Data Centre Development in Hong Kong
Data Centre Development in Hong Kong
Accommodating Data Centres
Accommodating Data Centres

In Hong Kong, there are many ways to accommodate data centres, including:

Conversion from Existing Industrial Buildings

Many existing industrial buildings in Hong Kong, with high ceiling height, high floor loading and flexible floor layouts, can be converted into data centres. Depending on the amount of space needed, data centres can occupy part of or an entire industrial building.

In Hong Kong, large data centres tend to cluster around Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung, Shatin, Kwun Tong, Kowloon Bay, San Po Kong, Chai Wan and Tseung Kwan O.

It should be noted that the lease governing the lot on which the industrial building stands contains restriction on the land use and other requirements. Any interested party who wishes to set up data centre in the industrial building should examine the lease to see if the data centre use is permissible under the lease. If the proposed use is not yet permitted, the owners may apply for a lease modification or a temporary waiver (waiver).

Waiver Scheme

The Lands Department has streamlined procedure for processing applications from owners of industrial premises for the issue of waivers, which facilitates the setting up of data centres in the premises. Any interested party may refer to the Lands Administration Office (LAO) Practice Notes (Nos. 3/2012, 3/2012A, 3/2012B and any other relevant Practice Notes on the subject) published by the Lands Department.

Greenfield Sites Available for Sale from Government

Potential sites available for developing data centres can be found on the "Land Sale Programme" on the Lands Department's website. Any interested party may study these sites to see if any of them are suitable for data centre use under the conditions of sale for the site concerned and if the town planning zoning permits such use.

Under Hong Kong's town planning regime, land is zoned for different purposes under the statutory Outline Zoning Plans (OZPs). Data centres may operate in areas zoned as "Commercial", "Industrial", "Other Specified Uses" ("OU") annotated "Business" ("OU(B)")1, "OU" annotated "Industrial Estates" and "OU" annotated "Mixed Use"2 under an OZP. One of the permitted uses under the above listed zones is "Information Technology and Telecommunications Industries"(IT&T industries), which includes data centre use. For areas zoned as "Comprehensive Development Area" permission from the Town Planning Board is required for data centre use. For more details on OZP and zoning permissions related to data centre use under IT&T Industries, please see Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Industrial buildings are an important source of supply for data centre premises. In Hong Kong, most industrial buildings fall within "Industrial" or "OU(B)" zone.
  2. Only applicable to data centre within non-residential building in the zone or non-residential portion of composite building in the zone.

Land Sale

The lists of sites available for disposal can be found on the "Land Sale Programme" and "Tender Forecast" posted on the website of the Lands Department under "Tender". The lists of sites contain information on location, user (land use zoning), site area and date of availability.

For the sites for sale by Government-initiated tender or auction, please refer to "Coming Programme".

Sites in Commercial Buildings and the Open Market

Commercial buildings and land/premises in the open market are also possible locations for data centres. They can be rented or acquired through private commercial deals. Whether they can be converted to data centres is subject to land use restrictions. Interested parties may wish to seek professional advice as appropriate.