Macau is a special administrative region of China. Under the “one country, two systems” policy, Macau retains its capitalist economy and some political autonomy, while retaining Chinese-style social services and a police force under the command of the Macau Public Security Bureau. It also has a comprehensive banking system and no restrictions on foreign property ownership. Literacy is almost universal. The government has a number of initiatives to promote education and technology development, including the creation of a Science Park.
A major focus of the government is intellectual property rights enforcement. It has a unified patent and trademark registration system that is compatible with the WTO’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement. It is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization and adheres to the Bern Convention on Copyright.
In December 2019, the government passed a law stipulating duties of conservation of data for telecommunications operators, in which network operators must preserve real-time records and content produced by use of their service for one year, as well as provide access to the records upon request to telecommunications regulators and local authorities. The law has raised privacy concerns, but the government says it is necessary to safeguard security.
Macau has a wide range of free Wi-Fi networks available in public spaces, including hotels, airports, and shopping centers. The Macau Government also operates a free public WiFi network called WiFi Go, which has 201 points in government buildings and tourist attractions. Users can register for a free account, which has an initial validity of 60 days and allows for up to 30GB of data usage.
The government has also launched an open data portal site, which provides a single point of entry for open data supplied by different government entities. Most of the data on this portal is textual, with a few exceptions: restaurant and bar information from the Tourism Office, and car park space availability from the Transport Bureau are among this portal’s more prominent pieces of open data.
In my smart tourism interviews, all but one of the twelve interviewees expressed a strong will that the Macau government should take up a leading role in the implementation of the Smart Tourism Masterplan, and the availability of open data was cited as a major milestone on this path. Moreover, the interviewees emphasized that data should be accurate and up-to-date and easily sharable across different platforms. To this end, a Macau government open data platform was launched in 2019 to act as a centralized repository for open data.