Hong Kong billionaires Li Ka-shing and Henry Cheng will distribute HK $ 30 million (US $ 3.9 million) in shopping vouchers and cash grants to residents to help boost the city’s sluggish coronavirus vaccination rate.
Li’s flagship company, CK Hutchison and CK Asset Holdings, along with his charitable foundation, announced Tuesday that they would be offering shopping vouchers worth HK $ 20 million in a vaccine lottery. With the first prize of HK $ 5 million, the coupons can be used to purchase a new apartment from CK Asset. They can also be used in the CK Group’s stores, which include the grocery stores ParkNShop, the consumer electronics Fortress, and the health and beauty chain Watsons, among others.
The prize draw will be held for Hong Kong residents aged 18 or over who received two doses of the coronavirus vaccine before August 31st.
New World Development, which is controlled by the Cheng family, also said Tuesday that it would offer HK $ 10 million vaccination subsidies to the disadvantaged in Hong Kong. The company will give each of the 5,000 people in need an allowance of HK $ 1,000 for vaccinations and medical exams.
The beneficiaries selected by non-governmental organizations must be fully vaccinated. The incentives are to be distributed between June and August. The company said it will reserve the remaining HK $ 5 million for the next phase to involve the general public.
“Through these partnerships, we can provide support and subsidies to precisely the communities in need,” Adrian Cheng, CEO of New World Development, said in a statement.
Since Hong Kong started its mass vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in February, only about 17% of the city’s 7.5 million residents have received two doses as of June 8.
The government said it had sourced a total of 15 million Pfizer BioNTech and Sinovac jabs, enough to supply the entire population of Hong Kong, but only about 2.7 million of them have been administered to date.
A health official warned in late May that the city “only has a three month window” before the first batch of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines expires. The low vaccination rate is attributed to safety concerns and distrust of the government.
Li and Cheng’s offers join a growing list of incentives for many of Hong Kong’s best-known business leaders to encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
billionaire Lee Shau Kee‘s Henderson Land Development announced Monday that it will be running six lotteries between June and September to give away HK $ 6.3 million in prizes, including 300 tael of pure gold and shopping vouchers for its businesses. These are also only suitable for adult residents in the SAR who have been injected with two doses of the vaccines.
“Gifting gold is direct and flexible,” said Martin Lee, co-chair and general manager of Henderson Land. “We hope the prices appeal to the general public.”
Raymond Kwok‘s Sun Hung Kai Properties has also offered a reward for fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents with prizes such as iPhone 12s, stay packages and shopping vouchers in raffles held between July and August.
Robert Ng‘s Sino Group and Chinese Estates Holdings said they would offer a 449 square meter apartment valued at HK $ 10.8 million in lottery prizes for fully vaccinated Hong Kong residents, plus 20 other prizes valued at HK $ 100,000 each.
“We hope that the city’s overall vaccination rate can be increased,” said Daryl Ng, director of the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Sino Group. “Vaccination is an important step in our fight against the pandemic and to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and colleagues.”