Digital Asia

Fintech, Data, Innovation and Privacy in Hong Kong

Marko M. Skoric, Chun Hong Tse,Juma Kasadha & Jeremy Pui

Through a combination of semi-structured expert interviews, desk research, attendance and records of fintech talks and seminars, and a survey of 1170 Hong Kong residents, this reports provides key insights on data protections, innovations and perceptions particularly in the domain of fintech in Hong Kong.



1. Hong Kong, as one of the Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, provides an attractive environment for the development of the fintech industry, through its pro-business environment, supported by simple and low taxation, common law protections, well-developed financial sector, easy access to Mainland China, and world-class digital infrastructure.

2. The Government of Hong Kong actively supports the development of fintech industry by providing incentives for fintech companies to operate in Hong Kong and by setting up frameworks for implementation and testing of fintech solutions such as the Fintech Supervisory Sandbox.

3. Regtech, Blockchain, and Insurtech are among the top three fastest growing fintech industries.

4. The legal and regulatory framework, the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO), provides a solid protection for personal data in general, balancing business interests with individual privacy protection, but greater definitional clarity may be needed when it comes to different types of digital data.

5. Although operating under separate legal and regulatory frameworks from Mainland China, Hong Kong-based fintech companies are likely to come under increasing pressure from more stringent regulation of fintech services in Mainland China, as shown by the Ant Group’s cancelled IPO.

6. Regarding the public perception towards data privacy and protection, Hong Kong residents are generally cautious about sharing their personal data and are active in performing data protection practices. On the other hand, they have relatively low trust towards government and private companies for appropriate data use.

7. Regarding the data protection responsibility, Hongkongers tend to emphasize that it is government’s main duty to uphold data protection followed by their own responsibility. Companies are the least responsible in this matter.

8. Most Hongkongers also feel that the current data and privacy protection laws and policies are inadequate, as reflected by the survey.

9. Hongkongers also emphasize individual responsibility for personal data protection, beyond those of the government and the private sector, despite majority entrusting the government more when compared to the private sector.



Ming Yin Ho


Programme Manager for Digital Transformation +65 66036167