Hong Kong has long been an international hub for finance and business. But now new kinds of entrepreneurs who don’t wear power suits or cut deals in boardrooms have emerged in the city. Thirteen-year-old CEO Hillary Yip struggled with learning Mandarin, so she designed a language learning app for children that’s used in more than 20 countries today. Mama Cheung, a home-maker found a second career as a YouTube creator by sharing her family recipes, attracting millions of views. Edward Li started Twitchy Finger four years ago because of his passion for mobile games. Today, games that he made are played by millions of people across the world.
Hillary, Edward and Mama Cheung are part of a wave of Hong Kong entrepreneurs embracing technological opportunities. In the second annual edition of our Smarter Digital City Whitepaper, 90 percent of business leaders surveyed said they plan to increase investments in digital technology in the next two years. To benefit from digital technology, businesses also need digital talent. However, 70 percent of those leaders said they face difficulties finding the right talent.
At our Google for Hong Kong event today, we announced initiatives for Hong Kong businesses, young people and job-seekers to develop digital talent and connect it with businesses looking to hire them.
First, with new Cantonese language courses in Digital Garage, we’re on track to train 10,000 Hong Kongers with digital skills by the end of 2018. For younger tech talent, we’re expanding the reach of CS First in Hong Kong, a free online curriculum of lesson plans, projects and learning tools for kids just getting into computer science. More than 1,000 students in Hong Kong have already benefited from CS First classes, and we’re continuing to train teachers and volunteers, so that they teach students in communities that lack access to coding education. As we make more CS First learning modules available in Cantonese, we hope that more young Hong Kongers get to experience the fun of coding.
To help connect Hong Kongers to jobs in the digital economy, we’re launching a new search experience making it easier for job seekers in Hong Kong to find employment opportunities from popular job listing websites, online classifieds and companies. The new feature is built directly into Google Search to provide a comprehensive listing of jobs across the web, so Hong Kongers can now explore and research thousands of job listings, save promising opportunities and get alerts whenever a new job matching their search comes online.
The key to Hong Kong’s success has always been its driven and talented people. We’re excited to partner Hong Kongers in building a smarter digital city.