Coronavirus: Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing donates HK$100 million to China’s efforts to fight deadly outbreak

Ng Kang-chung

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing has chipped in HK$100 million to China’s efforts to combat the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Wuhan – the city at the epicentre of the outbreak – that has claimed more than 900 lives and infected over 40,000 people on the mainland alone.

The Li Ka Shing Foundation, a charitable organisation founded by the Hong Kong billionaire, announced the donation on Monday.

In a brief statement, the foundation said the contribution was made “through the [central government’s liaison office] in support of the frontline health care professionals battling the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan”.

The office is Beijing’s representative in Hong Kong.

A building complex dubbed the Wuhan Livingroom is converted into a hospital to receive patients infected with the coronavirus and can accommodate 2,000 beds. Photo: Xinhua

The foundation was also sourcing supplies around the world to help medical workers in Hong Kong and Wuhan, a spokesman said.

The founder of real-estate, telecoms and ports conglomerate CK group is among the Hong Kong tycoons, as well as some pro-Beijing figures, offering money to charities, hospitals and local governments in mainland China to combat the outbreak.

They have donated a combined 1 billion yuan (HK$1.11 billion) so far to the country’s epidemic prevention and control works, according to the liaison office.

In a press statement on Monday, the liaison office said the contributions made by the city demonstrated the Hong Kong people’s great care and concern about the motherland.

“Some social groups and organisations have also bought from overseas masks, goggles, protective clothes, scrubs, medical gloves, alcohol sanitiser, and epidemic prevention and medical supplies to [send to] the frontline of the battle against the virus,” the office statement continued.

Illuminated buildings in Wuhan try to bring some cheer to the city’s residents. Photo: Xinhua

It also said about HK$750,000 in donations were received from individuals and social groups.

“We have been in contact with the Red Cross Society of China and will hand over the relevant donations for it to use according to needs,” it said.

Political affairs observer Chan Wai-keung, of Polytechnic University, said: “There is probably some peer pressure for Hong Kong’s tycoons to make donations. But it seems what the frontline needs the most are supplies. Offering money could be less efficient than purchasing supplies for the mainland.”

Recently, many Hong Kong tycoons have made donations to mainland China.

Since last month, Wharf Holdings, entertainment group Emperor, New World China Land Limited, Swire Group, Hang Lung Properties and Henderson Land have each donated 10 million yuan to fight the coronavirus outbreak.

This article Coronavirus: Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing donates HK$100 million to China’s efforts to fight deadly outbreak first appeared on South China Morning Post

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