A HONGKONG businessman has offered $300,000 prize money to the Guangdong soccer team if they retain the Interport Cup against Hongkong tonight - the largest sum offered to mainland players in the tournament. Mr Lau Ying-fok, a Hongkong resident who has made a fortune buying and selling property in one of the world's fastest-growing economies in the south China city, has promised $300,000 to Guangdong if they win the Interport for the third consecutive year at the People's Stadium. The first leg of the cup finished in a 1-1 draw at Mongkok Stadium last Sunday. Mr Lau, 74, does all his business in Guangdong and exerts influence in China, having already been appointed vice-president of the Guangdong Football Association and vice-chairman of the Chinese Football Association. Guangdong have upstaged Hongkong, who have been offered $200,000 prize money if they win tonight. The territory's four managers - Lam Kin-ming, Shuen Kin-on, Tang Kar-hung and Law Kit-shing - are putting up the money. The Wang Yuen Holding Enterprise, a Chinese business based in Guangdong, has offered 50,000 yuan (about HK$67,000) to the winners and 30,000 to the runners-up. Guangdong's financial incentives have surprised the Hongkong team, whose stars earn $60,000 a month. Hongkong national coach Wong Man-wai said: ''Southern China is becoming more prosperous and they can afford to give away so much prize money. But it is a substantial amount.'' It is not the first time Chinese soccer players have been offered huge amounts. During last year's preliminary rounds of the Asian Cup, , China, represented by Guangdong, were offered 500,000 yuan if they reached the finals. They reached the finals and went on to finish third in the tournament behind Japan and Saudi Arabia. China soccer has already been lifted out of the doldrums where the game has turned professional. Average monthly wages have been substantially increased and a new professional eight-team league formed. Although the average Chinese footballer earns less than 200 yuan most of the players receive free housing and food allowances. The players' biggest wage earner is from bonuses in important matches.