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HKUST and EY tax lab announce partnership

Image Credits: HKUST, Press Release

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) recently announced a collaborative partnership with EY’s Advanced Technology Tax Lab (Tax Lab).

This unique collaboration brings together experts in data science, machine learning and business research, as well as a global leader in professional services, to solve complex tax issues through the use and application of advanced technologies.

The agreement between HKUST and EY will establish a platform for joint research and technology development opportunities of mutual interest relating to the application of emerging technology to practical tax scenarios, thereby facilitating collaborations between the two organizations.

This will include practical tax technology case study projects, speaking opportunities for HKUST academic staff and EY partners, and internship and graduate employment opportunities for students.

Leading the collaboration from HKUST are; a lead professor from the Department of Accounting; and a leading professor from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the School of Engineering.

The expert team from HKUST underscores the value of interdisciplinary knowledge and the role of technology in business in the new digital economy.

The Dean of HKUST Business School stated that the department is honoured to become the first Asia-Pacific university to be associated with the EY Advanced Technology Tax Lab.

The collaboration allows HKUST researchers and students to build relevance to the corporate world and address real challenges faced by the industry.

The EY Global Tax Technology and Transformation Co-Leader and Asia-Pacific Tax Technology and Transformation Leader stated that the digitalisation of tax administrations is dramatically disrupting the tax profession.

New technology enables more reporting requirements, more real-time data, digital data collection, application of data analytics and machine learning, as well as more data sharing between tax authorities.

The new partnership reinforces HKUST’s vision to transfer its technology and expertise leading to economic or social improvements and EY’s commitment to helping the tax profession navigate the evolving tax landscape as new technologies enter the market.

FinTech in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong FinTech Buzz Index (FBI) is a quarterly index which represents a quantified sentiment of the local FinTech-related news articles in local Chinese news media, OpenGov Asia reported.

According to the 2,315 news articles analysed in the past three months, Hong Kong FBI for the last quarter (Q4) of 2019 is 101.3, a drop of 3.2 index points (or 2.99%) from the third quarter of 2019 (104.5 for Q3, 2019), and continuing on a downward trend from the peak in 2019Q2 and back to the level in 2018Q2.

The indices of all six subsectors moved downward, with the sub-indices for Insurance Technology and Regulatory Tech & Cybersecurity falling below the base level of 100.

The drop in the sub-index of Regulatory Technology & Cybersecurity mainly reflects negative news reports concerning regulatory compliance and cybersecurity breaches in Hong Kong, such as the misuse of e-payment apps and money laundering allegations against a crowdfunding platform in Hong Kong.

This reflects opportunities for solutions from the Regulatory Technology & Cybersecurity sector.

The reasons underlying the drop in the FBI are complicated. Since Hong Kong has experienced social unrest and political instability during this period, the public view of the Hong Kong economy including the FinTech market has turned negative in general.

The news articles also reflect an increasing level of concern by the general public about cybersecurity as well as possible risks associated with the soon-to-be-launched virtual banks.

However, this also presents several opportunities for the government, companies and financial institutions to ramp up their tech game and push forward inclusive digitalisation and support. In addition, this is a chance for them to establish a better dialogue with their customers/citizens.

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