Ever since Pokémon Go was released in Hong Kong on Monday, crazed gamers have been searching the city high and low for precious Pokémon. Some players have forgotten their past lives — absorbed into the augmented reality of the game. Meanwhile, businesses are working hard to capitalize on their obsession.
Pokemon Go has landed in Hong Kong and oh my god. I thought the reports were exaggerated. They were not. pic.twitter.com/LlhLxd70fa
— Nash Jenkins (@pnashjenkins) July 25, 2016
Fiona Chung, the general manager of Sun Hung Kai Properties, a major property developer in Hong Kong thinks that the massively popular mobile game can provide a boost to the city’s economy. “I believe [the promotion] can bring an increase of 5 to 10 percent in flow of traffic, with restaurants and gaming stores benefitting the most,” she told SCMP. Which is just what many businesses need, especially considering all that productivity loss because of Pokémon Go
— Lok Cheung (@lokcheung) July 25, 2016
Attempting to lure in wandering Pokémon trainers off the street; hotels, shopping malls and private car-hailing companies have begun trying out several different tactics. One of them is by literally purchasing “Lure Modules” — a feature that attracts Pokémon, along with Pokemon Go trainers to a designated location for a total of 30 minutes. A package of 8 lures costs around HK$55 or 680 Pokécoins. The lures can only be used at designated Pokéstops around the city, which typically tend to be located inside malls and near landmarks.
Meanwhile, several local restaurants have started providing charging stations as well as free wifi for gamers. While tired players take a load off, they can even enjoy creative Pokémon-inspired cocktails as they anxiously await their phones to finish charging. Some of the city’s mobile providers have also begun offering unlimited data packages to customers who download the app.
And if you find yourself growing tired after a tough day of Pokémon hunting, the city’s ride-hailing apps have you covered. Uber has a contest offering 30 Pokémon trainers 3 hours of free rides while call4van is offering to drive players around on a guided tour of Pokémon hotspots, for just HK$499.
— P H Yang Photography (@TravelFoto) July 28, 2016