Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks. Photo: Google Maps
Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks. Photo: Google Maps

Hong Kong is set to become an innovation center for China after getting major backing from Beijing, which will to sponsor scientific research. The move is part of Beijing’s plan to be independent and not reliant on technology from the United States.

In what has been billed as a game changer for Hong Kong in the high-tech sector, President Xi Jinping has given his full support to not only developing IT cooperation between Hong Kong and the mainland, but also entrusting Hong Kong with the important role of helping transform China into an innovative country.

Xi sent a written reply to a letter from Hong Kong members of the Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering last June after 24 members of the academies expressed their wish to help work with innovation technology, according to Xinhua.

This push comes as trade talks are to resume between China and the United States with technology one of the key issues.

Last week, Hong Kong announced it will launch a three-year pilot Technology Talent Admission Scheme next month that will see a maximum of 1,000 overseas technology innovators admitted to Hong Kong. Fast track immigration will be available for 700 firms in Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks and Cyperport.

With President Xi’s blessing, it is expected Hong Kong scientists will have greater access to national technology research funding. Beijing will support 16 state laboratories in Hong Kong and explore a trial scheme to sponsor scientific research in Hong Kong and Macau and extend tax allowances to Hong Kong IT firms in the mainland.