Chen Xu set up an Internet-based travel platform in Qianhai at the end of 2016. He was exempted from paying rent for his office for one year thanks to some favorable policies the Qianhai authority had rolled out to facilitate startups in the free trade area.
Even after the one-year rent grace period ended, Chen’s rent for an office in the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Youth Innovation and Entrepreneur Hub (E-hub) is still much cheaper than in other places in Shenzhen, Chen said.
“Qianhai, especially the E-hub, is one of the best startup parks in Shenzhen,” said Chen. “It is a low-density park, where people are well-connected but not concentrated.”
As of June 2019, E-hub has hatched 388 entrepreneurial teams, among which 190 are from Hong Kong and Macao.
“People from Hong Kong are more socially active. They know more people and are good at building connections and accumulating resources,” said Chen, adding that he likes to engage in in-depth discussions and exchanges with the Hongkongers in a WeChat group for the E-hub entrepreneurs.
Chen said that working in a place with a high international level such as Qianhai broadens his thoughts and vision.
Qianhai’s favorable policies and business environment also benefit the financial sector. Some well-known names in the industry have settled in Qianhai over the past few years.
According to a 2012 policy issued by the State Council, high-end overseas talents and urgently needed professionals working in Qianhai are exempt from personal income tax.
The Qianhai authority has set up the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Fund Town to attract more fund companies, offering preferential policies to boost the industry’s development.
Qianhai’s geographical advantages have also contributed to the fast development of the financial industry. Qianhai’s proximity to Hong Kong, an established global financial center, allows more financial cooperation and innovation.
The financial industry has grown to become one of the four leading industries in Qianhai. A large number of public funds and private equity funds have registered in Qianhai. Other financial institutions, such as banks and insurance and securities companies, have also settled in Qianhai.
Qianhai, in the eyes of entrepreneurs, is a fertile ground for innovation and entrepreneurship, as it has helped many young entrepreneurs like Chen realize their startup dreams. More entrepreneurs will choose Qianhai as it continuously makes efforts toward innovation.