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HK billionaire's vast Expo gift

2009. 24 April

( THE China Pavilion for World Expo Shanghai has received its largest donation - 100 million yuan (US$14.6 million) - from Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, companies headed by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

Shanghai Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng expressed his gratitude to Li and his companies on Tuesday when he met Li's son, Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, deputy chairman and managing director of Cheung Kong and deputy chairman of Hutchison Whampoa.

Victor Li said Cheung Kong and Hutchison Whampoa will continue contributing to the 2010 event.

The donations will be used for the construction, operation and exhibition of the iconic China pavilion, an official surnamed Li from the Financial Department of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Coordination told Shanghai Daily.

The organizers have not announced how much the 160,000-square-meter pavilion will cost.

The bureau launched a global donation campaign for the China Pavilion on December 18, 2007. People can donate as little as 1 yuan.

The pavilion had received 79 million yuan shortly after the campaign started but Li said organizers would not say how much they have received in total so far.

Organizers will give certificates to all donors. It will also publish the names of those who donated 1,000 yuan or more on the Expo Website, if donors wish it.

Donors who give more than 1 million yuan will have their names carved into a wall of the China Pavilion.

Those who give more than 10 million will be invited to the Expo opening ceremony, which will be attended only by the guests of the organizers.

Business donors will have their taxes cut by the amount they donate.

People can donate at any branch of the Bank of Communications or send donations in envelopes marked "Donation to the China Pavilion" to the bureau at the Expo Mansion, Pudong Road S., Pudong New Area, Shanghai, China, 200125.

Readers can call 2206-0631 for more information.