SCMP reports. Read more.
Megvii may lose Goldmans: Another AI unicorn
that had been hoping to list in Hong Kong, Megvii, might lose its sponsor, Goldman
Sachs, for the same reason, Caixin reports. Read more.
Contrasting Views: Washington-based
academics like David Meyer think Hong Kong is irreplaceable as a financial
center and that Beijing backs it to the hilt. Jamil Anderlini of the FT, on the
other hand, believes “Beijing will have its revenge on Hong Kong”. Read them on
Hongkong-based AI firm SenseTime Group Ltd., one of the world’s most valuable unicorns, has formed a strategic alliance with Abu Dhabi to set up an EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Artificial Intelligence R&D hub, according to a company statement.
SenseTime is the world’s fastest growing pure-play AI company with a valuation of over US$4.5 billion. The company offers customers AI as a “value creation” tool in sectors ranging from autonomous driving to medical image analysis and remote sensing.
As covered in yesterday’s news, the Guangdong government is pushing new credit toward SMEs in different sectors. One way of doing this is to make cheaper loans available to companies in need of “technological upgrading”. Such companies would be following a well-worn path. As we reported recently in another news item, Guangdong companies have spent xdxx over the past xx year on upgrading. In fact it could be said that the story of the GBA is the story of a region that is constantly engaged in the never-ending process of technological upgrading.
Nevertheless, sometimes it takes the China Daily to make crystal clear what the government’s priorities are. And so we read today that: “As the shadow of escalating Sino-US trade tensions looms over China, tech companies in the Greater Bay Area have been accelerating their upgrades to innovation and technology.”
“Onshoring” is a game two can play, the state-run media group seems to be saying, pointing out that Hong Kong robotics startup, Roborn Dynamics, has shifted its market focus from the US to the mainland.
It’s not just in production, but research as well. Hong Kong-based unicorn SenseTime has been “adhering to independent R&D in artificial intelligence”, it says.
Shang Hailong, the company’s managing director, encapsulates the prevailing sentiment in suggesting the region should: “ Further deepen the collaboration of enterprises, universities and research institutions to drive the innovation and technology companies forward and turn the crisis into opportunities.”
George Leung Siu-kay, an adviser of the HSBC’s Asia-Pacific business, said on an HSBC forum that the US-China trade dispute could speed up the development of the Bay Area, as China will focus more on domestic consumption to drive the country’s economy and the region could be a strong momentum for the economic growth.
The US-China Trade War has entered new territory with the decision by members of Congress to push legislation that would commit the US government to punish Chinese individuals and entities involved in “illegal and dangerous” activities in the South and East China seas.
If passed, the “South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act” would require the government to seize US-based financial assets and revoke or deny US visas of anyone engaged in “actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability” of areas in the South China Sea that are contested by one or more members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Activities targeted by the bill include land reclamation, the making of islands, lighthouse construction and the building of mobile communication infrastructure.
Which type of Chinese individuals and entities would be involved in such activities? We can only think of one type, which has a three-letter acronym beginning with P and ending with A.
Meanwhile, even though no Shenzhen-based company has been added to the US blacklist today, it is worth noting that one of the Greater Bay’s tech darlings, Sensetime, is being looked at (pardon the pun). Founded in Hong Kong, Sensetime is a world-leading facial-recognition software developer worth nearly US$5 billion, with offices in nine cities, including Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Sensetime could be a target after five Chinese surveillance companies were named as being under consideration for the blacklist. Its backers include Qualcomm, the chipmaker that recently cut off all business with Huawei. Sensetime declined to comment.
This is a fast-moving story. Keep an eye on newsletters from Supchina, Sinocism, and Trivium for roundups and analysis.