Li Ka-Shing is one of the richest people in Hong Kong, with an estimated net worth of US$35.6 billion. Forbes considers him Asia’s most powerful businessman, and the Financial Times called him a business icon. The Harvard Business Review named him one of the world’s greatest living businessmen and included him on their list of great managers.
|Net Worth||$35.6 billion|
|Date of Birth||13 June 1928|
|Occupation||Businessperson, entrepreneur, investor, Philanthropist, and Ship owner|
|Country of Origin||Guangdong province, China|
Born in Chaozhou, Guangdong Province, China, in 1928, Li was the eldest of three children. Li’s father died when he was just 15 years old, so he had to start working to support his family at a very young age. He worked 12 hours daily in a local factory before moving to Hong Kong in 1950.
Cheung Kong Industries, now headed by Li Ka-Shing, started in 1950 as a plastics manufacturer. In 1972, it was publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and went on to invest in real estate in Hong Kong. Cheung Kong expanded in 1979 and 1985 by acquiring Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited.
Despite his humble beginnings, Li became one of the world’s most successful businessmen.
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Rise To Riches
In 1950, Li formed his own company, a plastics company named Cheung Kong, initially manufacturing artificial flowers for export to the United States. Using his experience in the plastics industry, Li established his own company. The company experienced steady growth in the 1950s, and was looking for ways to expand.
His first real estate investment was a factory he obtained in 1958; it was the first of several he would purchase. With time, he changed the focus of his plastics business into a real estate development and management firm.
Cheung Kong Holdings flourished over the following years and was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972.
Adding multiple diverse industries to his existing business, Hutchison Whampoa was acquired from HSBC in 1979. With his leadership, Hutchison became the world’s largest independent port operator, investing in container ports in Hong Kong, Canada, China, the United Kingdom, Rotterdam, Panama, the Bahamas, and many others.
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I also ventured into technology with one of his firms, Horizons Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in new internet and technology startups, which acquired doubleTwist, a digital advertising firm. Besides Facebook, he also owns 0.8% of Ginger Software Inc. and 0.8% of Li Ka Shing Foundation, two other firms in which he holds stakes.
Li Ka-Shing established Cheung Kong Industries in the 1950s as a producer of plastics. The company grew and expanded into other industries before becoming Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited in the 1970s. It is among Hong Kong’s most prominent multinational conglomerates that operate across over fifty countries, employing nearly 240,000 employees worldwide.
Li Ka-shing Personal Life
Two of Mr. Li’s sons, Victor Li and Richard Li, are successful figures in the Hong Kong business community. Victor Li succeeded his father (Li ka-Shing) as Chairman of CK Asset Holdings Limited and Chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings. At the same time, Richard Li is Chairman of PCCW, the largest telecom company in Hong Kong. They are both Canadian and both Buddhists.
He married one of his cousins, Chong Yuet-Ming (1933-1990). The couple enjoyed a long relationship that ran for 27-28 years starting in 1962, until her sudden passing away at the time of New Year’s Day 1990 due to a suspected overdose of drugs or other sources that rumored it was a cardiac arrest.
Li’s favorite accessory, which he would sport while roaming through Hong Kong in the 1990s, was a simple timepiece by Citizen. First, he wore a Seiko. A few years later, he wore an HKD 500 Citizen watch.
Li Ka-Shing Net Worth
At 94 years old, Hong Kong’s richest man shows no signs of slowing down. Born in Guangdong, China, in 1928, Li began his career as a young boy, selling plastic flowers door to door. He eventually started his own company, Cheung Kong Holdings, which grew into one of Asia’s largest conglomerates.
Today, Li’s business interests span many industries, from energy and telecommunications to retail and real estate. And his net worth has grown along with his businesses – as of Forbes’ Real Time Net Worth, and Li is worth an estimated $35.6 billion.
- Grand Bauhinia Medal
- Commandeur, Légion d’honneur
- Order of the British Empire, Knight Commander in 2000
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