Hong Kong’s reputation as a world leading financial hub is currently attracting increased stimulus for future growth, as a flurry of investment activity has solidified Hong Kong’s position as the premier gateway to a robust financial services ecosystem. On top of this, the pace of competition and the influx of new businesses breaking into the city have brought with it a wave of demand for advanced technology solutions.
Hong Kong remains a strategically important regional hub for many financial services firms, as over 1,500 companies are listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx). Additionally, many multinational companies are setting up regional headquarters in Hong Kong for its business-friendly and free-trade environment, as well as easy access to Mainland China.
Moreover, Hong Kong was recently selected by a group of leading financial institutions and Accenture to launch a new accelerator “FinTech Innovation Lab“, focused on creating game-changing technologies for the financial services sector.
The lab further positions Hong Kong as a financial hub, helping early- and growth-stage financial technology innovators accelerate product development and gain exposure to top-level financial industry executives. Product development will focus on technologies specifically designed for the financial services industry, including the development of in-demand solutions such as analytics, mobile, risk management, payment, security, compliance, social media and collaborative technologies.
One of the undeniably hot areas of technology growth is in the Hong Kong data center sector, which analysts Frost and Sullivan have forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 15.3 per cent to US$802.6 million by 2019.
To meet these increased demands, Equinix continues to bolster its data centers where customer needs are anticipated and rising. As such, today marks the completion of the second phase of Equinix’s Hong Kong data center (HK3), a US$23 million investment, which significantly expands Equinix’s existing HK3 facility.
With the second phase now complete, HK3 provides space for an additional 650 cabinets, giving Equinix control of the entire building and a total of over 2,700 cabinets. The addition will now meet the growing demand from enterprises looking to take full advantage of Equinix’s financial services and cloud computing ecosystems.
In terms of financial services alone, more than 100 financial services customers in Hong Kong including Fixnetix, ABN Amro Clearing and Bloomberg can connect to an established ecosystem of existing and potential customers, including exchanges and trading platforms, top market data vendors and hundreds of buy-side and sell-side firms. This financial services ecosystem enables access to the major financial exchanges in Hong Kong, as companies deployed in HK3-II can further thrive in a low-latency and highly secure trading environment, reducing downtime and boosting speed of trading. It also means companies can connect to the Equinix Cloud Exchange, launching on 1 July 2014, that will provide enterprises with simple, scalable and direct access to the multiple cloud services they need to build highly flexible hybrid cloud solutions.
Equinix’s third data center in Hong Kong, HK3-II, also has direct fiber connectivity to Equinix’s other IBX data centers in the city via the Equinix Metro Connect. Metro Connect offers robust network connectivity that allows clients to readily expand their businesses within the Equinix platform, accessing over 975 domestic and international network providers, including PCCW, Tata Communications, Chunghwa Telecom and Wharf T&T.
Advanced data centers and ecosystems such as those in HK3-II are one of the core drivers in supporting and facilitating the expansion of multinational businesses into Mainland China. And, vice versa, Mainland China companies deployed in Equinix can tap into its ecosystem to expand globally.
With HK3-II providing unparalleled network connectivity, capacity and business ecosystems married with Hong Kong’s position as a financial hub that provides a free-trade and business friendly environment, companies expanding into or already in Hong Kong are poised for success. With everything companies need to be successful, the city’s position as an innovative, booming capital market will only continue.