22 April 2019
Baidu co-founder Robin Li (left) displays his mean prowess on the drums at the company's annual party last month. Actress and singer Angelababy (right) was also there as a special guest. Photos:
Baidu co-founder Robin Li (left) displays his mean prowess on the drums at the company's annual party last month. Actress and singer Angelababy (right) was also there as a special guest. Photos:

What Hongkongers would like to win at the annual office bash

Forget iPhone 6 or iPad 3. It’s sort of nice to have them, but neither would probably make you scream in delight when your name is announced as the winner of the grand prize at the Lunar New Year office bash.

How about a Rolex? That is said to be Li Ka-shing’s favorite goodie in his Santa Claus sack. Hmmm … perhaps. But the thrill may also fade after a while.

Well, when it comes to lucky draws at annual company parties, Hong Kong’s hard-working salary men and women have something to be jealous about their counterparts in mainland internet giants.

Consider these prizes: 5,000 shares of Alibaba (worth HK$3.45 million, US$445,000), 3 million yuan (US$321,000) cash from Tencent, and a 20-day (some say 30-day) paid holiday from Sina.

That’s according to a list of top year-end lucky draw prizes going the rounds on the internet. Our apologies, but we have little way to verify the accuracy of the list, which is trending on social media for about a month now.

We believe some of the items mentioned above are within the realm of the probable, but not the following three because they’re a wee bit, shall we say, too creative.

For Xiaomi, the top prize is 2,000 shares of the smartphone maker’s pending IPO. Nice because it’s free, but the actual amount really depends on the listing price.

Then there’s one reportedly from Sina: an annual 10 percent increase in salary for as long as the lucky staffer works there. If that’s on top of the annual salary hikes and bonuses, not bad. But we wonder how that would affect the seniority structure and salary scales at the company.

There’s also a rumor about a certain internet start-up which offered a night with a Japanese AV girl. Now, that’s highly unlikely unless the firm has a male-only staff. Another top prize is said to be a Porsche 911, which is more believable.

Rounding off the top prize list for internet companies are a 230 square meter housing unit in Hangzhou from Alibaba, a BMW 5 series from Tencent, a Stanford study tour from Baidu, and a homemaker package — with all the home appliances you’ll ever need included — from Xiaomi.

And it’s not just the giveaways that will make you drool or swoon in the mainland internet firms’ office parties. The entertainment programs are just as exciting. From Weibo we gathered that internet security provider Qihoo 360 had a hot night with a Victoria’s Secret show, while Baidu invited model Angelababy for its upcoming mobile ad.

At Youku, the leading online video platform, senior management appeared a ROFLOL version of The Godfather which really brought the house down.

Some mainland company bosses chose to be smart-alecky, like that one who promised that all his staff would get an “Apple notebook”. True enough, when they reported for work the following day, they found a red apple and a paper notebook waiting for them on their desks.

“I didn’t say an iMac,” the grinning boss told his fuming staff. “You didn’t say ‘an apple AND a notebook’ either, A……” came the murmured reply.

Xiaomi staff, too, would be disappointed if they got new Xiaomi 4 handsets as gifts. It’s like giving each McDonald’s staff member a coupon for a free Happy Meal.

So much for Fun China. What about Hong Kong?

Our apologies, again. We have yet to come across interesting stories as the ones we gathered from the mainland. But give us some time. Many of the office banquets will be held after the Lunar New Year.

But for many, their wish list boils down to one word: CASH. That’s king in Hong Kong. Always was, always will be.

– Contact us at [email protected]


EJ Insight writer

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