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在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
HK entrepreneur helps young Shenzheners achieve dreams
     2015-May-29  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Tan Yifan

    cicitan2011@gmail.com

    SINCE the establishment of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong modern service industry cooperation zone, many financial enterprises have set up their headquarters in Qianhai. Simon Lung, a 38-year-old Hongkonger, is among the first batch of entrepreneurs who marched into the mainland financial market by opening an office in the southwest tip of Shenzhen.

    Lung’s loan company WeLab has provided services to many young mainlanders who need petty loans for a short period of time. He believes that the mainland has a huge potential need for small loans between 1,000 yuan (US$161.2) and 6,000 yuan.

    “We loaned one college sophomore 2,000 yuan to take a tour guide test; he soon paid off the debt by doing part-time jobs on weekends,” Lung said. He said his team wants to assist youngsters in reaching their goals such as receiving training, joining short trips or investing in the stock market.

    “We want to encourage them to learn to make good use of the loaned money and improve their lives while making a profit,” he said.

    So far, Lung’s company has lent about 500 million yuan to mainlanders and just finished a round of financing worth 20 million yuan.

    Lung, who shares his office with over 100 staff members and has to commute from Hong Kong to Shenzhen every day, said Shenzhen has brought him unexpected opportunities and he is working hard to fulfill his dream.

    Money shouldn’t deter dreams

    Lung worked as a Hong Kong banker for 15 years. He helped Hong Kong, mainland and Taiwan customers deal with loans and credit cards.

    Five years ago, while Lung and his then-fiancé were studying at Stanford, he discovered it was hard to get a loan for a small amount of money from local banks, and the interest rates for private lenders were too high for students to pay off. It echoed the situation in Hong Kong, where borrowing money was not easy even though the city is famed for its position as a global financial center.

    “When I was in college, I witnessed many of my peers suffering from money troubles. They couldn’t provide real estate or cars as collateral for a loan, so, as a consequence, some of them lost the chance to pursue higher education or even buy a laptop. It was unfair for young people who just needed a little help to go further,” he said. “In my dream, young Hongkongers continue to improve themselves and pursue their dreams without financial pressure.”

    “The job market in Hong Kong is much more fierce than on the mainland,” he added.

    Having been frustrated by the loan system both in the United States and Hong Kong, Lung decided to give up the idea of working for a banker and instead became a banker himself.

    In 2013, he established his first office in Central, Hong Kong, and started to offer micro-loan services to Hongkongers.

    He said as young people encounter more opportunities, they should be encouraged to choose what they want and shouldn’t be deterred by a lack of money.

    Working with surprises

    Since Lung opened a branch office in Shenzhen, he has adapted to the differences between the two cities.

    Lung said his workday starts at 7:00 in the morning and continues after the office closes 6:30 p.m. He can use his phone on both sides of the border, so he is in near-constant communication with clients.

    He mingles with his mainland colleagues by working closely with them and learning more about them.

    In addition to the fun of working in Shenzhen, he also enjoys the challenges of the mainland market. For Lung, it means more surprises.

    “Hong Kong has around 7 million residents, and I target around 4 million of them. The mainland market is a very attractive source of new clients,” he said.

    He opened a branch in Shenzhen because it is close to his home, but, after he settled in, he found the city has much to offer.

    He easily found his ideal employees and no longer has to hire IT workers in India and Singapore. “You can find all kinds of suitable employees here because the city has attracted so many talented people, and many of them come from giant IT companies such as Tencent and Huawei. You can also find talented financial workers who have good educational backgrounds, rich experience and a positive attitude toward working,” he said.

    A new, young future

    According to data released by Lung’s company, most of its young Shenzhen customers prefer to borrow money for travel. He said those young people are willing to try new things and have more favorable views about loans than previous generations.

    While serving youngsters, Lung’s company is also a new startup. Lung said his team is looking forward to a new round of investments and a bigger office. At the very beginning, Lung and 10 other colleagues had to squeeze into a small space. By stepping into the mainland, they are eyeing a vast future.

    “We want to encourage them to learn to make good use of the loaned money and improve their lives while making a profit.”

    Simon Lung

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