16 July 2019
Different systems among cities in the Greater Bay Area pose a challenge to intra-regional data flow. Photo: Xinhua
Different systems among cities in the Greater Bay Area pose a challenge to intra-regional data flow. Photo: Xinhua

Data sharing and integration: A key issue for Greater Bay Area

In his report at the 19th CPC National Congress in October last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted that city clusters should play a bigger role and that the government should build a new mechanism to better coordinate regional development.

In this, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and Guangdong-HongKong-Macau are two focus regions.

The Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau region has formed a coastal economic model and is blessed with geographical and historical advantages. Inside this region, Hong Kong and Macau are supposed to assume the responsibility of pushing internationalization. As such, I have been working on how to better facilitate cross-border data integration and data flow.

In the recent China International Big Data Expo held in Guiyang, we discussed how to tackle this issue inside the Greater Bay Area, a project that aims to build Hong Kong, Macau and nine Guangdong cities into a regional economic power house.

Currently, residents in different cities in the Greater Bay Area are encountering various issues due to limited data integration.

For example, it was such a hassle for me to apply for a credit card when I lived in Hangzhou. And my credit record couldn’t be tracked when I moved back to Hong Kong a decade later.

The information silo faced by corporates is even more frustrating and harmful.

The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge has tackled the flow of people and vehicles. Is it possible to build a similar data highway?

To make data flow within the region possible, we have to deal with different legal systems in Hong Kong, Macau and mainland cities.

To address data sharing needs, we also have to fix data security issues, which is particularly important for, say, the government to open up the data.

It is also crucial to establish mutual trust and a mutually beneficial system.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 6

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]


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

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