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Shenzhen's tech growth impresses young SAR talents

By Chai Hua in Shenzhen | China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-31 09:38
[Photo/VCG]

Students from Hong Kong are seeking out the latest financial technology developments in neighboring Shenzhen, Guangdong province, and actively participating in the city's finance ecosystem via summer internships.

Although finance is one of the special administrative region's pillar industries, the emerging fintech sector has presented the international financial center with challenges and opportunities as technology reshapes the market.

Shenzhen is on the way to becoming China's Silicon Valley. The South China metropolis has nurtured more than 30,000 technology companies, and the added value of high-tech industries in the city topped 736 billion yuan ($108.8 billion) in 2017.

A local community of young finance leaders aims to raise the competence of fintech talents in Hong Kong and meet the surging demand from the industry. Called Fin Society, the group organized students from 10 colleges in Hong Kong to participate in a summer internship program at top fintech companies in Shenzhen.

The program was initiated four years ago, but this year was the first time it extended to the southern city in Guangdong, following programs established in Beijing and Shanghai.

This year also saw the first Shenzhen Fintech Summer Internship Programme sponsored by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and supported by Shenzhen's Office of Financial Development Service.

Shannon Cheung, president and chief executive of Fin Society, said the aim of the activity is to provide experiences and lessons that Hong Kong students cannot gain from school alone.

He said they can learn about and encounter some of the most advanced technologies in Shenzhen's financial ecosystem, such as mobile payment and facial recognition.

"Although the program is short, I believe it could become a starting point for these students to get in touch with the culture and environment at Shenzhen's technology companies. In addition, it is also an opportunity for them to set up connections and get an in-depth understanding of living on the mainland," Cheung said.

Even small details could become good lessons for these students. A sophomore student Soo Pui-wan, who is interning at WeBank, an online bank backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, was impressed by the firm's digital administration methods, saying: "I did a lot printing jobs at my previous internship at a wealth management company, but it is all digitalized here."

Colin Chu, a junior at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, interned at Ping An Technology (Shenzhen) Co Ltd, the technology development arm of Ping An Group, a major financial company on the mainland.

"My major is information systems and operations management, which was not so popular until very recently in Hong Kong. There are still not many learning resources covering related technologies, such as AI applications, at our university," Chu said.

Chu worked with Ruan Guidan, a senior business development director at Ping An, who introduced their core technologies, including AI, intelligent recognition and cloud computing.

"Our interns could directly participate in some ongoing projects related to these technologies and attend all of our training for new staff," she said.

Ruan was amazed by these young students' ambition to learn new technologies and different markets, which she said will help their career in the future.

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