Li Ka-shing

Business Executive

Li Ka-shing was born on June 13th, 1928 in Chaozhou, Guangdong, China and is the Business Executive from Canada. Discover Li Ka-shing's biography, age, height, physical stats, dating/affair, family, hobbies, education, career updates, and networth at the age of 94 years old.

Date of Birth
June 13, 1928
Nationality
Canada
Place of Birth
Chaozhou, Guangdong, China
Age
94 years old
Zodiac Sign
Gemini
Profession
Entrepreneur, Justice Of The Peace, Shipowner
Li Ka-shing Height, Weight, Eye Color and Hair Color

At 94 years old, Li Ka-shing physical status not available right now. We will update Li Ka-shing's height, weight, eye color, hair color, build, and measurements.

Height
Not Available
Weight
Not Available
Hair Color
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Eye Color
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Build
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Measurements
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Li Ka-shing Religion, Education, and Hobbies
Religion
Not Available
Hobbies
Not Available
Education
Not Available
Li Ka-shing Spouse(s), Children, Affair, Parents, and Family
Spouse(s)
Chong Yuet-ming, ​ ​(m. 1962; died 1990)​
Children
Victor Li Tzar-kuoi (son), Richard Li (son)
Dating / Affair
Not Available
Parents
Not Available
About Li Ka-shing

Sir Li Ka-shing (born 13 June 1928) is a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.

As of June 2019, Li is the 30th richest person in the world, with an estimated net wealth of US$29.4 billion.

He is the senior advisor for CK Hutchison Holdings, after he retired from the Chairman of the Board in May 2018; through it, he is the world's leading port investor, developer, and operator of the largest health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe.Li was one of the most influential entrepreneurs in Asia, presiding over a business empire with a diverse portfolio of businesses from a wide array of industries, including transportation, real estate, financial services, retail, and energy and utilities.

His conglomerate company Cheung Kong Holdings was influential in many sectors of the Hong Kong economy and made up 4% of the aggregate market capitalisation of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Forbes Magazine and the Forbes family honoured Li Ka-shing with the first ever Malcolm S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award on 5 September 2006, in Singapore.

In spite of his wealth, Li cultivated a reputation for leading a frugal no-frills lifestyle, and was known to wear simple black dress shoes and an inexpensive Seiko wristwatch.

He lived in the same house for decades, in what has now become one of the most expensive districts in Hong Kong, Deep Water Bay in Hong Kong Island.

Li is also regarded as one of Asia's most generous philanthropists, donating billions of dollars to charity and other various philanthropic causes, and owning the second largest private foundation in the world after Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Li was often referred to as "Superman Li" in Hong Kong because of his business prowess.

Early life

Li was born in Chao'an, Chaozhou in Guangdong Province in 1928 to Teochew parents named Li Yun-ching (1898–1943) and Cheung Bik-chin (1893–1984). Li and his family fled to Hong Kong in 1940 as refugees from the Sino-Japanese war. Owing to his father's death from tuberculosis, he was forced to leave school at the age of 15 and found a job in a plastics trading company where he worked 16 hours a day. In 1950 he started his own company, Cheung Kong Industries. From manufacturing plastics, Li developed his company into a leading real estate investment company in Hong Kong that was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972. Cheung Kong expanded by acquiring Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited in 1979 and 1985 respectively.

Business career

In 1950, after learning how to operate a plant, Li founded a plastic manufacturing company in Hong Kong with personal savings and funds borrowed from relatives. Li avidly read trade publications and business news before deciding to supply the world with high quality plastic flowers at low prices. Li learned the technique of mixing colour with plastics that resemble real flowers. After retooling his shop, he prepared the plant for a visit from a large foreign buyer. Fortunately for Li, the buyer placed a large order and a few years later, Li grew to be the largest supplier of plastic flowers in Asia and made a fortune selling them.

In 1958, believing rents would continue to rise, Li decided to purchase a site and develop his own factory building. An opportunity to acquire more land arrived after the 1967 riots when many people fled Hong Kong, and, as a result, property prices plummeted. Li believed the political crisis would be temporary and property prices would eventually rise, and bought land from the fleeing residents at low prices. In 1971, Li officially named his real estate development company Cheung Kong (長江實業). Cheung Kong Holdings was publicly listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972. During board meetings, Li stated on a number of occasions his goal of surpassing the Jardines-owned Hongkong Land as a leading developer.

The successful bid by Cheung Kong for development sites above the Central and Admiralty MTR stations in 1977 was the key to challenging Hongkong Land as the premier property developer in Hong Kong. Despite its size, Jardines decided in the 1980s to protect itself from hostile takeover by Li or other outside investors. The company implemented a cross-shareholding structure that was designed to place control in the hands of Britain's Keswick family despite their less than 10% holdings in the group. In 1984, the company also moved its legal domicile from Hong Kong to another British overseas territory – Bermuda, in anticipation of the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to People's Republic of China in 1997.

In an effort to drive forward divestitures of assets in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, Li agreed to sell The Center, the fifth-tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. With a value of HK$40.2 billion (US$5.15 billion), the deal constitutes the biggest ever office space real estate sale in the Asia-Pacific region. Li sold the Century Link complex in Shanghai for US$2.95 billion, the second largest transaction for a single building, according to the Financial Times.

In 1979, Li purchased a major stake in Hutchison Whampoa Company Limited from Hong Kong Bank through Cheung Kong.

A subsidiary of CK Hutchison, the A.S. Watson Group (ASW), is a retail operator with over 15,000 stores. Its portfolio encompasses retail brands in Europe such as Superdrug (UK), Marionnaud (France), Kruidvat (Benelux countries), and in Asia including health and beauty retailer Watson's store and wine cellars et al., PARKnSHOP supermarkets (and spin-off brands), and Fortress electrical appliance stores. ASW also produces and distributes water products and beverages in the region.

CK Hutchison group has the reputation of being an astute asset trader. It builds up new businesses and sells them off when shareholder value could be created. Huge profits were obtained in the sale of its interest in Orange to Mannesmann Group in 1999, making a profit of $15.12 billion. In 2006 Li sold 20% of Hutchison's ports business to Singapore rival PSA Corp., making a $3.12 billion profit on a $4 billion deal.

Group subsidiary Hutchison Telecommunications sold a controlling stake of 67% in Hutchison Essar, a joint venture Mobile operator in India, to Vodafone for $11.1 billion.

Li has also made a foray into the technology business, where his investment and venture capital firm Horizons Ventures is specifically allocated towards backing new internet and technology startup firms, and bought a stake in doubleTwist. His other firm, the Li Ka Shing Foundation bought a 0.8% stake in social networking website Facebook for $120 million in two separate rounds, and invested an estimated $50 million in the music streaming service Spotify. Some time between late 2009 and early 2010, Li Ka-shing led a $15.5 million Series B round of financing for Siri Inc.

In 2011, Horizons Ventures invested in Summly, a website-summarizing app. Notably, the investment made Nick D'Aloisio, Summly's founder, the world's youngest person to receive a venture capital investment at just fifteen years old. In 2012, Horizons Ventures invested $2.3 million in Wibbitz, a company that provides a text-to-video technology that can automatically convert any article post or feed on the web into a video in a matter of seconds. In August 2012, Li acquired a stake in Ginger Software Incorporated. In 2013, Horizons Ventures invested in Bitcoin payment company BitPay.

In February 2015, Horizons Ventures participated in a $30 million Series C funding round in Zoom Video Communications. Later in the year, Li participated in a $108 million Series D round in Impossible Foods. In 2016, he continued investments in technology companies and Horizons Ventures led a $55 million Series A round in Blockstream, the leader in blockchain related technologies, and also invested in a startup incubator fund Expa, that works with the founders to build new companies.

In September 2017, Li worked with Alibaba's Jack Ma to bring AlipayHK, a digital wallet service to Hong Kong.

In 2013 a claim was lodged by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) against Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) to pay approximately A$370 million in unpaid tax, penalties and interest relating to tax disputes concerning SA Power Networks and Victoria Power Networks. The dispute was resolved in 2015 when CKI entered into an agreement with the ATO. No penalty was levied against CKI and a sum of approximately A$24 million was refunded from the A$64 million previously paid to the ATO by CKI.

After his almost-70-year-long reign over CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings, Li announced his retirement on 16 March 2018 and the decision to pass his $100billion empire on to his son, Victor Li. He is still involved in the conglomerate as a senior advisor.

Besides business through his flagship companies CK Asset Holdings and CK Hutchison Holdings Limited, Li Ka-shing has also personally invested extensively in real estate in Singapore and Canada. He was the single largest shareholder of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), the fifth largest bank in Canada, until the sale of his share in 2005 (with all proceedings donated, see below). He is also the majority shareholder of a major energy company, Husky Energy, based in Alberta, Canada. Husky was acquired by Cenovus in 2021, and Li owns 27.2% of the newly merged company.

In January 2005, Li announced plans to sell his $1.2 billion CAD stake in the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, with all proceeds going to private charitable foundations established by Li, including the Li Ka Shing Foundation in Hong Kong and the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation based in Toronto, Ontario. Li was the non-executive director of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation since 1980 and became Deputy Chairman of the bank in 1985. He was also Deputy Chairman of HSBC Holdings in 1991–1992.

According to Bloomberg, he had a net worth of US$35.3 Billion in July 2021.

Personal life

His two sons, Victor Li and Richard Li, are also prominent figures in the Hong Kong business scene. Victor Li succeeded his father as Chairman of CK Hutchison Holdings and Chairman of CK Asset Holdings Limited, while Richard Li is Chairman of PCCW, the largest telecom company in Hong Kong. They are both Canadian citizens. He is a follower of Buddhism.

Married to his first cousin, Chong Yuet-ming (1933–1990), they had a long period of marriage that lasted for 27–28 years from 1962 until her sudden death on New Year's Day 1990 due to a suspected drug overdose (other sources rumoured it as cardiac arrest). She was the daughter of his maternal uncle (mother's younger brother), Cheung Jing-on (1908–1996) and his wife, Hew Bik-yin (1911–2002), who were also from the Chaoshan region, but were both settled in British Hong Kong long before he migrated to the city, as she was born and bred there to emigrant Teochew parents from that region in Guangdong.

Li is famously plainly dressed for a Hong Kong tycoon. In the 1990s he wore a $50 HKD timepiece from Citizen Watch Co. and plain ties. He later wore a Seiko. In 2016, he wore a $500 HKD Citizen watch.

His son Victor Li was kidnapped in 1996 on his way home after work by gangster "Big Spender" Cheung Tze-keung. Li Ka-shing paid a ransom of HK$1 billion, directly to Cheung who had come to his house. A report was never filed with Hong Kong police. Instead the case was pursued by Mainland authorities, leading to Cheung's execution in 1998, an outcome not possible under Hong Kong law. Rumours circulated of a deal between Li and the Mainland. In interviews, when this rumor was brought up, Li brushed it off and dismissed it completely.

Awards and honours

  • Grand Bauhinia Medal
  • Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
  • Commandeur, Légion d'honneur

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