Qianhai popular among HK/Macao entrepreneurs
Qianhai has become a popular destination to start businesses for an increasing number of young people, many of whom from Hong Kong and Macao, thanks to a set of supportive policies and measures the free trade area has formed over the past few years.
Official statistics show that 32 new startups have been incubated in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub (E-hub) in the first half of this year, bringing the total number of incubated startups to 388, among which 190 were from overseas. More than half of the startups incubated in the E-hub received a total investment of more than 1.5 billion yuan (US$211.5 million). Qianhai has become an important platform for Hong Kong and Macao youth to tap the gigantic market of the Chinese mainland.
Over the past years, the Qianhai authority has set up various service platforms, such as the E-hub, Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Fund Town, Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Innovation Center and Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cultural Innovation Town, to meet the development needs of young entrepreneurs, including those from Hong Kong and Macao.
“I was attracted to start my business in Qianhai by the good business environment, cozy talent housing and other public facilities,” said Chan Seng, CEO of Ekstech in E-hub.
Chan is among the first batch of Hong Kong youth who came to start businesses in the free trade area. He said he saw a huge development potential in Qianhai regarding the cooperation between Shenzhen and Hong Kong in the modern services sector after spending the past few years in Qianhai. “Now I feel at home in Qianhai after many Hong Kong stores and restaurants open branches in the shopping mall here,” he said.
In addition, a set of preferential policies to support the development of the youth in Qianhai also plays an important part. “The supportive policies provide young entrepreneurs from Hong Kong like me with a lot of conveniences in housing, employment and transport when working in Qianhai,” said Kwok Wai-keung, founder of high-tech firm R-Guardian in Qianhai.
The Qianhai authority earlier this year adopted 36 detailed measures to provide both entrepreneurial and life supports to Hong Kong and Macao youth who work or start business in Qianhai.
Kwok said all the supportive measures and policies make Qianhai a favorable stop for young Hongkongers to start their businesses on the mainland.
The E-hub was recently certified by the Hong Kong authorities as the first innovation and entrepreneurship base in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area for Hong Kong youths, which means young Hongkongers who start businesses in the E-hub will also be eligible for the Hong Kong government’s entrepreneurial subsidies.
Qianhai’s efforts don’t stop here.
The second phase project of an additional 19,000 square meters of space will be added to the E-hub, which will provide more office space, and serve as incubators, accelerators, public laboratories and a product testing center. The second phase project is scheduled to be put into service at the end of this year.
And according to the Qianhai authority’s blueprint, a Hong Kong/Macao Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base covering 2 million square meters will be completed by 2035 to serve as the core development platform for youths from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao.
The Qianhai authority is also working on the establishment of a Hong Kong/Macao youth service center to provide one-stop service for young entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Macao by incorporating advanced legislature, judiciary and law enforcement experiences of Hong Kong and Macao.