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Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Friday Beyond Spotlights - Professor Daniel M Cheng: Greentech - Saving the Earth

Friday Beyond Spotlights is an informative yet light-hearted talk show airing every Friday at 8:30pm on Hong Kong International Business Channel (#76). The English language program features the most prominent guests who share their insights into current affairs, business, innovation and culture, as well as their ingenuity, passion and grit which forge their Lion Rock Spirit. The show is hosted by businessman and philanthropist Patrick Tsang On-yip, lawyer and lawmaker Nick Chan Hiu-fung, and seasoned business maverick Herman Hu Shao-ming.

Hosted by Nick Chan, episode 14 of Season 2 presents Professor Daniel Cheng Man-chung, an award-winning industrialist, a pioneer and trailblazer in Greentech. Cheng is the Managing Director of Dunwell Enviro-Tech (Holdings) Ltd, and the past chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries.



Greentech – technology that has positive impact on the environment and climate change − is a huge market and will grow remarkably, according to Prof Cheng. For example, by 2031 the market size of solar power generation will reach US$400 billion, hydrogen power generation US$300 billion, and wind power US$150 billion. The market will also expand tremendously because of growing applications in other sub-sectors, such as air conditioning, lighting, building efficiencies and other technologies.

Business opportunities in Greentech are not just for the large enterprises, remarks Prof Cheng. “The Greentech concept can be applied to all home and consumer products, because it is not just a technology, but a philosophy and a culture. Every little thing can be improved with different types of technology and designs to help reduce climate change that affects our future.”
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Prof Cheng says although Greentech is still in an infancy stage, because the technology is already here, if the government and the public could think and work together closely, and due to the tremendous business opportunities involved, the whole market could move faster towards the Greentech direction. In addition, more Greentech applications would be used as corporations are addressing their stakeholders’ concerns over ESG (environmental, social, and governance) issues.

The government has announced a plan to make Hong Kong a Greentech Financial Centre worth US$1.4 trillion. Prof Cheng believes this will attract international technology companies coming to Hong Kong because as part of the Greater Bay Area with 86 million people, the city is a huge market for companies to experiment and develop Greentech. “Hong Kong is definitely the sandbox for everyone to look at. If we can make it work in Hong Kong, we can spread that all over to the world market. For example, we are capable of reusing water by turning sewage water back to drinking water, and we can apply that to different parts of the world, such as in the Middle East on the Mainland.”

In the program, Prof Cheng shows audiences a VHS (video home system) cassette tape as an item that has a special significance in shaping him into who he is today. “In those days, cassette tape is in everyone’s home, and in each of the cassette tape there are three components that we made: two tape guides and one guide pin. In fact, we are the world’s largest manufacturer of those components, making about 150 million parts for 50 million cassette tapes a month.”

The cassette tape is a symbol of Prof Cheng’s Lion Rock Spirit as it reminds him the tough time he has overcome in the early days of making those components from his invention, which is inspired by the dimples on a golf ball. For example, to fulfil the large order of a key customer, he and his wife had to travel to a foreign country to look for suppliers and hand-carried the heavy materials back to Hong Kong; and after they came back, they worked days and nights to make the products. “We had a tiny little garage-sized factory. My wife and I took turns sleeping from midnight to 9:00am every day. Every three hours we took turns to sleep. One person would be overlooking the two machines to make sure everything was running smoothly. We slept on a sofa in a conference room, and it was quite challenging and difficult.”

Prof Cheng says his father definitely inspired him in his life. “Because my father taught us so much, so many good philosophies and virtues. We have to work hard and think hard and be creative, because my father lived through the war time and had to come up with ideas to feed the family. I learned a lot from him and carried that spirit. When I apply these to my work and to my business, I know that there’s always a solution. We just have to look hard and work hard, and the solution will appear in front of us.”

On the future of Hong Kong, Prof Cheng says Hong Kong has been doing great for all these years. “Even though we have some challenges, with our Lion Rock Spirit, we will overcome challenges, and will be better and excel, because now our country, China, is strong and the market is expanding.”

To watch the video, visit Friday Everyday YouTube Channel – Friday Beyond Spotlights Season 2 Episode 14 l Prof Daniel M Cheng

Episode 14: https://youtu.be/x_tJRmXz7mE

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