Get to know our Global Ambassador for Hong Kong

Felicia, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am Felicia, based in Hong Kong and love to meet start-ups and am excited about innovative ideas and business opportunities.

With my Chinese roots, I chose Hong Kong as my permanent resident place because of its diversity, freedom, and convenience. 

Hong Kong is such a multicultural city in which you can get in touch with the trendiest things and get to know talents from around the world in a very efficient way. It is the very place where East meets West, and it is also a fascinating destination, which attracts professionals from both China and the rest of the world. Its proximity to the mainland of China and its special status admitted by China makes me want to stay here for a long time.

In my leisure time, I love reading, swimming and doing other kinds of sports like hiking and playing basketball. Cooking and enjoying worldwide delicacies are also my hobbies. 

My daily job consists of market research on various industries in Hong Kong and some parts of mainland of China, and investment promotion for Germany. I was assigned the Global Ambassador for the Digital Hub Initiative in Hong Kong in last August.

And it is a great honor to have this special role because it provides me with a broader platform and more opportunities to learn about the German and Hong Kong start-up ecosystem. I fancy meeting new people and chatting with them to better understand their ideas in developing business in Hong Kong or in Germany. And I am also delighted to offer my knowledge and resources to facilitate bilateral exchanges between German and Hong Kong start-ups.

Which current trends do you observe in your market in Tech?



Due to Covid-19, the pace of e-commerce/supply chain management/ logistic tech has been accelerated. During the pandemic, e-commerce in Hong Kong has played an indispensable role. Their online business and offline delivery services have seen a sharp boom. Data has been the utmost factor to entrepreneurial success like never before. 

Digital transformation becomes a significant topic in all types of companies. 

The growth rate of startups in ICT and e-learning has increased enormously. 

Professionals like lawyers, accountants and lecturers use co-workspace to provide services, corporate trainings and deliver online courses to their customers. 

And this has boosted the development of education tech and professional/consultancy services. Social media is also a useful tool to promote themselves and win them businesses.  

More importantly, Fintech has been the hottest trend in Hong Kong within a short period of time. As Hong Kong has a tradition in finance industry and is experienced in dealing with financial issues, it is no wonder that the most obvious tech trend in Hong Kong is the rapid development of fintech. As the international financial hub, Hong Kong provides fertile ground for the growth of fintech. With 160 licensed banks, a large number of asset management firms and insurance companies, there is plenty of cooperative opportunities in Hong Kong for foreign companies. 

In fact, some business models and business structures of certain companies have been changed in parts due to fintech. Long lasting administration processes have been shortened, for instance. With the support from HK government, regulations, and pro-business policies in optimizing fintech ecosystem have been put forward. Fintech companies have gained a great recognition and won support not only from the public side but also from the private side.

Please name one business tool you could not live/work without. Wechat is the business tool I could not live or work without. Whether I want to share posts with GTAI colleagues, my friend circle, or build relationships with an investors – Wechat offers me a very convenient and time-saving solution. By collecting the likes and comments from posts shared in Wechat, it is easier for me and my colleagues to promote Germany as an ideal business location. The counted hashtags and numbers of key word presented in every article not only show our professionalism, but also tell investors which industries, or which trends are important in Germany. As our colleagues in headquarter post news, interviews, and industry analyses from Germany regularly, it has helped our clients to better understand their interested industries or sectors. On Chinese holidays, I also send companies and investors greetings and wonderful wishes via Wechat. Personally, I use the video function of Wechat to contact my parents every day. As long as you have a stable network, there is no time limit for a video chat. The video’s quality is also good enough for chit chat.
What are interesting business opportunities for German companies?

Before answering this question, let me give you some encouraging facts first. The start-up community in Hong Kong is very international, with one third of the participants from outside of Hong Kong. The diversity, inclusiveness and tolerance Hong Kong owns is incomparable. Therefore, there should be no great concerns if Germans come here. 

Moreover, I see a tremendous growing demand for robotics/smart manufacturing and Sustainable/Greentech in Hong Kong. These sectors are Germany's advantageous ones. Germans have already had a deep awareness towards green technology and environmental protection. Their products are designed and produced extremely eco-friendly. And what they have developed in their own market is already very advanced for the market in China or Hong Kong. Classification and recycling of garbage is doing very well in Germany. In Hong Kong, there is still a gap and a huge room for implementing such measures. 

Furthermore, Hong Kong is on the way of being more industrialized, it needs more guidance in re-industrialization. As Germany has been the leader of industry 4.0 and has already made some achievements in this area, German companies can bring their solutions to Hong Kong or to China through Hong Kong. It is known to all that Hong Kong is the freest economy around the world for many consecutive years. Its common law jurisdiction system, low tax rate, and free flow of information and capital have created a great convenience of doing business. The special role Hong Kong plays as a perfect springboard to China and ASEAN market cannot be denied. 

The Hong Kong government has various funding opportunities for start-ups in the aforementioned industries. The SAR government attaches great importance to research and development and offers various funding opportunities for start-ups in the aforementioned industries. This makes Hong Kong an ideal destination for German start-ups to apply for governmental funding, bring their knowledge and products to the region, and solve financing difficulties while maintaining a steady cash flow. Additionally, by entering the Hong Kong market, they can gain a better understanding of China's standardization before expanding into the mainland Chinese market. Apart from that, Hong Kong is the world’s second largest fund-raising hub for biotech. As Germany enjoys a good tradition of biotechnology, German companies in biotech and related industries can find good opportunities in Hong Kong. And don’t forget that Hong Kong is positioned as the center of the Greater Bay Area, which includes a population of around 80 million, covers the wealthiest industry clusters in China and is equipped with well-rounded infrastructure for economic development. With a business-oriented mindset, talent, capital, and government support in Hong Kong, German companies can bring the most sophisticated technology and management skills to Hong Kong, use Hong Kong or even other cities in bay area as an experiment place for new products and new way of management. If German companies come to Hong Kong and expand their business to other places in GBA or the whole of China, and if they can make it here, it is fair to say that they can make it anywhere. The proximity of Hong Kong to Southeast Asia is also a great advantage. 

In addition to biotech, financial industry has played a significant role in Hong Kong for many years and is regarded as one of the pillar industries in the pearl city of the Orient. Fintech, to be more specific, will see a sharp boom in Hong Kong in the following years. Hong Kong has one of the highest consumer Fintech adoption rates in the world. Over 800 fintech companies call Hong Kong their home. Strong IP protection, sound regulations, stable regime, and responsible regulators pave the way for the development of fintech in Hong Kong. That way, German financial start-ups can also learn a lot and accumulate experiences in Hong Kong. It is also a good starting point to expand business to other Asian markets. Hong Kong’s B2B market is already very mature, while its B2C market is not saturated yet. Thus, there is a huge opportunity for German start-ups that offer digitalization and fintech solutions.

What are the most exciting 3 Start-ups from your country we should know?



Animoca brands 

Animoca brands is an international leader in blockchain and gamification, which is rooted in Hong Kong. With a highly diversified portfolio of around 400 investments, Animoca brands is aimed at improving the digital property rights and making contributions to metaverse. It is also regarded as a venture capital company, which not only has been involved with many industries, but also is very powerful in capital. Trendy terms like NFT, metaverse and virtual economy are the main business of this start-up. With less than 10 years’ time of foundation, Animoca brands has attracted attention from all walks of life. The founder of Animoca brands is an Austrian-Hong Kong guy, who is dedicated to the decentralization of data, capital, and virtual asset. Data equality is what he has been aspiring for. He proves that Hong Kong is a suitable place for Web 3 based on its ultra-high speed of internet, low latency, stable and strong electric supply.



Sensetime is a legendary start-up that I would like to mention as well. I call it a legendary start-up because it is the very high-tech company that is rooted and evolved in Hong Kong. It is set up by Hong Kong students, later got listed at the main board of Hong Kong Exchange and turns out to be the most notable unicorn in Hong Kong. It seems that it has experienced rounds of dramatic transformation within a relatively short period of time. Since its foundation in 2014, it has gained constant support from investors and went through 10 series of capital raising in Hong Kong. The founders of Sensetime are mainland students, who came to Hong Kong for higher education in technology and engineering. With a strong academic background, Sensetime lays great emphasis on research and development. And its technologies have been widely used in electric vehicles. The AI technologies Sensetime owns can be applied to various scenarios for smart cities and smart systems. Its standards have been well recognized by the UN and other well-known institutions. Sensetime is an undisputable example to show that Hong Kong is capable of nurturing and incubating its own start-ups from the very beginning. Established by the most competitive and diligent talents in Hong Kong, Sensetime has utilized the most of Hong Kong’s resources, from governmental funding, science park’s effortless support to abundant capital provided by Hong Kong investors.



Besides start-ups from new economy and high technology sectors, young companies in Hong Kong’s traditional advantageous industries are also worth a mention. Logistics, for instance, is the foundation of a smooth-running Hong Kong. 

Lalamove is a logistic platform which solves on-demand delivery from bookings on apps or online. It provides one-day delivery and courier service and van hire platform in Hong Kong. It is the very case that uses new technology to solve old problems. The founder of Lalamove is a man who possesses a high sense of social responsibility. He sees the guts of Hong Kong’s long-term social problems in delivery and passenger services. And he devoted himself to handling the van-services by electrifying the ordering process. By making the inquiry and ordering process more transparent between customers and service providers, Lalamove has become a renowned logistics solution platform across Hong Kong.

What is the most important entrepreneurial advice you would give others?

Be well-prepared, flexible, and bold to uncertainties and competitions. The importance of being perseverant and resistant cannot be overemphasized.

As opportunities towards funding is regarded as one of the utmost elements for entrepreneurial success, do make good use of local advantage and governmental support. Moreover, the traits of being patient and staying grounded play a pivotal role as well. Gritting teeth when faced with obstacles. Have the last laugh.

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