Councilman Christopher Chung Shu-kun has opened a line of inquiry into what is emerging as a bombshell Arist and ICT scandal. See his letter here. Translation follows.
1 Legislative Council Road
606 Legislative Council Complex
Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting
Elizabeth Quat, JP
Elizabeth Quat Chairman:
About the judging criteria of “ICT Award”
A company doing R&D on an automatic coffee machine won the “Award of the Year” and “Best ICT Startup Grand Award “ of the 2015 ICT Awards. Their product claimed it allows users to brew coffee with a mobile app.
However, the company recently reported that their online system was hacked, and the product design, patent documents and other internal documents were stolen. The company reported this to the police. Some investors in the project through an online crowd funding platform stated that the company took the hacking incident as a reason to refuse answering backers questions. Some backers suspect the company intends to delay product delivery. Some investors also point out that, although the company has won the ICT awards, the company never demonstrated the product live, nor had a finished product.
Hong Kong is encouraging technology startups. Many companies are raising funds through online funding platforms. The above case probably damages investors’ confidence in Hong Kong technology startups, eventually making it more difficult for startups to raise funds. The scrutiny is all the more amplified because the “ICT Award” is organized and supported by the HK Government. If the award is given to a company with no product, people will worry about the judging criteria and approval process of the award.
Therefore, I hope the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer who planned the “ICT Award” tells us, the Legislative Council Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting, the answers to the following questions:
- Before the organizer gave out the “2015 ICT Award,” what was the judging criteria and approval process? Did they ask the company to show their finished product and demonstrate how it works? If not, what is the reason, and what is the actual requirement?
- How does the Government, as the planner and financial backer of the ICT Award, choose and monitor the event organizer?
- Will the Government review and improve the judging criteria and approval process of “2015 ICT Award?” If so, how it will be done? If not, what is the reason?
- What will the government do to strengthen investors’ confidence in HK technology projects? What will the government do to protect investors and prevent them from getting cheated?
- When investors abroad invest in HK technology projects through online funding platform, and are cheated, do current mechanisms allow the government to provide any assistance? If so, how?
Legislative Council, Chung Shu-kun
Cc to secretary of Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting, Ms. Yu Tianbao