In Focus
MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Hong Kong ranks as 28th best startup ecosystem

Its open approach to the Internet and entrepreneurship makes it an asset for the Chinese ecosystem.

Hong Kong came in at 28th as the best place for startups globally, and is considered as the second-best city after Beijing in China, according to the 2019 StartupBlink Startup Ecosystem Rankings report.

Also read: Hong Kong's startup scene takes off amidst strong government support

Hong Kong was found to have 321 startups, of which automated tracking solution provider AfterShip, bitcoin futures exchange BitMEX and social networking platform Zorpia were considered as the most popular.

The study, which ranks cities based on a total score composed of quantity, quality and business environment, found that China has four cities in the top 40 list (Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen) in a showing that could put it at par with startup hub, Silicon Valley.

Hong Kong and Shenzhen, which moved up seven and 12 spots in the 2019 rankings respectively, are expected to continue attracting potential startups and investors.

“This clearly shows the potential power of the Chinese ecosystem,” the report’s authors noted. “Both Shenzhen, which is becoming a hardware and Internet of Things (IoT) Mecca, and Hong Kong, with its open approach to the Internet and entrepreneurship, are huge assets for the Chinese ecosystem.”

In the long run, the report’s authors noted that China is the only country that can directly contend for global entrepreneurial leadership with the US. “To do that, China has to aim internationally, and not focus on the local market. It should be noted that based solely on China’s quality of startups, the country could have been ranked as high as 15th, since it enjoys a substantial startup unicorn bonus even when taking into account its huge population,” they said.

The top 10 startup ecosystems in 2019 comprised US, UK, Canada, Israel, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany and Spain, with the top four remaining largely unchanged. India, South Korea and Singapore ranked 17th, 19th and 21st, respectively. 

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