Date
21 October 2018
Increasing cross-border data flows will lead to bigger demand for data centers that can accommodate different compliance requirements. Photo: Bloomberg
Increasing cross-border data flows will lead to bigger demand for data centers that can accommodate different compliance requirements. Photo: Bloomberg

HK well-positioned to become cross-border data center

High-quality data enables companies to make smart business decisions. It is also the source of inspiration for innovation, and a raw material for artificial intelligence and smart products development.

As such, data forms an essential part of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Big Bay Area project, which seeks to promote innovation in the region.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said the nation will step up efforts in integrating internet and the real economy, with information driving the flows of technology, capital, talent and goods.

The success of this initiative depends a lot on data security.

I started exploring data flows when I was working for Alibaba. The flow of data across the different departments of a company involves various compliance requirements. Mishandling of data may lead to distrust.

The issue of compliance and risk management becomes even more complicated and crucial when data flow involves multiple countries.

This is one of the reasons why then Alibaba chief executive Jonathan Lu established a data commission.

I believe that under the One Country, Two Systems principle, Hong Kong is well-positioned to be a global data center that can serve as a buffer zone to bridge compliance gaps between China and other parts of the world.

We can do this by combining our sound legal framework, solid regulatory regime and arbitration capability with data security technology support from China.

There is huge growth potential for data centers capable of accommodating multinational compliances, especially now when global companies are increasingly adopting big data technology.

Information flow will be a key driving force for the Big Bay Area. Big data will not only help the flow of people, goods and capital across 11 cities in the region, it will also drive innovation.

By boosting our data security technology, Hong Kong stands a good chance to become a cross-border data hub.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 25

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

RT/CG

Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.

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