Brain Drain

HK Tech Executives Acknowledge Brain Drain

HONG KONG – Senior executives from the leading tech firms operating in the Chinese territory conceded that there’s a local shortage of skilled manpower, but they think the brain drain can be addressed by developing home-grown talent, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Tuesday night (6 December, SGT).

“Some of the start-ups that we invest in [have] already told me that in addition to the neighbouring city we always talk about, Singapore, that is very aggressive in attracting start-ups, there are also other countries in Asia and even in Europe, approaching our Hong Kong talent to grow and move their business over there,” said Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund’s Executive Director Cindy Chow Lok Mei-ki.

She stated this during the maiden Hong Kong Principals’ Forum 2022 held at The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel on Tuesday.

Hence, Chow said it’s vital for Hong Kong to nurture home-grown talent via government funding to keep start-ups here.

Fanny Wong Sau-lai agrees, but she emphasised that planning should begin from a young age. She is the Head of human resources (HR) at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp, the Chinese territory’s largest incubator funded by the government.

However, tech executives told Wong that they are struggling to find graduates with the right skill sets.

For instance, digital asset financial services platform Matrixport’s Chief Operating Officer Cynthia Wu revealed that they are having issues recruiting digital marketers, developers, and quantitative analysts in the city.

“There are a lot of enterprises like ours in similar industries looking for this kind of talent, but there is definitely a shortage in Hong Kong.”

Notably, the Chinese territory is grappling with a brain drain after 3 years of harsh COVID-related regulations and as a consequence of the controversial national security law. This was worsened after nations like Australia, Canada, and the UK opened their doors to Hong Kong emigrants.

In the last two years, Hong Kong’s labour force shrank by roughly 140,000, based on government statistics.

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