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Industry News(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 06,2001)


Vol 6, 2001

Industry News

CityU Boosts Info Management For Sake Of Electronic Learning

German Business Stands Firm In High Regard For Hong Kong

UL Test Facilities Expand

CityU Boosts Info Management For Sake Of Electronic Learning

EMC managing director for Greater China James Hanley says effective management of vast quantities of information is a significant challenge for leading educational institutions.

CITY University of Hong Kong (CityU) and information-storage provider EMC Corp have gone live with Hong Kong's largest academic networked information infrastructure.

The university's Computing Services Centre, responsible for managing computing facilities in 60 departments for e-education, administration and research initiatives, has implemented a cost-efficient, dedicated, centralized and consolidated storage system.

An EMC E-Infostructure has been created to manage vast amounts of critical information generated by the university's paperless e-education initiative and its 25,000 users. The solution deploys EMC management software.

"This marks a significant development for the future of e-education in Hong Kong. Information is a vital asset to CityU in educating Hong Kong's future leaders. EMC is focused on helping educational establishments to cost-effectively manage, share and protect critical information," says James Hanley, EMC's managing director for Greater China.

Established in Hong Kong in 1988, EMC supplies high-performance data storage. Its Hong Kong office has more than 100 staff members.

"Electronic-based education generates enormous quantities of information and consumes large volumes of data that can be difficult to manage," says CityU chief information officer Dr Jerry Yu.

Implementing EMC's networked storage infrastructure facilitates more complicated information management without additional staff. System downtime will decrease, thereby improving productivity. The E-Infostructure is highly available, scalable and manageable.

"TimeFinder software enables the centre to back up information in a different way by creating point-in-time copies in a background mode, thus allowing production systems to remain fully operational," says Yu.

"This simultaneous and parallel backup mechanism enhances information restoration, and this enables us to implement comprehensive disaster recovery plans to reduce system downtime and maximize information availability while continuing to support production needs."


German Business Stands Firm In High Regard For Hong Kong

HONG Kong will remain the preferred location for German business in Asia, even after the Chinese mainland's entry to the World Trade Organization.

So concluded officials at the Hong Kong offices of German Industry and Commerce following a business survey of 484 German companies in Hong Kong.

Respondents stressed the importance of staying in place to direct their mainland business interests. More than two-thirds of the survey participants said Hong Kong's location and expertise were vital to their mainland activities. Sixty-three per cent predicted good or very good business performances within three years.

The survey showed high confidence in Hong Kong as a business location due to its stable legal system (cited by 91%), favourable tax system (98%), excellent banking facilities and absence of corruption.

Comparing mainland locations to Hong Kong produced results similar to past surveys. Hong Kong rated higher for telecommunications, transport infrastructure, financial facilities, support services, qualified labour supply and reliable information.

While mainland locations were seen as fraught with tax and profit-repatriation difficulties, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong Province did receive positive comments for lower office, home and labour costs.


UL Test Facilities Expand

UL Int'l (HK) general manager Michael Chan (left) elaborates on expanded lab facilities and equipment to UL president Loring Knoblauch (right).

CONSCIOUS of the Chinese mainland's potential as a growth market, Underwriters Laboratories Inc (UL) has expanded its Hong Kong testing facilities to provide more diverse and efficient services.

The enhanced facilities are expected to attract more than US$12m worth of additional testing work during the next five years.

Investment in the expansion amounted to US$1.3m, with the main focus on test capabilities in such areas of widening demand as printed wiring boards (PWB), wire and cable.

New equipment and facilities include dielectric gears for insulation and electric leakage tests, an oven room for aging tests, a weatherometer providing UV light and artificial rain for aging tests, flame hooding to test product burn rates and a tensile tester for pull tests on cables.

UL is an independent testing and certification organization that has evaluated products, materials and systems for more than 107 years.

"Our investment demonstrates UL's commitment to being close to customers and bringing superior services to Asia, where our business has grown," says UL president Loring Knoblauch.

UL achieved Asian revenue growth of 17.5% in 1999 and 13.4% in 2000. Last year, it expanded regional staffing and lab capacities by almost 50%.

"Our expansion in Hong Kong puts us in an even stronger position to capture rising business opportunities. Diversified testing capabilities benefit the Hong Kong market and other Asian manufacturers, including those in the high-growth Chinese mainland," says Knoblauch.

"UL will advance in the 21st century by becoming quicker, more nimble, customer-focused and cost-effective," he added.

More than 3,500 Asian clients have acquired the UL Mark from the company's Hong Kong facilities. About 13% of those are located on the Chinese mainland.

The products benefiting most from UL certification range from transformers, household appliances and IT gear to telephone equipment and audio items.

In Asia, UL serves industry through its network of affiliated companies and representative offices in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, India, the Chinese mainland, Singapore and Malaysia.

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