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HK legislator’s firm to lure 1,000 Web3 start-ups over 3 years

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A start-up accelerator co-founded by Hong Kong legislative council member Jonny Ng Kit-Chong wants to attract 1,000 Web3 businesses to set up shop in the city-state over the next three years.

Ng Kit-Chong is a member of the legislative council for the election committee constituency and has been in office since January this year. The engineer and politician has his finger in a lot of pots as he has declared owning shares in roughly 40 different companies.

One such company is the start-up accelerator G-Rocket, which he co-founded alongside Casper Wong in 2016.

Wong is the current CEO and spoke to the South China Morning Post on Dec. 23 about the firm’s new aptly named program “Hong Kong Web 3.0 Hub.”

The CEO outlined that G-Rocket is first looking to help 100 Web3 start-ups get their business off the ground, before scaling the number up to 1,000 within three years.

“We hope to help bring good companies and talent back to Hong Kong in the post-pandemic era,” Wong said.

In particular, Wong stated that the firm will work in tandem with the virtual ZA Bank, a government-run incubator dubbed Cyberport and property conglomerate New World Development to help Hong Kong startups get access to office space, banking and government services.

Broader Web3 push

G-Rocket’s initiative comes as part of a broader push from the Hong Kong government to make the special administrative region (SAR) of China a crypto hub that can compete with Singapore.

In late October, Elizabeth Wong, the head of the fintech unit at the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, announced a host of progressive regulatory crypto proposals, including the legalization of virtual asset trading.

“We will put in place timely and necessary crash barriers to mitigate actual and potential risks in line with international standards, so that virtual asset innovations can thrive in Hong Kong in a sustainable manner,” an Oct. 31 government statement read.

As of Oct. 31, the SFC also started allowing listings for exchange traded funds (ETFs) that offer exposure to Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), with CSOP Asset Management being one of the first to jump in.

Related: Hong Kong could be key for China’s crypto comeback — Arthur Hayes

Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 15 that CSOP Asset Management had raised $73.6 million in investments ahead of listing two crypto futures ETFs on the Hong Kong Stock exchange the following day.

On Dec. 8, Hong Kong’s legislative council also passed an amendment to its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and terrorist financing system to include virtual asset service providers alongside traditional finance institutions.