D-Biz And Zegal, Now Is The Time To Sign Up With The HK Government’s Full Support.

Updated: Jun 8













The Hong Kong government have upped their support for businesses, with their Employment Support Scheme. Under the Anti-Epidemic Fund, the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) is fast-track processing support for those embracing the remote working conditions that are helping ease the spread of Covid-19. They launched the Distance Business Programme on 16 May 2020, complete with the trendy nickname ‘D-Biz’.

And D-Biz is more than just a buzzword, it translates into actual funds for purchasing cost-saving IT services that will help businesses in both continuing and increasing their working from home solutions. 

Below we’ll outline the application requirements and funding amounts as well as how to apply. First, here’s the categories D-Biz covers:

D-Biz Categories


The D-Biz funds cover 12 types of IT solutions:

Zegal fits under the funding for both:

Category 8: Remote document management, cloud storage and remote access services and,

Category 12:Other online / custom-built / cloud-based business support systems).

Applicants can choose to implement a maximum of 3 of the different IT solutions per business.

Here’s the full list:

1.Online business


  • For the company to establish a web portal, mobile app or other online channels, with aims to promote its goods and services, by using either subscription-based or custom-built e-commerce platform, including development and management

  • Enable consumers to place orders over the Internet

  • promote such online portal through search engine promotion, digital advertisement such as social media promotion, e-coupon, loyalty programme, etc.

  • Excluding production of promotion materials, contents or assets (e.g. image, text and video etc. as part of the marketing and promotion materials)


 2.Online order taking and delivery, and smart self-service systems


  • For the company to establish a web portal, mobile app or other online channels, for consumers to place orders of goods or services, by using either subscription-based or custom-built e-commerce platform, including development and management

  • Such adoption of technologies should enable the company to perform end-to-end order placement and delivery to designated locations, by using e.g. smart self-servicing system, smart kiosk, smart vending machine, smart lockers, or with integration to e-logistics provider platform

  • Suitable but not limited to industries that are acquiring or promoting self-services, such as takeaway services in Food & Beverages industries

  • Promote such online portal through search engine promotion, digital advertisement such as social media promotion, e-coupon, loyalty programme, etc.

  • Excluding production of promotion materials, contents or assets (e.g. image, text and video etc. as part of the marketing and promotion materials)

 

3.Online customer services and engagement


  • For the company to enable order placements of services to take place over the Internet, such as reservations, appointment bookings, including development and management

  • Such adoption of technologies can also include distance learning facilities

  • Promote such online portal through search engine promotion, digital advertisement such as social media promotion, e-coupon, loyalty programme, etc.

  • Excluding production of promotion materials, contents or assets (e.g. image, text and video etc. as part of the marketing and promotion materials)

 

4.Digital customer experience enhancement

For the company to improve customer service experience and engagement with use of various technologies, including but not limited to the following:


  • Round-the-clock customer service support via Chatbot

  • Uplift product or service experience with use of Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR) or Mixed Reality (MR) technologies or Digital Twin technology

  • Apply analytics to improve customer experience such as purchasing data

 

5.Digital payment / mobile point of sale


  • Enable online / physical stores with multiple digital payment channels, e.g. payment gateway or mobile Point-of-Sales (POS)

  • Including one-time setup and associated hardware / equipment

  • Excluding the handling fee or equivalent of each payment transaction

 6.Online / cloud-based financial management systems Adopt computerised system to manage the financial related processes of the company, including but not limited to:


  • Invoicing and bill collection, accounting and budget planning, asset and liabilities management, regulatory compliance, reporting

  • System could be cloud-based or accessible remotely by staff with appropriate cybersecurity protections

 

7.Online / cloud-based human resources management systems

Adopt computerised system to manage the human resources related processes of the company, including but not limited to:


  • Payroll and expense reimbursement, attendance and leave records, training, reporting

  • System could be cloud-based or accessible remotely by staff with appropriate cybersecurity protections

 8.Remote document management, cloud storage and remote access services

  • Digitise hard copy document into electronic format and store on cloud storage

  • Enable staff to access the company information, data and system remotely with solutions such as remote desktop control, Virtual Private Network (VPN), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

 

9.Virtual meeting and conference tools

Adopt tools to allow groups of people to collaborate or meet virtually through the Internet with the following functions but not limited to:


  • Support both audio and video communication, content sharing, manage appointments and registrations, meeting recordings, online polling and Q&A


 10.Virtual team management and communications

Adopt tools to allow groups of people to collaborate or communicate virtually through the Internet with the following functions but not limited to:


  • Instant messaging, video and voice calls, document sharing and co-authoring / concurrent editing, task assignment, progress monitoring and collaborative product development


 11.Cybersecurity solutions


  • Improve the cybersecurity of the companies by implementing software, hardware or services to defend against cyber attacks

  • Solution examples include but not limited to data encryption, firewall, anti-virus / malware solutions

 12.Other online / custom-built / cloud-based business support systems


  • Other solutions, either off-the-shelf or custom-built, that support the programme objectives of enabling enterprises to conduct and continue business remotely but do not fit into the above categories

  • Solution examples include but not limited to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), e-application form and approval workflow, Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Table from HKPC website

D-Biz Application Requirements

All private enterprises with ongoing business commenced before 1 January 2020, and possessing a valid Business Registration Certificate, are eligible and only one application per entity*. 

Applications are assessed based on individual merits on a case-by-case basis. The assessment criteria includes:

  • Relevance of the proposed project to the applicant’s business – the project should enable enterprises to continue their business and services during the epidemic;

  • Reasonableness of the budget – assessment with reference to market prices of the technologies in question as known to the Committee or the Secretariat will be made. Individual items of expenditure must also be essential and directly related to the implementation of the project;

  • Reasonableness of the implementation details – consideration may include whether concrete project deliverables and outcomes have been set. The implementation details should also be realistic taking into account factors such as the complexity of the IT solution and the project duration; and

  • Capability of Service Provider(s) – consideration will be made to the technical capability of the Service Provider(s). Each Service Provider will be considered on a case-by-case basis having regard to the Service Provider’s technical capabilities and experience relating to the IT solution categories as mentioned in the Guidance Notes for IT Service Providers;

  • Adverse record of Service Provider(s) as known to the Committee and the Secretariat if available.


If a project is judged worthy of support in principle, the level of funding may be adjusted with reference to the project cost approved by the Committee.

Application is open until 6pm, 31 October 2020.


D-Biz Funding Amounts


The maximum for each IT solution, including the relevant training expenses for staff, is HK$100,000 (with funding for the relevant training expenses capped at 10 per cent of the IT solution cost). 


Each enterprise may receive total funding of up to HK$300,000 to undertake a project to be completed within six months.


An enterprise will be disbursed a payment of 30% of the funding amount after the application has been approved. Upon completion of the project and after the supporting documents are accepted, the remaining funding amount will be disbursed to the enterprise.


IT solution(s) must only be implemented after approval is granted.


The HKPC has a hotline and email set up for D-Biz inquiries: 2788 5070, dbiz@hkpc.org and in-depth guidance notes to the programme here.



By AL Walker



Founded in 2013, Zegal is the fastest growing LegalTech company operating across Asia Pacific and Europe. Today, business users and lawyers across the globe trust Zegal’s software to solve legal problems in an affordable and efficient way.

Zegal is led by a talented team of 60 employees and has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK.

Zegal has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and Huffington Post, and was recently recognised in the South China Morning Post as an emerging LegalTech company in the artificial intelligence space.