Retail scheme vetting completed
June 8, 2020
The Government today said the vetting work of the Retail Sector Subsidy Scheme under the first round of the Anti-epidemic Fund has been completed.
All of the approximately 93,000 applicants have been notified of the vetting results.
About $5 billion in subsidies has been approved so far for nearly 62,000 eligible retailers.
The Government is now processing some appeal cases and more applications may be approved after review.
The scheme’s hotline 1836 111 will cease operation at 6pm on June 12, while its enquiry email box will continue to operate until June 30.
Technology Voucher Programme
With effect from 14 August 2020, the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) has relaxed the restriction pertaining to related entities for the Technology Voucher Programme (TVP). Related entities, defined as enterprises/ organisations set up as different legal entities but having the same individual(s) holding 30% or more ownership in each of the enterprises/organisations, are no longer treated as one single entity for the purpose of calculating the cumulative funding amount under the TVP. Besides, the ITC has also published lists of technology service providers and audit service providers selected in approved TVP applications on the ITF website for reference by interested applicants in preparing their applications. For details of the TVP, please refer to the Guidance Notes for Applications.
Video of Case Sharing by Successful Applicants (*Since 1 April 2020, the funding ceiling per applicant has been increased to $600,000.)
Covid-19 fuels breakthrough in Hong Kong e-commerce
The popularity of e-commerce has risen in Hong Kong as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, despite the market’s long-standing preference for physical stores.
firm GlobalData says its research shows that the e-commerce market in the territory will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.9 per cent by 2024 to reach US$29 billion. This year, e-commerce payments are likely to show a rise of 13.4 per cent as a result of consumers practicing social distancing.
“While the pandemic led to a decline in consumer spending, this is being partially offset by rise in online spending, as wary consumers continue to stay at home and use online channels to purchase goods,” said GlobalData banking and payments lead analyst Ravi Sharma. “The pandemic has resulted in change in consumer buying behavior too as they are avoiding visiting shopping centres and choosing online platforms for their day-to-day purchases.”
Globaldata expects that the new trend will benefit e-payment software companies such as AlipayHK, WeChat Pay and PayPal, while bank and card companies will capitalise on the shift in consumer behaviour with their own new products. Citibank has already entered into a collaboration with local e-commerce player HKTVmall to establish a co-branded credit card offering exclusive benefits to online shoppers.
“Hong Kong has a robust e-commerce market with high internet penetration and high preference for online shopping among consumers, especially younger demographics,” said Sharma.
“The Covid-19 pandemic further accentuates this shift towards online shopping, supporting the payments market growth in the country”.