Editor's Note - November 2021

The move from hunter-gathering to the age of farming and then, the dawn of the Industrial Revolution 12,000 years later mark seminal transitions in human history, lifestyle and wellbeing. Now in the digital age, our civilisation may be in the midst of another equally great transformation. The age of the “knowledge economy.”

In the past, an abundant labour force and exploitation of natural resources were the engines of growth. Now companies mine data, not gold seams, in search of riches. They harvest mobile apps rather than apples. Information is widely believed to be the future source of prosperity and with this came the rise of the “knowledge economy” – a term coined in the 1960s to describe a shift from traditional economies (such as agriculture, manufacturing or services) to ones where the production and use of knowledge are paramount. In particular, it refers to the ability to capitalize on scientific discoveries and basic and applied research. The Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) is responsible for spearheading Hong Kong’s drive to become a world-class, knowledge-based economy and our Cover Story this month features its Commissioner, Rebecca Pun, as she goes into detail about the Commission’s work so far and plans for the future.

Our first feature this month is about a tricky case concerning the relocation of an eight-year-old from Hong Kong to Mainland China. The article goes into detail about the facts, judgment and issues arising. Our second feature explores the situation where the debt upon which a winding up petition is based is subject to an arbitration agreement and discusses various approaches taken by the court so far to settle the tension between arbitration and insolvency. Our third feature, penned by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, shares in detail the changes brought about by the recent Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (“the Amendment Ordinance”). The Amendment Ordinance aims to more effectively combat doxxing behaviour in Hong Kong.

In the Lawyers at Leisure section, we learn about a talented soprano singer and the joy she feels through singing. In the Practice Management section, a lawyer who recently started his own practice shares valuable tips that he learned from his experience.

As Hong Kong Lawyer moves to a purely digital format, I encourage our readers to subscribe to the e-newsletter to stay on top of any updates and developments.

Lead Editor, Hong Kong Lawyer