AAMA CEO Roundtable Luncheon 亞傑總裁圓桌會
Date: Wednesday June 3, 2020
Time: 12:00-14:00 pm
Place: Restaurant de Chine (中華滙館) G/F, 13 Stanley Street, Central, HK
The “AAMA CEO Roundtable Luncheon” Series is focused on the technology, innovation & business developments in China’s “Greater Bay Area” (GBA) as well as in Silicon Valley. Discussions will center on the GBA’s competitiveness, as well as issues relevant to the technology business globally. We also plan to cover Hong Kong as China’s international financial center, service center, technology center, as well as a connector to the rest of the world.
We plan to hold these Luncheon meetings 3 to 4 times a year, under the Chatham House Rule, in prestigeous venues. Participation is by invitation only. Each Luncheon is limited to 8-10 thought leaders and C-level executives in the technology and business sectors.
In attendance at this CEO Roundtable Luncheon were the following (in alphabetical order):
1. Dr Raymond Ch’ien 錢果豐博士 (Chairman of Hang Seng Bank; Trustee of AAMA PRD chapter)
2. Dr George Lam 林家禮博士 (Chairman of Hong Kong Cyberport Management Co Ltd)
3. Prof Dominic Lam Man-kit 林文傑教授 (Chairman of World Eye Organization)
4. Mr Philip Leung 梁颖準先生 (Moderator) (Managing Partner of Sancus Technology Partners; Founding President of AAMA PRD chapter)
5. Mr Shih Wing-ching 施永青先生 (Founder of AM730; Founder of Centaline Property Agency Ltd.)
6. Mr Joe So 蘇競釗先生 (CTO & VP, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.)
7. Mr Albert Wong 黃克強先生 (CEO of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp)
8. Mr TC Yam 任德章先生 (Chairman of Integrated Asset Management; sponsor of this luncheon)
Topic:「Post-Pandemic US-China Tech Rivalry」
The participants are asked to offer their views on the following:
- Which tech sectors matter most in a post-Covid world
- Profile of the tech companies which will lead the way
- Whether China will achieve tech dominance in the next 10 years
- What China’s rise in the global tech economy means for the US and its future leadership
- What a rapidly-growing tech-savvy China mean for the rest of the world (esp. for Hong Kong)
- How the Covid pandemic will change the dynamics of the US-China rivalry
- What the post-pandemic "New Normal" looks like for the world's technology, trade and investment scene
The following is a general summary of the discussion:
- The Covid-19 crisis has intensified the already-strained US-China relations. The US is hitting China over a host of issues, including technology competition, trade, the coronavirus, journalists, and Hong Kong. The outlook is murky for the relationship in the run-up to the US presidential elections and beyond.
- China leads the world in the application of Artificial Intelligence and fifth-generation telecom technology. The pandemic has provided an impetus to further develop real-life applications of tech sectors such as AI, 5G, drones and robotics. It is also shaping a post-pandemic "New Normal" in the entire world. New opportunities are emerging for business, accompanied by ongoing strategy challenges for many years to come.
- Tension between the US and China is escalating. The two countries are heading to de-coupling if not outright conflict. The “Five Eyes” alliance is falling in line behind the US, if relunctantly. This is forcing China to get more proactive in its foreign policy, as well as to double up on R&D in order to achieve a modicum of self-sufficiency in its technology development.
- R&D in digital transformation is key to China’s continued progress. In particular, 3 areas are crucial — namely 5G, AI and Big Data.
- Such transformation is already impacting many business sectors, with global consequences including in Hong Kong. Prominent examples - mobile/online commerce is hitting traditional retail; fintech, VR and robotics are hitting traditional banking.
- China has the advantage of scale as well as a relative absence of privacy-related shackles. The US will benefit as a collaborator with China instead of as an adversary. Unfortunately its current administration is getting in its own way, and has become the country’s handicap.
- The US holds a few strong cards, such as SWIFT forex settlement system and the US dollar as the currency for international trade. The USD is still a good sanctuary in a world rocked with problems. The pandemic may destablize the HKD-USD exchange rate link, leading to instablility for businesses in Hong Kong.
- Mr Trump is a US handicap. The US administration has badly mis-handled the pandemic. Also, in a blatant display of double standard, it is using excessive force during the anti-racism demonstrations (the most widespread civil unrest to rock the nation in over 5 decades). This lays bare America’s soft underbelly for the world to see. Serious introspection is needed regarding necessary social reform in the country.
- On China’s part, it will do well recognizing its mutual dependency with the US, and re-think some elements in the country’s pursuit of the Chinese people’s national revival, so as to minimize ruffling the feathers of The West in the process.