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🌊 Free Tide: Alibaba invests in GBA start-ups
E-commerce giant backs GBA-focused venture capital fund
Is it strange that I now associate Jackie Chan the movie icon more with politics than I do movies? Read till the end to find out what Jackie Chan has been up to lately…
On a related note, feel free to appreciate the most random Jackie Chan cameo of all time (and possibly also his greatest ever acting performance).
~ Sze Yu
Alibaba leads HK$2 billion fund to support Greater Bay Area start-ups
The Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund has announced that it will be the anchor investor in a new HK$2 billion venture fund to invest in startups in the Greater Bay Area. Portfolio companies, which can also include Hong Kong startups planning to expand into the Greater Bay Area, will be able to gain access to the extensive Alibaba ecosystem, helping to attract talent and build connections.
The fund will seek to participate in Series B or later rounds and plans to target start-ups (paywalled) that focus on sustainability, deep tech, health tech, artificial intelligence, automation and digital transformation of traditional manufacturing.
"We started AEF five years ago with the vision to invigorate the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of Hong Kong. We are now ready to extend our startup ecosystem to the Greater Bay Area in order to give innovators and entrepreneurs a bigger platform for growth."
— Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group and Chairman of Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund
The 2019 pro-democracy protests and the recent national security law have tested Hong Kong’s status as a global financial centre. While international businesses are rethinking their future in the region, the AEF is now choosing to further invest in the entrepreneurial talent of Hong Kong and the wider Greater Bay Area.
Coronavirus in Hong Kong
New cases: 1 (imported)
Total cases: 11,953 cases so far (76 active cases, 212 total deaths, 11,665 total recovered)
Carrie Lam insists fully functioning district councils ‘not a factor‘ as new oath-taking requirements roll out
Lam insists that mass-resignations will not affect the implementation of new legislation requiring district councillors to swear an oath of allegiance to the government. She said her foremost priority was to “implement the law.“
The new legislation has decimated pro-democracy representation in the district councils. Almost 200 district councillors resigned in the past week, leaving more than half of Hong Kong’s 479 district council seats vacated (as of Tuesday).
When asked about the mass-resignations, Lam responded “They decided to resign. This is out of our control.“
Top Hong Kong officials have dodged further punishment over ‘lavish‘ hotpot dinner. Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that no further action would be taken against the three high-ranking government officials who confessed to violating social-distancing rules last week. Lam compared the incident to receiving a parking ticket.
Last Thursday, Hong Kong actor Jackie Chan told the audience at a state-organised forum in Beijing that he wants to join the Chinese Communist Party. The actor told the audience “I think the Chinese Communist Party is really just so great. Whatever they promise, they don’t need 100 years to accomplish, they can get it done in a few decades. I want to be a Communist Party member.”
Under new regulations, members of Hong Kong’s election committee must disclose whether they or their spouses hold BNO and other passports. Chief Executive Carrie Lam says that this information is necessary to support the candidate eligibility review committee (paywalled), which aims to screen out “unpatriotic” potential members.
Yuen Long station attacker apologised to his victims in court, claiming he committed the crime on impulse and was deeply regretful. Lam Koon-leung is among four others convicted of rioting and wounding charges from their indiscriminate attack on protesters in Yuen Long MTR station two years ago. At the time, police also faced strong criticism for not arriving on the scene soon enough. Lam’s lawyer apologized to the victims on his behalf.
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