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Interview|Shangtang Shang Hailong: Hong Kong's 0 to 1 advantage should become an AI talent training center

2021-04-14T00:10:58.865Z

In recent years, the Hong Kong government has actively established an innovation and technology ecosystem, but the local market and production facilities are limited. Many science and technology companies that have started in Hong Kong need to set up branches in the Mainland or other regions to find a way out. The world's largest AI



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Written by: Chen Jiahui

2021-04-14 08:00

Last update date: 2021-04-14 08:00

In recent years, the Hong Kong government has actively established an innovation and technology ecosystem, but the local market and production facilities are limited. Many science and technology companies that have started in Hong Kong need to set up branches in the Mainland or other regions to find a way out.

As the world's largest AI unicorn and local artificial intelligence (AI) technology company SenseTime, it had to go to Beijing and Shenzhen branches the following year after its establishment, but still set up its core R&D center in Hong Kong.

Shang Hailong, general manager of SenseTime Hong Kong Company, said in an exclusive interview with "Hong Kong 01" that Hong Kong’s advantage has always been in its ability to make "discoveries from 0 to 1," but places such as Guangzhou and Shenzhen are actively catching up. Hong Kong must consolidate its own advantages. Cultivating and retaining talents is at the core.

He also suggested that Hong Kong, as an AI talent cultivation center in the Greater Bay Area, "will definitely have a lot of people come and ask you to help cultivate talents."

Shang Hailong believes that Hong Kong's advantage has always been in its ability to make "discoveries from 0 to 1," while Shenzhen and other places have focused on "1+N integration."

(Photo by Lu Yiming)

Shang Tang Technology is one of the eight technology unicorns in Hong Kong. Shang Hailong said that the company was registered in Hong Kong in 2014. At that time, it hoped to develop in a local location and thought that management would be easier. However, the local production facilities were insufficient and he went to Beijing the next year. , Shenzhen set up a branch, among which the Shenzhen branch specializes in providing hardware support.

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He said that cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Foshan are supported by manufacturing industries. After the R&D team has an idea, it commissions suppliers to quickly produce preliminary products for testing, accelerate the launch of the market, and take the lead in gaining market share. , The supply chain is also very important.”

Hong Kong has R&D advantages, but other cities are catching up

At present, SenseTime's business has expanded to the Mainland and the Asia-Pacific region, but it still uses Hong Kong as its core R&D center and Shenzhen and other places as its production base.

Shang Hailong believes that Hong Kong's advantage has always been its ability to make "discoveries from 0 to 1," while Shenzhen and other places have focused on "1+N integration."

However, "Time is tight!" He pointed out earnestly that mainland cities are trying to catch up. Hong Kong needs to be prepared for danger in times of peace and think about how to consolidate its advantages. "Talents are of course the core."

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Shang Hailong said that Shangtang cooperated with the Science Park to launch the "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Youth AI Development Center" earlier, hoping to help students lay a solid foundation for AI from an early age and cultivate innovative and technological thinking, so that Hong Kong can maintain its status as an innovative and technological center in the long run. .

(Profile picture)

But the local innovation and technology industry has been struggling to find talent.

Shang Hailong believes that the so-called shortage of talents must be understood at two levels. There are many top-ranked universities in Hong Kong, and it is not difficult to find senior scientific research talents. However, Hong Kong lacks some solidly-founded development talents.

Hong Kong should strive to become the best AI talent training center in the region

Shang Hailong further pointed out that AI talents should be cultivated from an early age, even as early as elementary school.

He said that Shangtang cooperated with the Science Park to launch the "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Youth AI Development Center" earlier, hoping to help students lay a solid foundation for AI from an early age and cultivate innovative science thinking. In the long run, it can help Hong Kong maintain its status as an innovation and technology center.

He also said that universities, vocational colleges, enterprises, and society all need to participate in the cultivation. When Hong Kong becomes the best AI talent cultivation center in the neighboring region, it will not only stimulate local entrepreneurship, but also "there will definitely be many people passing by." You help cultivate talents."

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SenseTime was founded by a team from the School of Engineering of Chinese University, and developed from a start-up company to a unicorn.

Shang Hailong said that the company is also involved in cultivating more local AI start-ups. In 2018, it co-founded the Hong Kong AI Lab with Alibaba and the Science and Technology Park Company and has cultivated 32 start-up companies so far.

He also said that although there have been two difficult years in 2019 and 2020, no company has closed down.

Refer to the Silicon Valley government approach: Procurement of local technology products

Shang Hailong also hopes that the government can provide more "intimate" support to the industry. For example, it can refer to the government of Silicon Valley in the United States and California to provide a better innovation and technology environment, including speeding up the revision of laws for new technologies, such as autonomous driving. , Relax traffic laws, related traffic insurance regulations, etc.

He continued that the California government is the largest buyer of local innovation and technology products and believes that the Hong Kong government can increase the purchase of local SMEs and start-up products.

He believes that the government is becoming more and more active in this regard, but "hopes that the intensity can be increased."

On the day of the visit, a member of the Hong Kong Manufacturers Association visited SenseTime to seek cooperation.

Shang Hailong said frankly that the profits of Hong Kong's manufacturing industry are very low. The manufacturers he has contacted are all very hard-working. They hope to enhance the value of their products through technology and research and development, but they suffer from lack of talents.

He said that although the company is very willing to serve the industry, "a shangtang is definitely not enough." He hopes that more local AI start-ups can provide support for traditional industries together.

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Source: hk1

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