In February 2019, China revealed its blueprint for the Greater Bay Area in which it announced plans to create an integrated region of eleven cities in the Pearl River Delta – including Hong Kong and Macau – to spur economic growth and transform the region into an economic powerhouse.
Success of the Greater Bay Area initiative requires efficient integration of both physical infrastructure and economic information across the different cities. The ambitious plan is not without its challenges - this Area is home to two political systems, three tax jurisdictions and three currencies.
Ping An believes that technology, including AI, blockchain and cloud computing, will help make this integration a reality by breaking down the barriers of geographical restrictions and forging closer economic ties.
Shenzhen, where Ping An is headquartered, is poised to be the hub of this integrated region. We identified opportunities on three fronts – infrastructure, trade and public services.
To build a mega-city such as this, an efficient basic infrastructure connecting the cities is essential. Ping An has set up a RMB150 billion industry fund to invest in basic infrastructure in southern Guangdong.
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center, which are core developments in the Greater Bay Area, are also insured by Ping An, with a coverage of over RMB100 billion.
Ping An continues to be a strong advocate of trade across the Greater Bay Area. In mainland China, Ping An works with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China and the Shenzhen Customs to operate a blockchain-based trade finance platform for both small and medium-sized banks and enterprises (SMEs), helping them ease the pain points in trade financing and customs clearance.
In Hong Kong, Ping An’s fintech arm helped build and deploy a blockchain-powered trade finance platform linking SMEs to banks. And Ping An envisions a cross-border blockchain-based trade finance consortium connecting opportunities in the Greater Bay Area, which will foster increased trade throughout the Area.
In continuing to build a “smart city” and enhance data-mobility, Ping An has worked closely with the Shenzhen Government to launch an e-platform,“i-Shenzhen”, to provide online access to over 2,000 public services for Shenzhen residents, among which more than 700 service categories are available through a mobile app.
In Hong Kong, Ping An also now serves as a technology provider for the electronic personal identity (e-ID) system of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government; similar projects in more cities in the Area are on the roadmap.