Exclusive: Adrian Cheng launches LoveWithoutborders; donates 1.5 million surgical masks to Europe; develops nanotechnology masks
Adrian Cheng has launched a new campaign: #LoveWithoutborders, through which he is donating 1.5 million surgical masks to France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
The Hong Kong businessman is also setting up local production lines in his native region to produce new NanoDiamonds Technology Masks meant for global distribution.
Beginning back in January, Cheng donated over RMB 50 million (€6.5 million) and three million surgical masks in Greater China. Now he plans to take his #LoveWithoutborders project global.
“We have named the project #LoveWithoutborders to mean that everything should be about global wellness, not just regional. We are trying to help those around the world who are in need,” Cheng told FashionNetwork.com in an exclusive interview.
Cheng is the heir to his family’s giant empire, which includes Chow Tai Fook, the world’s largest jewelry boutique chain, and New World Development. The group generates a market capitalization of close to €20 billion. It also controls K11 Musea, the giant art, design, fashion and retail concept that opened in Victoria Dockside in Hong Kong last year.
This cultural entrepreneur’s next move is to use NanoDiamonds Technology to transfer an antibacterial coating process that consists in applying precious jewels to the non-woven material of surgical masks, thereby blocking and inhibiting bacteria and viruses.
“We want to develop a new generation of anti-viral masks. We are collaborating with a nano-technology company we have worked with before, who will take a coating used for diamonds to apply onto the masks, that can then suppress microbes. It will be applied to non-woven material mask so that the mask stays breathable and water-resistant, and can even be reused two or three times. Most importantly, the coating also seems to be able to kill most of the virus,” explained Cheng.
Working with Master Dynamics, a leading nano technology firm, he hopes to have the first nano-technology masks available by the end of the summer.
His group already has two production lines making medical-grade surgical masks and intends on doubling output in April. By June, the group expects monthly production to reach 5.5 million adult masks and 1.7 million kids’ masks. The first nano masks will be available in the late summer.
Cheng’s group is working with UK, French and Italian embassies to organize the delivery of the 1.5 million masks to Europe, whether directly to hospitals or to NGOs.
Hong Kong has been less hard hit than many areas by coronavirus. As of March 24, there have been only 357 cases of Covid-19, according to the website AAMediLink. The city has closed all schools until April 20, as well as all city parks and its local Disneyland; while high-speed train links with the mainland have been suspended. However, it has not introduced as intense a lockdown as certain Western European countries –– though all visitors to Hong Kong are now required to undergo a 15-day compulsory period of quarantine.
In this context, K11 Musea has remained open, even if many of its retail stores are closed.
“K11 was working very well since it opened. But, obviously, since last month, lots of boutiques have shut down. Yet it’s a complex that is not just about shopping, but also about incubating artists, as well as design, so there still has been great traffic. Our lockdown is similar to France's or Italy's, but the K11 Musea is still open for outdoor events or even social distancing. As we are very near to the sea, people come to enjoy the ocean breeze. Of course, we are not encouraged to go out, but there is no real rule saying that you cannot, so some people are still dining and shopping,” Cheng explained.
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