The IT sector lawmaker has raised concerns over Hong Kong losing its controlling power in the company board of the new Lok Ma Chau river loop tech park, after new information of its formation was revealed by the government following media enquiries.

The park at the area bordering Shenzhen will be managed by a subsidiary company of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. The formation of its board was previously unknown. Only a government source told local media that the chairperson would be appointed by Hong Kong.

But following enquiries from Ming Pao newspaper, the Innovation and Technology Bureau admitted that two-thirds of the board members will be appointed or co-appointed by Shenzhen.

Photo: Planning Department.

“Having regard to the consensus reached by Hong Kong and Shenzhen, assuming there are ten Directors on the Board, four (including the Chairman) will be nominated by the Hong Kong side, three by the Shenzhen side, and the remaining three will be jointly nominated by both sides, mainly comprising personnel from top-notch research institutions, enterprises and universities in the Mainland and overseas,” a press release read.

“The above ratio should apply as the basis of nomination if the number of Directors is not ten.”

The memorandum of understanding on the development was signed by Carrie Lam, then chief secretary, earlier this month. The board arrangement was not in the memorandum.

Photo: GovHK.

IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok told Apple Daily that the government had to explain the reason behind the joint nomination of one third of board members, even though the tech park’s construction is fully funded by the Hong Kong side.

“The money comes from Hong Kong, now the decision power is further given to the Shenzhen government, how do you protect Hong Kong’s interests?” he said.

He said he expected the members jointly nominated by both cities would be people trusted by the Chinese side, so that even though the Hong Kong side has the chairmanship, the control power may not be in Hong Kong’s hands.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.