What Hong Kong’s Most Powerful People Are Doing To Fight The Coronavirus
We list what the city’s most powerful are doing to help fight COVID-19 in Hong Kong and abroad.
In these uncertain times, Hong Kong business leaders are doing their part to protect the community; from helping to produce masks to working on eco-friendly ways to fight the coronavirus.
Adrian Cheng’s New World Development is outfitting a factory in Tuen Mun that will be capable of manufacturing more than 200,000 masks per day.
Cheng says: “I believe we can work together to win the battle against the epidemic, and then we can focus on business revival and bringing long-term positive changes to society.” Production is expected to start this month, and the masks will be distributed for free through non-governmental organisations to anyone who needs them.
New World Development has also partnered with Master Dynamic, a leading Hong Kong nanotechnology company, to research how nanodiamonds can be used in masks to provide greater protection against bacteria and viruses. And on top of producing masks, Cheng has donated approximately HK$55 million to NGOs, schools and hospitals in both Hong Kong and China since January.
On April 7th, Cheng's team launched a new project which will see 35 “Mask To Go” dispensers installed at designated NGOs in 18 districts across Hong Kong. The dispensers will begin to operate by the end of April, coinciding with New World Development's two local mask production lines which start to produce medical face masks from mid-April. Two additional mask production lines will commence by May 2020. The Group expects to produce more than 7 million medical face masks per month when all production lines run at full steam.
Sustainability has long been at the top of Dee Poon’s agenda when it comes to Esquel Group—her family’s textile manufacturing company—and now she’s working on eco-friendly ways to fight the coronavirus. At the end of February, Poon unveiled the first batch of reusable masks manufactured by Esquel; her team are now working to produce more.
On top of this, Poon has also developed a less conventional way to protect against pathogens: fortifying the tote bags of PYE, her shirt label, with a new antimicrobial and water-repellent finish. Poon explains: “Bags are seldom washed and are therefore likely causes of infection. We are constantly thinking about what we can do or make to make this period easier and safer for everyone.”
Goods of Desire (G.O.D) is approaching virus protection in its characteristically playful way—it has released a line of reusable fabric masks in multiple quirky patterns and designs.
“We have styles that are funny, like one with a mouth that moves. I guess it is our way of making light of a very serious situation,” says G.O.D founder Douglas Young. But beyond the gimmicks (one G.O.D mask has a moustache), Young was eager to find a way to protect citizens without damaging the environment. “The masks that I see people using on the street are effective but not recyclable and non-biodegradable and therefore are terrible for the environment.” So the G.O.D team designed a washable fabric mask with a pocket to insert a paper towel or other filter. G.O.D also sells pouches to store your mask, which is helpful if you have to take it off at a restaurant, for example.
The first batch of G.O.D reusable masks sold out within three days, but its stores are restocking regularly to meet demand.
See also: 5 Ways To Give Back In Hong Kong
The co-founder of Alibaba is donating masks and medical supplies to help fight the coronavirus in Asia and Latin America. Pledging to support 24 Latin American countries (including Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Cuba), the billionaire will be donating 2 million masks, 400,000 test kits and 104 ventilators. Closer to home, Ma is donating 1.8 million masks, 210,000 test kits and 36,000 protective suits, plus ventilators and thermometers to some Asia’s poorest countries (including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal).
On Twitter, Ma also announced that the Jack Ma Foundation will be joining hands with America in these difficult times by donating 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks to the United States, writing “United we stand, divided we fall”.
According to statistics, we touch our mobile phones more than 2,000 times a day. Protecting our electronic accessories and defending our health are priorities tech accessory brand Casetify are taking very seriously. To create peace of mind in a stressful time, co-founder Wesley Ng has launched #CasetifyProtects, an initiative to help protect users and their tech in more than 180 countries and regions around the world.
Since March 16th, Ng and his team have included free packs of sanitizing wipes with every purchase to help disinfect high touch surfaces, including phones and tablets. #CasetifyProtects is also available in stores, including Yichang Building, Landmark Plaza and the International Airport, where the company will provide you with a free and professional ultraviolet light mobile phone disinfection and sterilization service, allowing you to use your phone more securely, keeping viruses at bay.
"We're in this together, all around the world," Ng says. 100% of the proceeds from this new launch will be donated to GlobalGiving, who will help send medical ambulances to communities in need and provide necessary supplies to hospitals and clinics.