Charles Mok

Charles Mok

Member, Internet Society Board of Trustees


Charles Mok has been an Internet citizen for over 40 years -- first as a user when he entered university, then a software engineer, an Internet entrepreneur, an ISP operator, an industry and civil society organizer, a lawmaker, and now a visiting scholar at the Global Digital Policy Incubator of the Cyber Policy Center at Stanford University. His research is focused on finding ways to protect the rights of the individuals, while governments all over the world are now implementing digital policies and regulations that may have far-reaching effects on the future of the free, open, safe and trusted Internet we hope to enjoy and protect.

Between 2012 to 2020, Charles served two terms as an elected member of the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, representing the Information Technology (IT) sector. He served alternatively as chair and vice chair of the Information Technology and Broadcasting Panel from 2016 to 2020, as the ranking representative on technology-related public policies. As a lawmaker, Charles was a champion for privacy, open data, freedom of expression, cybersecurity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and a vocal critic of surveillance and censorship. After leaving the legislature, he founded Tech for Good Asia, a regional Asian initiative for businesses and civil societies to jointly harness the positive powers of digital technologies.

Charles co-founded the Hong Kong Chapter of Internet Society and was its Founding Chair in 2006. He was a director of the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation (HKIRC), the administrator of the ".hk" ccTLD (2002-2004). Regionally, he was also elected to serve as the chair of the Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organizations (APRALO) of ICANN (2011-2012), contributing to the region’s Internet governance leadership. In these capacities, he advanced a number of initiatives and events, including the Hong Kong Internet Governance Forum (HKIGF, since 2010), INET Asia 2010, APRICOT-APAN 2011, Internet Hall of Fame 2014, and served in the preparatory executive committee for the establishment of Creative Commons Hong Kong (2008). Currently he is a member of the Multi-Stakeholders Steering Group (MAG) of the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF). He is also a proud supporter and advisor to the Girls Go Tech Program of the Women's Foundation of Hong Kong, promoting STEM education to female students, since 2016.

As a pioneering Internet entrepreneur, Charles co-founded HKNet in 1994, one of the first local ISPs, and successfully built the company to be the second largest in Hong Kong, just after the incumbent telco. For the IT and Internet industry, he served as the President of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation (2001-2005) and the Chair of the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association (1998-2000). Among his many other public services, he was most notably a member of the board of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong, the governing body of the city's public healthcare system, in 2005-2011, and supervised the IT development of its clinical management system. He was also a member of the Consumer Council of Hong Kong, the city's statutory consumer protection agency, in 2000-2006.

Charles began his career in technology with Digital Equipment Corporation in 1988, and Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. He holds a BS in Computer and Electrical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, in the US. He is also a member of the advisory board for Surrey Law and Technology Hub, School of Law of the University of Surrey, in the UK. He has also been actively publishing on technology and current affairs issues on publications such as the Wall Street Journal, The Diplomat, ChinaFile (The Asia Society) and the Friedrich Neumann Foundation Global Innovation Hub (of Germany). In his spare time, he would enjoy a good book or two, a few good movies, and hiking.

Image credit: © Irene van Kessel