As Hong Kong's financial risks mount, China looks to Shenzhen as future hub

China's State Council releases directive calling for Shenzhen's increased economic integration in HK-Macao Greater Bay Area

Shenzhen skyline (Unsplash user Joseph Chan)

Shenzhen skyline (Unsplash user Joseph Chan)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On Sunday (Aug. 19), China’s State Council released a statement declaring China’s plan to develop Shenzhen into an international financial hub comparable to Hong Kong while also further integrating the city’s economy with those of nearby Hong Kong and Macao.

The call to boost Shenzhen’s development comes as the popular protests in Hong Kong pose a risk to the financial stability of the special administrative region. The 19-point special directive, published in China’s People’s Daily, calls for Shenzhen to establish itself as a top-tier global financial hub by the year 2025.

The directive calls for outfitting Shenzhen as a smart city and tech hub with greater investments in “big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence,” reports Reuters. The plans also foresee greater cultural and economic integration with the Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area to bolster the government’s “one country, two systems” policy.

Many see the move as a means of hedging against financial risks emerging in Hong Kong. The world can likely expect to see the transfer of many Chinese financial operations from Hong Kong to nearby Shenzhen once regulations have been loosened sufficiently, allowing the city to fill a role similar to the one Hong Kong has served up until now.

The city is being prepared for a role as a “demonstration area” for “Socialism with Chinese Characteristics” and will henceforth be at the forefront of new technology developments in China. Shenzhen is expected to be the first city to be entirely outfitted with a domestically developed 5G wireless network, reports Nikkei Asian Review.