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The recent $5000 shopping voucher scheme introduced by the Hong Kong government has thrown the public into a temporary spending spree.

Amidst opposition the Hong Kong government rejected the cash handout plan as was offered in 2020. The electronic cash plan was conceived to stimulate the local economy, and on the surface, the plan worked.

Unlike other economic policies that take time to show their effects, distributing vouchers is normally regarded as quick-fix fiscal policy. …

After more than a year, the pandemic has left our economy in ruins. Business closure and redundancy loomed. The latest act from the Hong Kong government to counter the assault of the crisis came in the form of a HK$5,000 cash voucher.

Crisis such as the pandemic often impels us to re-evaluate our welfare policies. The way our government stepped in — through a consumption-boosting voucher scheme — could sink our once squeaky-clean financial credentials into the deep-end of fiscal deficit. Is a one-off cash transfer a fitting shock absorber?

Even as the end of the acute phase of the…

Jazmine Boykins is a 20-year-old digital artist. Her online artwork, while receiving positive feedback, did not produce any real income. But Boykins has recently sold the same pieces for profits using non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs. NFTs enable artists like Boykins to gain from their artwork.

Hong Kong artists frequently struggle to get their voice out due to limited gallery spaces. Is it time for these artists to start looking into this new emerging tool to market their work?

On the surface, the whole concept reeks of a bubble: investors paying millions for works that can often be viewed…

Widespread unemployment has been roiling our economy since the beginning of the pandemic. Recently Hong Kong Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung revealed that about 35,500 young people are unemployed — a 17-year high. Sadly, there is nothing to indicate that this rate will drop any time soon. As part of relief packages, the government intends to recruit additional civil servants and create short-term posts. A cursory glance at its recruitment website suggests that many of these jobs are degree-agnostic, which means that there is no requirement for degree types or majors. …

Recently, there has been cheering in Hong Kong as the arrival of multiple vaccines seemingly heralds the beginning of the end of the pandemic. But the vaccine is a fig leaf that barely covers the cracks, as many scientists argue that this is unlikely to be the last pandemic in our lifetime.

Before the pandemic leaves us for good, the question of how to conduct effective contact tracing continues to steal the limelight. In Hong Kong, the digital platform ‘Leave Home Safe’ is a government-endorsed solution that manages pre-symptomatic infections by alerting users of nearby exposures.

Putting aside any privacy…

On 24th December 2020, many multinational companies based in Britain breathed a sigh of collective relief. After years of diplomatic wrangling, the United Kingdom and the European Union struck a deal on Christmas Eve to extend a grace period to permit the free flow of data between the two regions.

Such unrestricted data transfers might last beyond Brexit if the United Kingdom meets the “adequacy” standard imposed by the European Commission on data protection. For all intents and purposes, the on-going saga highlights the pressing urgency to include the treatment of data transfer in all national and regional trade treaties.

In her 2020 policy address, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced the start of a new youth employment scheme that encourages companies to recruit local graduates to work in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), a leading hotbed of innovation and technology.

Some critics have argued that the initiative fails to tackle the gaping social divides that occupied our public headlines in the last 18 months. Such criticism has missed the mark. Lam’s initiative extended an olive branch to a beleaguered community that could segue into a more open and honest dialogue down the line — no matter the odds…

The birth of the world’s first printing press

Each year millions of tourists crane their necks upward to stare at Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or stand on tiptoe to seek out the all-seeing gaze of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Louvre. From now till February 2021, Hong Kong art lovers can see a selection of Renaissance masterpieces from The Uffizi Galleries at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. Among the most seminal work is Adoration of the Magi by Sandro Botticelli, one of the most prolific of the Renaissance artists.

For centuries, the world has hailed the Renaissance…


China’s recent 5-year development plan to designate Shenzhen as the engine behind all tech innovation in the Greater Bay Area came as no surprise.

Indeed, China’s digital transformation was well underway long before the pandemic, attributed to its expansive adoption of mobile technologies and artificial intelligence applications. The corollary is the creation of a wealth of new data about the world. This data collection innovation provides a comprehensive treasure trove of its citizens’ daily habits, including shopping and travelling predilections. …

From now on, as soon as the faintest memory of 2020 comes into consciousness, so will a sense of sinking disbelief. When a social movement, a contagious disease, and a modern-day diplomatic standoff assaulted the arc of the Hong Kong shore, a rough splash knocked sideways all common perception of normalcy. Regardless of who you are, you are bound to feel the sensation of the ground shaking underneath your feet. For most, the economic aftermath will merely fast-forward a transformation already underway to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Nowhere is the disruption more visible than in traditional industries such…

Adam Au

Head of legal with an MBA@MIT. Exploring topics on education, data privacy, tech, entrepreneurship and PE/VC landscape.

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