In the last decade, Asian market grew rapidly with its economy size and hence became more and more important for international companies who want to expand their businesses in Asia. Picking a correct location as their Asian headquarters would be a critical start for them, as well as data center for storing their data. As two of the major financial hubs in Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore are in the blanket of options for those business firms to choose from.
Both Hong Kong and Singapore are well-known for their free economy system and have high per-capita income, which allows both of them in facilitating High value-added industry like data center and telecommunication infrastructure. More than that, investors’ interests are protected by their mature judicial systems. Although Hong Kong shares similar roles as Singapore in different areas like finance and logistics, it still takes certain advantages when compares to Singapore.
A correct location is an important factor for different types of business operation.
Hong Kong, as one of a major financial and international trading and logistics hub tops the third competitive financial center in the world. It is also the major data center and telecommunication hub in Greater Chinese Region, which provides a mature system of data privacy regulation. Hong Kong is a key gateway to Mainland China. As Hong Kong has the nearest location entering Mainland China, it is able to directly connect backbone network of China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom in which have the lowest latency by comparing to other data center, especially for financial firms who requires low latency for business, this offers the best solution for them. Also, we can simply foresee that the demand for data center in Hong Kong is growing as first step of ‘Internet Plus’ in the Belt and Road purposed by Chinese central government, parties that want to enter China market for business operation must utilize Hong Kong as a springboard in order to catch that opportunity.
Singapore shares similar features as Hong Kong, it is also a major data center and telecommunication hub in Asia, and provide a mature system of data privacy regulation based its mature judicial system. However, it is essentially different from the roles of Hong Kong. Since Singapore has been actively facilitating economy activities among member countries as one of the founder members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). (For your information, ASEAN is the third economy among Asia, whereas China ranked the first)
Free Flow of Information
In Hong Kong, it has no adaptable rules or laws that allow Hong Kong government to interfere data center’s operation or have content censoring. Moreover, Hong Kong has implemented ‘The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance’ since 1996 and provide legal protection for personal data collection, application and transfer, but relevant regulation in personal privacy in Singapore just launched as ‘Personal Data Protection Commission’ in 2018, which is not mature enough in tackling data protection. More than that, beyond data center, everything on the internet would be censored by Singapore government and certain behaves or speech would be regulated by A ‘Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act’ in Singapore, which could be an underlying risk for business operators.
In conclusion, Hong Kong and Singapore are very similar to the roles they are acting. The major difference comes with their serving target and audiences. Businesses should choose both parties based on their own demands. Hong Kong tends to be more mature in personal data protection and secured. It is also the gateway to the fast-growing Chinese market. Therefore, Hong Kong data center is ideal for companies targeting customers in China, Eastern Asia and countries that are participating in the “one belt, one road” plan. On the other hand, if you mainly serve customers in southern Asia, Singapore data center may be a good choice.
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