US investment bank Hambrecht & Quist is to lead a team of multinational technology companies in developing a $1.2bn Silicon Harbor in Hong Kong according to an American professor who heads up local think tank the Commission on Innovation and Technology.
Tien Chang-lin, an engineering professor recruited from the University of California, said the project had been proposed by a group of multinational companies headed by H&Q Asia Pacific and including IBM Corp, Intel Corp, Sun Microsystems Inc, Hewlett- Packard Co, and a Taiwanese chip manufacturer. He said the group intended to a build a microelectronic manufacturing base in Hong Kong to produce high-value semiconductors and research computer production technology.
Tien said that H&Q is discussing details with the other parties involved and a blueprint for the project will be drawn up in a few months. The commission has reported on the project to Hong Kong chief executive Tung Chee Wha who is very supportive he said.
Silicon Harbor will be mainly financed by H&Q Asia Pacific, which will be the major shareholder in the project, according to Tien who said it would be the company’s largest single investment to date. He denied it would be in competition with the government- sponsored Cyberport project, which he said leaned more towards telecommunications.
Last February, H&Q Asia Pacific committed to set up a $141m direct investment fund to invest in Hong Kong’s technology industries during the next four years and it now manages 14 direct investment funds in Asia with an aggregate worth of $723m.