- A Chinese state-owned bank in Hong Kong is offering a Pfizer shot to customers who deposit about $500,000.
- The incentive signals mainland Chinese citizens' desire to receive a western developed mRNA vaccine.
- The "privileges" are being offered after mainland China lifted travel restrictions to Hong Kong.
A Hong Kong-based bank is offering new and existing customers an express reservation for a complimentary BioNTech/Pfizer mRNA vaccine if they deposit at least HK$4,000,000, or about $512,200, into an account.
The vaccine is being offered as mainland China lifts its cross-border restrictions with Hong Kong and is among a number of "privileges" China CITIC Bank International, which is held by Chinese state-owned CITIC Group, is rolling out until March 31.
BioNTech's Pfizer mRNA vaccine is not widely available in mainland China, which has mostly relied on Chinese-produced vaccines that don't currently include mRNA technology. However, permanent residents of Hong Kong and Macau have had access to free Pfizer vaccines, according to Fortune.
CNCBI's complimentary vaccine is one of its "exclusive privileges catered to customers' wealth and wellness," according to a press release from the bank.
Other benefits for customers include a body check-up and the hepatitis B vaccine. Customers who apply for and activate a CNCBI GBA Currency Credit Card can get two complimentary vaccines, including the Pfizer vaccine or hepatitis B vaccine, as well as a 15% discount at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong.
Other "privileges" for customers include four complimentary tickets to the theme park Monopoly Dreams Hong Kong and the chance to test drive a Bentley.
CNCBI did not respond to Insider's request for comment.
Since China rolled back its strict zero-COVID policy last December, the country has seen a staggering rise in COVID infections and related deaths. The country has not approved any mRNA vaccines, and South Korea's top vaccine producer said China is not likely to approve foreign vaccines because of "national pride."
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