Hong Kong is the third most attractive location for data centers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Since its development in 2000, data centers have occupied 8 million square feet in the private market. Charles Lee, president of the Hong Kong Data Center Association, believes that by 2025, Hong Kong will free up 4 million square feet of private land for data center development. He described land supply as not the most pressing problem.
At present, it is mainly to attract talent and high-tech industries to settle down. Charles Lee suggests that the government provide tax concessions to attract more technology companies to settle down, and allocate funds to fund research and development projects in eight universities.
Statistics show that the floor area of data centres in Hong Kong is about 8 million square feet, and the utilisation rate accounts for 65 percent. Li Songde, president of the Hong Kong Data Center Association, said that until 2025, the private market in Hong Kong will free up 4 million square feet of land for data center development, of which nearly 2 million square feet will come from revitalised industrial buildings.
He said frankly that in the past three years, there was insufficient land for data center development in Hong Kong. However, private companies have solved the problem of land shortage by purchasing industrial buildings and refitting them. The land vacated is sufficient to meet the demand in the next five to eight years. Charles Lee said that as more and more companies need to collect and store data, the service fee of the relevant data center has increased by 20 to 30 per cent in the past five years.
Charles Lee believes that land supply is not the most pressing issue facing the development of data centers in Hong Kong. How to attract high-tech industries and increase demand is the most important. He said that the current data centers in the private market in Hong Kong are concentrated in Tsuen Wan and Tseung Kwan O. However, with the policy of the northern metropolitan area, it is believed that some data centers can be moved to the north in the future. He hopes that the authorities can cooperate with the development of transportation and power supply.
Currently, there are more than ten vacant sites in the three industrial villages managed by the Science and Technology Park Corporation, among which the vacancy rate of the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate is about 10 per cent, according to industry watchers. The Science and Technology Park announced earlier that in order to promote high-end manufacturing, it will use eight major directions, including the production of technology-based products and the development of sustainable businesses, as indicators for selecting companies to enter the industrial villages to upgrade and transform the industrial villages.
Charles Lee agrees that the authorities need to provide land for high-tech industries. He said that if Hong Kong is to develop into an international innovation and technology center, it currently needs to attract high-tech industries, such as biochemistry, artificial intelligence and big data industries, to settle in Hong Kong, and cooperate with telecommunications and digital infrastructure to maintain Hong Kong.
As for how to expand the development of data centers in Hong Kong, Charles Lee believes that the authorities can introduce some policies to attract domestic and foreign talents to settle down. In the eight universities, strengthen the funding of research and development projects and cultivate local talents. He also suggested that the authorities implement tax concessions.