Hong Kong FinTech Buzz Index falls to historic low in 2020Q3

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.

According to the 1,299 news articles analysed in the past three months, Hong Kong FBI for the third quarter (Q3) of 2020 falls to a historic low of 93.5, a sharp decline of 8.1 index points (or 7.97%) from the second quarter. Year-on-year (YoY) change drops by 10.9 index points (or 10.4%), continuing a downward trend from the peak in 2019Q2.

Period

InsurTech

WealthTech & CreditTech

Blockchain & Cryptocurrency

Payment & Digital Banking

RegTech & Cybersecurity

Supporters & Others

Q1, 2019

104.8

104.9

104.0

105.0

91.5

106.1

Q2, 2019

106.0

107.7

108.7

105.4

73.2

109.6

Q3, 2019

99.2

104.6

105.3

109.3

90.9

106.5

Q4, 2019

98.9

100.8

103.7

106.4

79.9

104.1

Q1, 2020

101.5

101.1

102.6

104.0

94.1

101.9

Q2, 2020

104.2

103.1

99.1

102.9

98.6

100.6

Q3, 2020

100.8

107.4

67.9

102.7

80.7

105.4

The economic downturn continues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the US-China trade war. Of the 6 sectors, the sub-index of Blockchain & Cryptocurrency recorded the largest decrease of 31.2 index points (or 31.5%) because of massive cryptocurrency scams in August, duping investors of more than $4.5 million. One of the cryptocurrency scams involving the vulnerability in Bitcoin ATMs also seriously affected the RegTech & Cybersecurity sub-index. The announcement with more details on the Greater Bay Area Cross-boundary Wealth Management Connect Pilot Scheme resulted in a moderate increase in the sub-indices of Wealth Technology and Credit Technology (WealthTech & CreditTech) and Supporters & Other Related Business, despite the economic downturn.

About the HKU FinTech Index Series Project
The HKU FinTech Index Series Project introduces the Hong Kong FinTech Growth Index (FGI) and the Hong Kong FinTech Buzz Index (FBI) to gauge local FinTech companies’ outlook on the industry and the general sentiment on the sector as reported by local press. It is the first in the region to provide index indicators on the development of the sector, with an aim to provide information in a timely manner to track the growth and development of the financial technology industry in Hong Kong.

FGI is a yearly index with four sub-indices on Business Environment, Business Performance, Investment on R&D and Demand on Talent. It reflects Hong Kong FinTech sector’s forecast of the market situation in the coming year and an assessment of the situation in the current year. FBI is a quarterly index representing a quantified sentiment of the local FinTech-related news articles in Chinese in the past three months. The index has a base value of 100 points which represents the sentiment of nearly 10K FinTech related news articles in major local news media outlets in 2016 and 2017. FBI is further broken down into six sectors: Insurance Technology (InsurTech), Wealth Management and Credit Technology (WealthTech & CreditTech), Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, E-Payment & Digital Banking, Regulatory Technology (RegTech) & Cybersecurity and other related business including AI and big data.

The project is led by Prof. S.M. Yiu, Professor, Department of Computer Science, HKU, and Prof. Philip Yu, Honorary Professor, Department of Computer Science, HKU; Professor, Department of Mathematics and Information Technology, EdUHK, and funded by The University of Hong Kong – Standard Chartered Hong Kong 150th Anniversary Community Foundation FinTech Academy.

To provide professional insight, the Advisory Board is established, comprising professionals from the University of Hong Kong and the local FinTech industry, including representatives from FinTech Association of Hong Kong, InvestHK, Cyberport, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, and The Bank of East Asia, Limited. The members provide expert advice on the FinTech companies to be included in the master list for the annual survey to return the FinTech Growth Index. They also advise the Project on index methodology.

For further information on the HKU FinTech Index Series Project, please visit the project’s website at www.fintechindex.hku.hk.

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