Wednesday, September 28, 2005

IT_Why Hong Kong is hard for IT guys?

"Don't join the IT company in Hong Kong, or you will have no future". Friends always warn me.

Really? Are Hong Kong people are so afraid of developing IT business, or they are not that smart to be involved in the business?

Hong Kong is one of the most developed cities in telecommunications, with advanced products and cheap fees. But the IT stocks are not that welcomed by investors compared with Nasdaq in United States. Richard Li, the son of Li Ka-Ching, the riches Asian billionaire, once invested a lot in the business.but then shifted to properties and seems never step into the IT now.

Does that mean it is an opportunity or a doomed business in the city? Anyone having idea?


the Bromgrev said...

I think IT companies are risky in all parts of the world. The technology just changes too quickly. If a small company make the wrong choice, it's easy to go under. For every success story in IT, there are hundres of failures which don't make the news.

Lutz_W said...

Hi Amy,

just encountered your blog recently -- IMHO one of the more interesting HK-blogs. ;)

As a co-founder of a german web-agency (currently on the move to HK) I saw many upswings - and mostly downswings - in the last 10 years. I'd agree with bromgrev, but I'd also acknowledge that you can start a new idea with very little startup-investment in the field of IT. Abandon those that fail and keep the ones that work.

I'm always quite fluttered to see that IT seems to have not such a major impact on business and society in HK (besides a very good telco-infrastructure). At least the governmental tech-reports seem to indicate this. All those advanced networking features -- Web 2.0, RSS etc -- you name it, they don't have it. SMEs seem to have no keen interest, and private usage seems to lack from too little spare time (at least this is the reason why my ex-girlfriend, a HKer, is kind of an IT-dummy -- hey, no offence meant....) ;)

With the technological uprise of mainland, HK should get a firmer grip on IT to not loose more competitiveness...


Amy or koala said...

bromgrev, you are right. It is same everywhere that people tend to neglect the failure stories while paying attention to the successful ones. But don't you think the IT in Hong Kong is too quiet? Have you heard some famous hardware or software or even Internet service providers? No, only PCCW and those mobile operators are active in promoting the phones.

Amy or koala said...

Lutz, you are right. Hong Kong people should be much more aware of the fact that they are falling behind the mainland IT professionals. Say, creative IT companies such as, and alibaba, those people are leading the IT industry in China, and may finally affect the world. In some extent, Hong Kong investors are more conservative than U.S. investors in Nasdaq in the IT industry. But believe me, IT must be as risky as property business.

P.S. so what are your web-agency doing now? I am a bit of interested.

Lutz_W said...

Those are really some good examples of web-services originating in mainland and already making their impact worldwide. Hopefully HK will grow up to deliver sth similar, instead of just running subsidiaries like--let's say--yahoo..., just kidding, I saw your e-mail-address... ;)

Our agency basically does the nuts and bolts of the business: web-sites, ad materials, corporate identity, stuff like this. Some of our guys are also active in the field of more advanced technical IT-solutions (actually we are more a network of freelancers than your typical agency).
We are switching our location (to HK) and our business-model at the moment. In Germany's current (almost-)recession you'll just find too many IT-professionals here who will code websites even for just a luke-warm handshake. We will try to start a handful of those creative web- and mobile-services in Hong Kong, mainly in the field of social networking.
Agreed, this may be a risky step, but no risk no fun, huh?

PS: this is a link to an english part of our website

Amy or koala said...

Hi, Lutz, I saw your website. Frankly speaking, the site's services are too wide, and not that new. Sorry for speaking frankly. So are you in HK or Germany? just wonder why you wanna to move to Hong Kong?

You could reach me via the email in case some of your busines secret will be read by others on my blog:)

the Bromgrev said...

I know that the HK government tried to encourage IT witht the Cyberport, for example, but I think real innovation only comes from individuals with vision, you can't force it (although you can make the environment more conducive). Actually, I am surprised that HK has let the mainland get ahead in IT innovation, I think that was a big missed opportunity.

Lutz_W said...

喂 Amy. Hats off! You seem to have a sharp eye for these things. LOL, you're not speaking too frankly--you just pinpointed a problem that I've also seen for a longer while--but I guess not everybody else in our team would agree on that.
There are a lot of homegrown difficulties arising from a team-structure like we had in the past years. I wouldn't want to go too much into details here--that would not be fair towards my colleagues--but you should get the general picture.
Some people jumped off the train lately, and I'm also re-aligning currently. I hope our guys will share my ideas to build up a business outside of Germany ... maybe in small companies it has to be like this?

My ideas about all this are not so secretive (ok, admitted, some really are--entrepreneurs should have sth up their sleeves, right?): a good IT-service-company should have it's fingers on the pulse of the internet economy, offering sharp cutting-edge ideas--or at least being on the spot when already existing technologies enter new areas of the web (like the current mixing of the bloggosphere and the world of business-websites). And being persistent with those issues. AND being updated enough to not keep your PR-materials rotting on the web (gosh, when did we do the last website-update--I couldn't even remember...) :)

I'm still staying in Germany at the moment. My next trip to Hong Kong is scheduled for March, I'm intending to stay for some months to do some business, spend time with some friends and generally checking what would be my preferred neighbourhood for a possible removal in 2007. Why I am moving to HK anyway? Because of many reasons, but I guess I just like the place. ;))

PS: bromgrev--I'd totally agree on that...

Amy or koala said...

hoho, your schedule sounds great, Lutz. I think there will be a big opportunity to develop the IT career in Hong Kong in the near future.Your choice is right. Also, there is so much fun in Hong Kong. Ok, contact me if you visit here:)

Bromgrev, it's really pity to see cyperpot developing into a property business. My friend who visited the place before told me that the working place is huge there, though not so many companies settled. I think government should do something more than giving houses. See, Sillion Valley, it is investors who push individuals forward....

yopy said...

U guys r totally right, I hv said myself, Hk has one of most advanced infracture but the IT sector is very weak.

The reason is HK does not hv the IT cluster that needed to make it successful.

If u look at Taiwan, a mom & pop retail shop hv a website. U can order stuff and deliver to u.

Ex. Yahoo Auction Taiwan - There people selling cake and sausages and there r logistic company that r willing to delivery these auction product to the end user home. I don't think HK has this kind of service provider.

So, cluster. HK does not hv that kind of IT cluster.

This my thought.