Catch them if you can: Hong Kong malls quick to lure Pokemon ... and shoppers
Shops, restaurants and landmarks around the city cash in on the global craze by drawing players to Pokestops
Just days after Pokemon Go, the new augmented reality smartphone game, launched in Hong Kong, businesses are already trying to cash in on a craze that has taken the world by storm.
Hotels, shopping malls and private car hailing services like Uber are all offering promotions or Pokemon-related activities to try to draw in the crowds that have flooded the streets to capture Pokemon.
Places like Tin Shui Wai park and Times Square shopping mall in Causeway Bay have become Pokemon capturing hotspots since the location-based game encourages players to explore and find real places to catch and collect the creatures as they appear randomly.
But players can also spend money on buying items at the app’s Pokemon store, which attracts them to pop up at specific places instead of exploring the city aimlessly.
At least 11 shopping malls announced that they would be using Lure Module, an item that draws Pokemon to appear at a Pokestop for 30 minutes, to attract customers.
A bundle of eight Lures, which can only be used at Pokestops, costs HK$55 or 680 Pokecoins.
While there is no map or any official figures on the number of Pokestops around the city, most malls, restaurants and landmarks will have several of them, according to online player guides.
Sun Hung Kai Properties, a major property developer in Hong Kong, said Lures would be deployed at five of its malls until the end of the week for four hours a day during lunch and dinner time.
“I believe [the promotion] can bring an increase of 5 to 10 per cent in flow of traffic, with restaurants and gaming stores benefitting the most,” general manager Fiona Chung said.
Uber is offering 30 Pokemon trainers the chance to win a free three-hour Uber ride this Saturday.
Players who collect over 150 Pokemon, nickname one of their Pokemon #UberGOHK and post their results online are all eligible to apply.
Another local car hailing app, call4van, is offering to drive players around the city for a Pokemon hunting tour, according to a promotion leaflet on its Facebook page.
For HK$499, players will be accompanied by a Pokemon guide during the 90-minute ride and get a free 6GB data sim card and portable charger.