Nick Yang awaits Beijing’s nod

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Nicholas Yang isn’t sure he’ll get the job at the recently approved ITB. While the CE can put  in a good word, it seems Beijing will make the call.


 

At the IIPCC Hong Kong launch Thursday night, Nicholas Yang played it safe regarding his potential appointment to the newly approved ITB, but suggested it might be a post to be arrived at by neither due process nor the CE’s choice. Rather, Beijing calls the shots.

ExCo member Mr Yang spoke at the launch ceremony of the Hong Kong Chapter of the International IP Commercialisation Council (IIPCC) yesterday (June 4). Founded in 2012, IIPCC is an NGO founded to help enterprises and entrepreneurs to understand IP and the commercialisation potential. It launched at Club Lusitano with a very high profile newsmaker of the day.

“Nobody will know who is the man before the Central Government appoints the person [original quote in Chinese: 中央未任命,無人知係邊個黎].” – Nicholas Yang

Mr Yang is considered the forerunner to take the hot seat as the Secretary for the Innovation and Technology Bureau, now that its establishment was approved in LegCo this past Wednesday, again. The previous filibuster in the Finance Committee saw the organisation, including staffing, go unfunded. The CE’s workaround saw Mr Yang appointed the Chief Executive’s aide on innovation and technology policy and Head of the Advisory Committee on Innovation and Technology at an ExCo salary level.

When asked if he expected to lead the new ITB, he refused to comment on who will be the new chief, providing instead this suggestive comment, “Nobody will know who is the man before the Central Government appoints the person [original quote in Chinese: 中央未任命,無人知係邊個黎].”

He says his job now is to continue to garner support for the ITB. Without the bureau, he says Hong Kong will “not be as competitive” as other international cities.

“Innovation changes all the time,” he told Harbour Times. “The question is not whether we have enough [policy to boost innovation], the key is whether the policies are suitable.” Citing the example of crowdfunding, which he believes it is a good thing, Mr Yang says we need to examine whether the regulatory regime is appropriate for the development. And if current regulations are not keeping up with innovations in the sector, “we may need to change it,” he says. “The question to ask is: Are we up-to-date.”

“Hong Kong is still the most trusted city in China…China has a lot to catch up in terms of the integrity and quality of the services provided.” – Al Kwok

In his speech, Mr Yang says the Government needs to be the ‘initiator’ of innovation; it needs to be the ‘co-creator’ and involve itself in public-private partnership; and it needs to be the ‘facilitator’ and create the ecosystem for innovation to prosper.

Governor and founding member of IIPCC Hong Kong’s Al Kwok believes the city has a lot of opportunities for IP development. “Hong Kong is still the most trusted city in China…China has a lot to catch up in terms of the integrity and quality of the services provided.”

The launch event was mainly sponsored by Ascent Partners.