Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Hong Kong swells tech-buying subsidies for local businesses that buy from local businesses | The Register

The Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong has increased the subsidies offered to local business’ technology investments by 50 percent.

The subsidies are paid under the “Technology Voucher Programme (TVP), a scheme that sees the government send cash to local businesses that use tech to improve their operations.

The region’s government used to offer HK$400,000 (US$51,000, £42,000). As of today, it offers $HK600,000 (US$75,000, £62,500). The new sum can also be applied across six projects, up from the previous four.

Unlisted companies not already funded by government are eligible for the scheme.

Grants can pay for consultancy – provided they’re local – and for buying or renting custom kit and software. Off-the-shelf software and hardware can also be covered, but applicants are politely asked to keep those components under half of a project’s cost.

The enhanced scheme was announced in Hong Kong’s February 2020 budget, when Financial Secretary Paul MP Chan billed its purpose as: “To promote the wider use of technological services and solutions among local enterprises for increasing their productivity or upgrading and transforming business processes.”

While Hong Kong’s 20/21 budget included measures to combat coronavirus, the TVP increase was included as a way to diversify the former colony’s economy rather than as a virus-specific stimulus. ®

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