PRESS COVERAGE
  • Digital payments have been increasing during the coronavirus pandemic because of the ease with which they allow people to pay for goods and services while under quarantine or undertaking social distancing. Experts predict that after the current crisis, most countries will likely become more digitized. This is because the pandemic is changing patterns of consumer behavior. Offline payment transaction volumes have recorded a dramatic drop during the COVID-19 crisis, while the number of people physically shopping in stores and enjoying outdoor entertainment has fallen. During this time, e-commerce and online business have increased, while remote payments have “largely increased”, said Tim Lee, founder and CEO of QFPay, a digital payment solution provider. Because of the pandemic, many consumers in Hong Kong have started to use digital payments during their daily lives. Contactless digital payments at the point of sale (POS), such as facial recognition, quick response (QR) codes and near-field communications, are protecting consumers. These make it less likely that the coronavirus will spread to other people during cash exchanges. Whether people will maintain these spending habits when the crisis is over depends on how retailers and businesses seize opportunities and maximize customer demand for online shopping. “We have received a lot of requests from retailers — both local and cross-border ones — for online business solutions,” Lee told China Daily. A number of e-commerce initiatives are helping businesses maintain their revenues during very difficult times. Some chain stores are interested in exploring online channels although they are already equipped with digital payments offline. E-commerce players in Hong Kong see this rising demand as an opportunity to improve what they offer online while boosting much-needed retail spending. QFPay wants to help offline business and cross-border related business move to being online and to develop online payment capabilities more easily. QFPay, founded in 2011, is offering three-in-one online business transformation solutions. This includes online and remote payments, global e-commerce solutions, and online marketing. Lee said these solutions could help business people develop all-channel payments. These cover 140 payment methods around the world. To benefit local and overseas retailers, the company has partnered with online retail platform Shopify to provide global e-commerce solutions. Those targeting Chinese mainland consumers will be assisted with a e-commerce solution based on WeChat’s mini-program. Consumers will automatically follow the retailer’s official WeChat account after payment. This could attract more followers and lead to better marketing and promotion, he said. Many other digital payment service providers have launched all kinds of measures to help retailers survive during the next few months. AlipayHK, the Hong Kong arm of Alibaba Group’s online payment platform, said it has waived the transaction fees of some businesses. It is also offering special sales discounts to help online shops. After the pandemic eases, people without access to digital payments may not only miss out on a convenient business tool, but also the benefits of financial inclusion and increasingly digitized global trade. edithlu@chinadailyhk.com
    2020-05-28
  • Global cooperation in combating the coronavirus pandemic is key to achieving a “full, sustainable and quality” economic recovery, while businesses reeling from the disruption of supply chains and shrinking demand should upgrade their mindset and adapt themselves to the new economic environment, industry leaders and experts told the China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Addressing a webinar panel themed “Economic Impact of the Pandemic: A New Approach of Doing Business”, Xiao Geng, president of the Hong Kong Institution for International Finance, stressed the importance of international cooperation in fighting the virus to ensure economic recovery. “Global economic recovery depends on how the world can work together to contain the coronavirus,” he said. “Without firmly containing the pandemic, it’s very difficult to have a full, sustainable and quality recovery.” In particular, China and the United States, as the world’s two largest economies, have to work together. “People from both countries need each other. ... Sooner or later, the two countries have only one way (to go) — cooperation — because, otherwise, the cost will be so big, not just for both sides, but for the whole world,” Xiao said. Noting that nations are closely linked economically, he warned that geopolitical tension could be “the biggest risk” for the world economy. “What’s really important is geopolitical tension, which could lead to some kind of decoupling in supply chains. That’s something that could last quite a few years or even decades,” said Xiao, adding that enterprises need to think about how to deal with potential changes in the global economic and trade systems. While many businesses are struggling to weather the economic storm brought by the unprecedented public health crisis, others are seizing the opportunity to push ahead with innovations and changes they believe will help them become even stronger after the pandemic. Tim Lee, founder and chief executive officer of mobile payment service QFPay, said he sees new business for his company, as travel restrictions imposed by the government have forced people to stay at home, thus promoting e-commerce and mobile payment methods. Online businesses will become the new normal after the pandemic, with more money and resources being processed through online channels, and the adoption of mobile payment methods will become faster, he reckoned. Lee predicted that the pandemic will push mobile payment related industries and digital businesses to develop at least three years faster. “It’s really a good opportunity for all of us and also our clients to upgrade their mindset and prepare for the future,” he said. “If we take this chance to go digital, to go online, I think who survives will find they’re even in a better position than before the COVID-19 (pandemic).” Dennis Ng, founder and chief executive officer of Mober Technology, told the panel his company is a same-day on-demand delivery solution provider in the Philippines. He said that when he founded the enterprise in 2016, there were so many unbanked delivery drivers in the country, meaning they don’t even have a bank account. So, Mober has to focus on helping these drivers to own their vans, by paying daily rentals as installments and, after three to four years, the vehicles will belong to them. Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, has been under lockdown due to the pandemic since March, and Ng sees the situation as an opportunity for his company to restructure and improve its services. “So what we did was to team up with big shopping malls in the Philippines because they’ve all been hit by the pandemic and unable to operate. We told them to use their store fronts as fulfillment centers, and we can create community delivery with a better rate,” Ng said. With Manila still in lockdown, Ng believes that even after the pandemic is brought under control and the city reopens, many people will continue to practice social distancing. That means there’ll be long queues in front of every shopping mall. He said the best solution is for the malls continue allocating some areas as fulfillment centers, as they’re are all located near communities, unlike warehouses and logistic centers. It’ll make more sense for them to continue working together with companies like Mober in future to deliver goods directly from malls to people’s doorsteps. Edith Yeung, general partner of Race Capital, a venture capital and private equity firm, said her company is looking at enterprises not just for whom they’re now, but what they could be in 10 years’ time. She reckoned that the pandemic is a black swan crisis not just for this year, but for the entire decade. “But, I’ve always been saying the worst time is also the best time for some companies — those that are most adaptable will survive.” Yeung’s suggestions for companies to pitch for venture capital investment include: Firstly, to get used to online meetings with potential investors, put on a nice shirt and be professional. Secondly, some Chinese entrepreneurs tend to jump directly into introducing their products, while investors are actually more interested in the founder or the chief executive’s view about the macroeconomy — how they see the industry and what do they know about their competitors. Lastly, they’ve to be well prepared and do the “homework”. All these proposals could help enterprises land the investment they desperately need in this tough environment. Yeung also said she believes that companies engaged in the pharmaceutical, biotech, cyber security and online education industries will outperform amid the pandemic. But, for those in the sharing economy, travel and other offline, experience-dependent areas, it’ll be difficult. sally@chinadailyhk.com
    2020-05-28
  • Despite the devastating effect the coronavirus is exacting on many businesses, venture capitalists are good at maximizing opportunities during a crisis, an industry expert says. Edith Yeung, general partner at Race Capital, an early-stage Silicon Valley venture capital fund, said the most volatile, difficult times are often the best ones for early-stage private markets. She cited as an example the 2008 financial crisis, which produced many “unicorns” during the tough business environment. “When company valuations come down, competition lessens, founders show their true colors, and winners ultimately emerge,” Yeung told China Daily. Venture capital investments (VCs) on Chinese mainland dropped more than 30 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, data from ITjuzi showed. From January through March, a total of 634 companies raised $16.8 billion in funding compared with 1,143 companies raising $24.5 billion in the first quarter of last year. Startups realize that fundraising and due diligence now take longer than usual, and they need to think hard about how they are going to remain solvent, Yeung said. She advised startups to think about their contingency plans: “Can they cut down expenses without hurting their businesses? “They also need to ask themselves if they can survive and withstand a few poor (economic) quarters if the economy goes into a recession,” Yeung added. “My prediction is, the rest of the world will follow China’s footsteps and likely follow a similar pattern in China with a sharp drop in the number of investments and reduced funding this coming quarter,” Yeung said. She added that United States VC funding has already fallen by more than 26 percent year-on-year. Yeung said most of the venture capital funding in China in the first three months of the year came from large private equity firms and corporate ventures. They focused on fintech, healthcare, logistics and autonomous driving technologies. Although the pandemic poses great challenges to startups and private markets, Race Capital, which focuses on seed to series A companies, remains bullish — particularly about areas such as fintech, enterprise software, and software as a service. Founded in 2019, Race Capital invests, builds and partners with entrepreneurs building market-transforming companies in the enterprise software, infrastructure, fintech, data, developer tools, AI space in Silicon Valley and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. With over 71 million people in the Bay Area, Yeung said it was a huge market for Race Capital’s portfolio companies. “Guangdong province has the highest GDP in the country with the headquarters of many Chinese unicorns, including Tencent, Huawei and DJI. There are plenty of talents there for us to tap into,” Yeung said. She said Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem had been improving, but still lacked interaction with neighboring countries. Yeung has started a nonprofit organization, FoundersHK, to connect Hong Kong and Silicon Valley founders. “FoundersHK brings together thousands of Hong Kong founders and hundreds of mentors via education and mentorship programs to nurture the next generation. We also have a super vibrant video and event series to drive people’s awareness about entrepreneurship,” Yeung added. pamelalin@chinadailyhk.com
    2020-05-28
  • For Immediate Release PRESS RELEASE Business Leaders Discuss Innovative Strategies for COVID-19 Pandemic May 27, 2020, HK: Amid the global spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the second webinar organized by China Daily, themed “Economic Impact of the Pandemic: A New Approach to Doing Business” was held today with the aim of helping businesses gain new insights and opportunities in the current challenging environment. The webinar attracted some 200 business leaders, investors, academics and Consulate Generals from across the globe. Enterprises embracing a wide range of sectors from across Asia have been struggling to keep themselves afloat, with economies battered in the face of national lockdowns. Hong Kong saw its unemployment rate hitting 5.2 percent between February and April this year – the highest in more than a decade -- while the number of people who were jobless climbed to 3.1 percent – the highest for the past 15 years. Although the number of daily cases of coronavirus infections in Asia has been falling and some regions are gradually returning to normal, the path to economic recovery remains fraught with challenges. The webinar consisted of two parts. Prof. Xiao Geng, President, Hong Kong Institution for International Finance, talked about the “Economic Recovery Outlook post-COVID-19” in the first part, analyzing the overall economic recovery as the daily coronavirus infection rate has slowed down dramatically. Prof. Xiao also shared his insights on China’s economic development in the second half of 2020, based on the economic policies unveiled at the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress this year. Prof. Xiao Geng said that in regard to the China-US relations in post-COVID 19 world, there are three issues to consider, including national security, people’s needs and global order. He pointed out that without the cooperation between China and US, the whole world can achieve nothing, like what have happened during this pandemic crisis. He thought that there is only one way to deal with their relations, which is to cooperate. Otherwise, the cost will be so big for the whole world. With cloud-based remote work becoming the new normal, companies are moving internal assessment work, staff training, team meetings and interviews online, and it’s estimated that business travel budgets could be trimmed by about 20 percent as a result. The second part of the webinar features three prominent speakers -- Mr. Tim Lee, Founder & CEO, QFPay; Mr. Dennis Ng, Founder and CEO, Mober Technology Pte; and Ms. Edith Yeung, General Partner, Race Capital – shared their insights and survival strategies under the current economic climate. Tim Lee said the pandemic has moved the development of the whole mobile payment related industries and all digital payment businesses at least three years faster. He thought it’s also a really good opportunity to deepen people’s knowledge of digital payment and accelerate digitalization of corporations. Dennis Ng said during the lockdown, instead of reacting to on-demand delivery platforms, they decided to focus on how to make their business sustainable. He said that they want to create a community and give customers an easy way to book deliveries from malls. Edith Yeung thought it’s the time when entrepreneurs and founders need to be realistic and think hard to cut costs as the hard time may last at least 1 to 2 years. She pointed out that Chinese entrepreneurs are good at presenting and explaining their products to others, but for venture capital companies, compared with the product itself, they care more about if founders really understand the market and have a clear mindset of how to run a business. About China Daily Founded in 1981, China Daily covers 220 million readers and users worldwide through diversified platforms, including newspapers, websites, and mobiles and social media. The number of China Daily’s followers had now reached 55 million on Weibo, 8.3 million on the WeChat Blog platform, 92 million on Facebook and another 4.37 million on Twitter. About China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable The China Daily Asia Leadership Roundtable is a by-invitation network of movers and shakers in Asia, providing platforms for focused dialogue, issue investigation and possible collective action on strategic issues relating to Asia’s economic, business and social development. Our aim is to enhance communication and increase mutual understanding between China, Asian and Western countries. Roundtable events are held in major cities across Asia.
    2020-05-27
  • 新聞稿 即時發佈 中國日報亞洲領袖圓桌論壇在線探討疫情下企業營商新策略 香港國際金融學會會長肖耿擔任本次論壇的主旨演講嘉賓,錢方QFPay創始人兼首席執行官李英豪、菲律賓Mober公司創始人陳永昌以及Race Capital合夥人楊佩珊參與研討會環節。 肖耿以「展望疫情后的經濟復甦」為題,結合中國「兩會」的新經濟政策,展望了全球疫情逐漸緩和下的經濟發展前景。他指出,疫情后的中美關係有三個問題需要處理,分別是國家安全、人民需要和全球秩序。沒有中美兩國的合作,世界各國都將像疫情期間一樣變得一事無成。他認為兩國祇有一種處理關係的方式,那就是合作,否則,給整個世界帶來的代價是巨大的。 在「前瞻對話」的研討環節,三位嘉賓發表了真知灼見。 李英豪表示,此次疫情將推動手機數字支付相關產業加速發展至少三年,這是一個很好的機會讓人們能夠提高對數字支付領域的認知,並讓企業加速在線業務發展。 陳永昌指出,在疫情封鎖時期,他們更側重考慮如何讓生意能夠可持續發展,而不是一味回應大幅增長的快遞外賣需求。陳永昌說,他們想藉此機會建立一個社群,給顧客提供簡單方便的網購送貨辦法。 楊佩珊說,目前企業家、創業者應該思考如何從現實的角度減少開支,因為融資困難和市場低迷的情形將會在未來一至兩年持續。同時她指出,中國的創業者非常擅於解說和介紹他們的產品,但對於風險投資公司來說,他們更在乎創業者對市場的宏觀認知、對市場痛點的認識以及建立商業模式的想法,這些比產品本身更重要。 關於中國日報 中國日報是中國國家英文日報,創刊於1981年,擁有報紙、網站、移動客戶端、臉譜、推特、微博、微信、電子報等十餘種媒介平台,全媒體用戶總數超過2億。截至2020年5月,中國日報微博粉絲數超過5500萬;微信訂閱人數830萬,客戶端全球下載用戶超過3200萬,是中國唯一下載量過千萬的英文新聞客戶端;臉譜賬號粉絲數超過9200萬,位居全球媒體賬號粉絲數第二位;推特賬號粉絲數437萬。 關於中國日報亞洲領袖圓桌論壇 亞洲領袖圓桌論壇(www.cdroundtable.com),旨在搭建一個由亞洲國家和地區的政、商、學界領袖和社會精英參與的高端對話和交流平臺,圍繞亞洲地區經濟、商業、產業和社會發展等具有戰略影響的重要議題展開討論和分享見解,以增進中國與亞洲和西方國家的交流和理解。
    2020-05-27
  • Digital payments have been increasing during the coronavirus pandemic because of the ease with which they allow people to pay for goods and services while under quarantine or undertaking social distancing. Experts predict that after the current crisis, most countries will likely become more digitized. This is because the pandemic is changing patterns of consumer behavior. Offline payment transaction volumes have recorded a dramatic drop during the COVID-19 crisis, while the number of people physically shopping in stores and enjoying outdoor entertainment has fallen. During this time, e-commerce and online business have increased, while remote payments have “largely increased”, said Tim Lee, founder and CEO of QFPay, a digital payment solution provider. Because of the pandemic, many consumers in Hong Kong have started to use digital payments during their daily lives. Contactless digital payments at the point of sale (POS), such as facial recognition, quick response (QR) codes and near-field communications, are protecting consumers. These make it less likely that the coronavirus will spread to other people during cash exchanges. Whether people will maintain these spending habits when the crisis is over depends on how retailers and businesses seize opportunities and maximize customer demand for online shopping. “We have received a lot of requests from retailers - both local and cross-border ones - for online business solutions,” Lee told China Daily. A number of e-commerce initiatives are helping businesses maintain their revenues during very difficult times. Some chain stores are interested in exploring online channels although they are already equipped with digital payments offline. E-commerce players in Hong Kong see this rising demand as an opportunity to improve what they offer online while boosting much-needed retail spending. QFPay wants to help offline business and cross-border related business move to being online and to develop online payment capabilities more easily. QFPay, founded in 2011, is offering three-in-one online business transformation solutions. This includes online and remote payments, global e-commerce solutions, and online marketing. Lee said these solutions could help business people develop all-channel payments. These cover 140 payment methods around the world. To benefit local and overseas retailers, the company has partnered with online retail platform Shopify to provide global e-commerce solutions. Those targeting Chinese mainland consumers will be assisted with an e-commerce solution based on a WeChat mini-program. Consumers will automatically follow the retailer’s official WeChat account after payment. This could attract more followers and lead to better marketing and promotion, he said. READ MORE: Measures offer SAR residents access to services Many other digital payment service providers have launched all kinds of measures to help retailers survive during the next few months. AlipayHK, the Hong Kong arm of Alibaba Group’s online payment platform, said it has waived the transaction fees of some businesses. It is also offering special sales discounts to help online shops. After the pandemic eases, people without access to digital payments may not only miss out on a convenient business tool, but also the benefits of financial inclusion and increasingly digitized global trade. edithlu@chinadailyhk.com
    2020-05-27
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