Macau entrepreneurs’ ambitions in Greater Bay Area and beyond

At an exhibition on smart life held in Macau, a spray disinfecting robot with “antennas” caught the eyes of many.

It is one of several robots that can be booked online for free trial use offered by Star Speed ​​Store, a technology firm founded in the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) three years ago focusing on hotel room delivery robots.

Yao Jincheng, founder of the company, told Xinhua that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Star Speed ​​Store had the opportunity to provide “non-contact” robot services, including temperature monitoring, disinfection and delivery, for Macau hotels designated as quarantine venues as well as businesses and government departments.

“We now plan to build a manufacturing base in Hengqin to deliver ‘made in Macau’ robots with Macau branding and intellectual property,” Yao said, adding that the company also hopes to reach “Belt and Road” markets with the help of Macau’s influences. in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Portuguese-speaking countries.

In September last year, the Chinese central authorities issued a plan to build the Guangdong-Macau in-depth cooperation zone in Hengqin, Zhuhai, which is adjacent to Macau, making the island an important new growth point for Macau’s economy.

Macau resident Ho Kok Tou founded Pachira, an artificial intelligence firm, in Hengqin at the end of 2019. In less than three years, the company has developed into a high-tech company with speech recognition, analysis, and synthesis as well as natural language. processing as its core business.

“Macau enterprises should not just employ local residents or only do business in the Macau SAR,” said Ho, whose company now employs around 200 people from across the country and distributes products in the Chinese mainland as well as the United States.

Aiming to become a leader in voice technology in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area and beyond, Ho said Macau businesses must have core products and originality in order to venture further out into the world.

In 2017 a framework agreement was signed on the development of the bay area. In February 2019, the Chinese government issued the more specific Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. One of its major aims is to develop the area into an international innovation and technology hub.

Boardware Information System Limited, an information technology solutions company founded in 2010 in Macau, is the largest local internet security integrator in the SAR, providing long-term internet infrastructure construction, information security and cloud services for large-scale enterprises, banks and government agencies . It has also jointly established the State Key Laboratory of Internet of Things for Smart City with the University of Macau.

However, Chao Ka Chon, chairman of Boardware, said his company hit a bottleneck in Macau due to its limit in industrial diversification and market.

Back in 2014, Chao registered a company in Hengqin and started to transfer part of the internet security monitoring business there in 2017.

Having set up branches in the Hong Kong SAR and Guangzhou in the mainland, Chao aims at the broad markets in the Greater Bay Area and even abroad.

“We can enter the mainland market via Hengqin,” Chao said. “On the contrary, we can also export the mainland’s top technologies and products overseas via Macau.”

Chao suggested that young people in Macau go northbound to seek more opportunities in the country’s development. “The Greater Bay Area is the most economically vigorous area in China,” he said. “The opportunities are limitless.”

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