Follow South China Morning Post, Chinese tech industry executives and officials are forging a new identity for Macau, transforming it from the world’s largest casino into a regional technology hub.
As Macau grapples with the Covid-19 epidemic and the Beijing government’s harsh stance on gambling, the Venetian Macao Convention and Exhibition Center this week organized a major technology-themed trade fair, with hundreds of mainland technology investors and executives gathered to discuss their vision for China’s special administrative region.
Macau is described as the “new hub of international technology” to connect the Asia-Pacific technology ecosystem with the rest of the world.
The event comes at a time of uncertainty about the gambling industry as Beijing is unhappy about the role of casinos in Macau, which are illegal exit channels that undermine financial stability and China’s capital account controls. After Chinese police in Wenzhou issued a rare arrest warrant for Macau casino tycoon Alvin Chau Cheok-wa, Macau police quickly arrested him last week.
For Beyond Expo attendees, Macau’s future lies with tech labs and venture capital firms, not at the gambling table. “The Guangdong-Macau Deep Cooperation Zone in Hengdian has created new opportunities for Macau’s technological innovation and industry transformation,” said Zhang Yuzhuo, vice president of the China Association of Science and Technology. in a keynote speech at the event supported by the Commerce Department of the Ministry of Commerce of China and the planning department of China’s state-owned asset watchdog.
On the event’s website, Macau’s new identity is described as a “new hub of international technology” to connect the Asia-Pacific tech ecosystem with the rest of the world. “Macau may have always been known for gambling and tourism, but the pandemic has hit the city hard. Macau must diversify,” said Lu Gang, director of the Macau Technology Association, the chief chair of the technology conference.
A long list of Chinese technology companies, including Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding, participated in the event, demonstrating support for Macau as a technology base in the Greater Guangzhou region. East – Hong Kong – Macau (Greater Bay Arena).
Discussions during the conference covered a wide range of important technology topics, from the “metaverse” virtual universe to the life sciences. Under Beijing’s plan, Macau is being encouraged to develop integrated circuits, new energy projects and artificial intelligence (AI), among other technology areas. In addition, this place also needs to participate in strengthening the supply chain setup for chips, from design to testing.
For Chinese tech companies, Macau is proving itself as a testing ground for new products and solutions. For example, Tencent helped water supplier Macau Water Supply Company digitize operations using WeCom, Tencent’s communications platform for business users, allowing water authorities to respond more quickly to requests. users and streamline workflow.
In another case, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies and major Macau telecom operator CTM announced a cooperation agreement on a smart city initiative in Macau, powered by data technology. big data, cloud computing and Huawei’s 5G.
The world’s most valuable AI company SenseTime also opened an office in Macau to reaffirm the company’s commitment to the city. SenseTime has signed local partnerships with Kiang Wu Hospital and local Nam Kwong (Group), both of which are involved in smart city projects.