Hong Kong Billionaires Li Ka-shing and Henry Cheng will distribute shopping vouchers and cash grants worth a total of HK$30 million ($3.9 million) to residents to increase the city’s slow vaccination rate against the coronavirus.
Li’s flagship companies CK Hutchison and CK Asset Holdings, along with his charitable foundation, said on Tuesday they would offer HK$20 million worth of retail coupons in a vaccine lottery. With the first prize worth HK$5 million, the coupons can be used to buy a new flat from CK Asset. They can also be used within CK Group’s businesses, including ParkNShop supermarkets, Fortress consumer electronics and Watson’s health and beauty supply chain.
Hong Kong residents aged 18 or over who have received two doses of coronavirus vaccine before August 31 are eligible to enter the draw.
New World Development, controlled by the Cheng family, also said Tuesday it would offer HK$10 million in vaccination subsidies to the underprivileged in Hong Kong. The company will distribute a HK$1,000 immunization and medical check to each of the 5,000 needy people.
The beneficiaries, who are selected by non-governmental organizations, must be fully vaccinated. The premiums are distributed between June and August. The company said it would reserve the remaining HK$5 million for the next phase to engage the wider public.
“Through these partnerships, we are able to provide support and grants to the communities that need it most,” said Adrian Cheng, CEO of New World Development, in a statement.
Since Hong Kong launched its massive Covid-19 vaccination campaign in February, only about 17% of the city’s 7.5 million residents have received two doses on June 8.
The government said it had purchased a total of 15 million Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac shots, enough to cover the entire population of Hong Kong, but only about 2.7 million have been administered so far.
A health official warned in late May that the city “only has three months” before the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines expire. The low vaccination rate is due to safety concerns and mistrust in the government.
Li and Cheng’s offers join a growing list of incentives from many of Hong Kong’s most prominent business leaders seeking to encourage more people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Billionaire Lee Shau KeeHenderson Land Development’s announced Monday that it would hold six raffles between June and September to hand out HK$6.3 million in prizes, including 300 taels of pure gold and shopping vouchers for its companies. They are also only eligible for adult residents of the SAR who have been injected with two doses of the vaccines.
“Giving away gold is immediate and flexible,” Martin Lee, co-chairman and director of Henderson Land, said in a statement. “We hope the prizes will appeal to the general public.”
Raymond KwokSun Hung Kai Properties has also offered a reward for fully vaccinated permanent residents of Hong Kong with prizes including iPhone 12s, staycation packs and shopping coupons in raffles held between July and August.
Robert Ng‘s Sino Group and Chinese Estates Holdings said they would offer a 449-square-meter flat worth HK$10.8 million as a raffle prize for fully vaccinated Hong Kong permanent residents, as well as 20 other prizes worth HK each. $100,000.
“We hope the city’s overall vaccination coverage can be increased,” said Daryl Ng, director of the Ng Teng Fong Charitable Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sino Group. “Vaccination is an important step in our fight against the pandemic and to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and colleagues.”