Top Technology Business Trends in 2021
Covid-19 has changed the world game rules. Airbnb CEO Chesky said “It took us 12 years to build, and we lost almost everything in 6 weeks.” Airbnb spending decades to build a dream and be destroyed in just a few months. Covid-19 also forced to put Muji U.S. Stores into bankruptcy and closed its US stores. The company said it was impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In a moment defined by isolation and distancing, technology business is growing rapidly and will continue growing in 2021.
A rapid change in technology business industry during the COVID-19. Here are a few technology business trends in 2021.
1. Digital transformation will continue growing
Video conferencing and remote working has seen rapid growth during the pandemic, and it will continue growing in 2021. According to JobDb Hiring, Compensation and Benefits Report 2021, 69% of large companies with 50+ employees depend on IT employees to manage them, with nothing outsourced to freelancers. For small companies with 1-9 employees, outsourcing to service providers (35%) or freelancers (16%) are more common.
Management of Digital Transformation Solutions
Zoom started its business in 2011 and to going public in 2019, became a household name during the pandemic. Under this critical situation, Zoom Video Communications will expand its presence in Singapore and will immediately hire hundreds of engineering staff for the new operations.
Other existing large corporate tools such as Cisco’s Webex, Microsoft’s Teams, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, and Verizon’s BlueJeans are also providing state-of-the-art videoconferencing systems, facilitating remote work across the globe.
2. Increased Cybersecurity
COVID-19 wake-up for the world on cyber security. PwC’s latest survey finds that:
– 96% of executives have shifted their cybersecurity strategy
– 40% of executives say they are accelerating digitization
– 55% of enterprise plan to increase their cybersecurity budgets in 2021
– 51% are adding full-time cyber staff in 2021
US intelligence agencies warn large-scale cyber attack is ongoing. Cybercrime is going to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Cybersecurity Ventures expects global cybercrime costs to grow by 15 percent per year over the next five years, reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, up from $3 trillion USD in 2015.
3. Increased development of 5G, new applications, and utilities
– 66% 5G Subscriber Growth Quarter over Quarter
– 143 5G Commercial Networks Now Live Worldwide
The 5G networks operate within the higher frequencies of the wireless spectrum and rely on millimeter waves to transmit data. Development of 5G and 6G technology will drive smart-city projects globally and will support the autonomous mobility sector in 2021. In China, 5G deployment has been happening rapidly. But Ericsson is leading the charge globally. There are more than 380 operators currently investing in 5G. More than 35 countries have already launched commercial 5G services.
The 5G infrastructure market is estimated to be valued at USD 784 million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD 47,775 million by 2027. In 2021, new infrastructure and utility or application development updates both from the large corporations and startups.
According to Omdia, the world added 225 million 5G subscribers between Q3 2019 to Q3 2020, a feat which required 4G LTE four years to attain. As of December 2020, there were 229 million 5G subscriptions globally, which represents 66 percent increase over last quarter – and is expected to reach 236 million globally by the end of 2020.
4. Continued growth of Micromobility market
Micromobility refers to a range of small, lightweight vehicles operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h (15 mph) and driven by users personally. As public transit is not considered safe and not everybody has access to a private vehicle. Micromobility market has recovered to the pre-Covid growth level. E-bikes and e-scooters usage is growing in popularity, since they are viewed as convenient transportation alternatives that also meet social distancing norms.
Compared to the pre-Covid days, the micromobility market is expected to grow by 9% for private micromobility and by 12% for shared micromobility.
5.Rapid growth of robotics and industrial automation
In 2021, we expect to see huge demand and rapid growth of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and industrial automation technology.
According to The Chief Executive’s 2020 Policy Address, Striving Ahead with Renewed Perseverance, announced this year. The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) will develop innovative facilities on the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), including automated car parks, the Intermodal Transfer Terminal, the Airport City Link connecting the airport, the SKYCITY and the HKBCF Island via the autonomous transportation system and extend it to the Tung Chung Town Centre later
6. Rise of Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies Usage
In a moment defined by isolation and distancing, AR/VR technologies give us a connection to one another. Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have grown significantly in 2020. The arrival of Covid-19 has prompted this technology adoption because businesses turned to the remote work model. We communicate and collaborate through AR and VR.
People do not all have to work in an office or meet people by face-to-face, and that it is easier to remotely collaborate and interact with people than they thought possible.
Social distancing has refined our working model. We expect different kind of technology usage will growing in the near future. May Planning will be pleased to provide guidance for your company in Hong Kong or overseas, feel free to contact us at May Planning. We will be happy to assist you.
What are virtual banks? What benefits do virtual banks offer?
Virtual banking is intensifying the competitive dynamics affecting Hong Kong banking. Competition in Hong Kong is off to a slow start as possible growth prospects are being hindered by economic uncertainties. You have probably heard the term “Virtual Bank” a lot recently, and may have received a referral from a friend. What are virtual banks and what benefits do they offer?
What are virtual banks?
Virtual bank does not have any physical branches. The tool to communicate between the bank and the client is a smartphone or tablet, allowing uninterrupted access to bank representatives anytime, anywhere. Virtual banks must follow the same regulations that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has set out for traditional banks.
Most virtual banks have partnered with ATM payment systems in Hong Kong or even worldwide so you can withdraw money all over the city or the world without any extra charges. You can also transfer money to a traditional bank through the app after you link up the accounts.
However, virtual banks currently do not issue or accept cheques, do not offer brokerage services (cannot buy and sell stocks). You also cannot rent a safe-deposit box to place your valuables in.
What benefits do virtual banks offer?
Digital banking service has moved banking online and does not require any physical branches, this helps to reduce rent and manpower costs. The service can also be accessed anywhere and almost anytime making it very suitable for new generation of consumers.
1. Instant Global payments
Rather than using expensive methods to transfer money internationally, you can pay and accept payments with the use of virtual banks. This means with just a click you can immediately send money to any country. All you need for this luxury is a virtually global account. This single account will help you collect, hold, and send payments in multiple currencies and channels.
2. Greater Flexibility
Every business owner wants to have flexibility while operating their business account. Fortunately, virtual banks have been set up to deal with the needs and issues of customers in a way that suits people the most. With virtual banks, service is available 24/7, and transactions are designed to be made online or using a mobile device. With this development, the banking sector has become faster and more efficient, allowing customers to have real control over their finances.
3. Attractive Promotion Offer and Passive Income
Virtual banks have fewer expenses such as they can save having real branches costs and to allow the customers can earn some passive income. For example, interest rates at virtual banks can be 1,000 times higher than a traditional one.
*The offers are subject to banks’ terms and conditions which may be changing from time to time.
4. No worries when you lose your card
All your purchases and cash withdrawals can be done seamlessly with just one card so you do not have to carry various cards everywhere you go and try to find the right card every time. The card does not print your card number, expiry date, verification code so you don’t have to worry about when you lose your card. Instead, just access private information electronically on the app.
5. Environment friendly
A virtual bank is eco-friendly. No paper statements. No staffing or housing of operations. Also, you do not have to drive to the bank again and again, saving fuel as well.
How do you open an account?
Opening an account at a virtual bank is easier than at physical banks. You will only need to download an app, send your HKID card picture and fill in basic information such as your mobile phone number and a valid email.
*Some banks only allow Hong Kong residences to set up account right now.
May Planning will be pleased to provide guidance for your new start-up company in Hong Kong or overseas, feel free to contact us at May Planning. We will be happy to assist you.
Virtual Banking is developing in Hong Kong under COVID-19
At a time when much of the national economy is struggling. Many company have essentially shut down but current economic environment does offer some bright spots. One is the rise of virtual banking development in Hong Kong.
Virtual banks, also called neobanks, primarily deliver retail banking services through the internet or other electronic channels instead of physical branches.
“The Hong Kong Monetary Authority granted eight virtual banking licenses in 2019, and most only began operations in recent months as a result of launch delays. This is unsurprising as we believe that new entrants are likely to exercise more prudence under a worsening economic outlook from the coronavirus and trade tensions,” states Fitch Ratings.
ZA Bank announced in 24th March 2020 that they are a fully operational virtual bank thus becoming the first virtual bank to fully Launch in Hong Kong. As of today, 8 virtual banks exist in Hong Kong after having been approved by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority but not all of them are already operational.
The 8 virtual banks are:
In fact, virtual banking competition in Hong Kong is off to a slow start as possible growth prospects are being hindered by economic uncertainties, according to a recent commentary from Fitch Ratings.
Virtual banks have sought to attract new customers by pitching their seamless onboarding process and higher savings interest rates. ZA Bank, Hong Kong’s first virtual bank, is offering a 1% interest rate for all customers, while Fusion Bank had offered a 5% rate for a three-month deposit until end-October 2020.
While better customer experience and higher saving interest rates are attractive qualities for any virtual bank, the key test for the eight virtual banking institutions in Hong Kong is how they can create stickiness for their customers to use other kinds of banking services beyond deposit-taking, e.g., lending and wealth management. Already, the likes of ZA Bank and PAOB are offering lending services to their customers, with PAOB promoting a pre-approved loan offer of up to HK$2 million.
Nevertheless, virtual banks will take time to develop, but they are already heating up the market, creating competition for the existing financial institutions. They are a significant part of the Smart Banking Initiatives established with the aim to improve customer experience and facilitate financial evolution.