Secretary for Innovation and Technology Sun Dong on Saturday said a proposed artificial intelligence supercomputing centre would represent a “huge” investment, but the government would take a prudent approach.
A study into the project was announced in Wednesday’s budget, and Sun told a television programme that the consultation would be completed this year in the hope that funding can be secured next year, with the centre going into operation no later than 2025.
However, the minister said such an investment required careful consideration, noting that a supercomputing centre in Shenzhen had cost billions of dollars.
He said the government is open to suggestions on where to build the centre, naming Cyberport and the Lok Ma Chau Loop, a site on the Shezhen border that is being developed as a technology park, as two possibilities. He says officials are also looking into who would run the centre.
Meanwhile, Sun also faced questions on the matter of sharing data with the mainland, which he described as a “sensitive and important” issue.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, the minister said the SAR had “no plan to send Hong Kong’s data north”, though he would ask for data from the mainland to be sent south, subject to conditions and regulations.
In his interview on Saturday, he confirmed that SAR and mainland authorities were still discussing data sharing.
“Of course, the SAR government is in discussions with mainland relevant departments, on whether it is possible to work out a certain amount of data sharing within the Greater Bay Area – especially in the [Lok Ma Chau] loop – in the future.”