Sir Ka-shing Li, is a wealthy businessman from Hong Kong. He is the richest person of East Asian descent in the world and the twelfth richest man in the world with an estimated wealth of US$16.2 billion on 13 February 2009. Presently, he is the Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL) and Cheung Kong Holdings; through them, he is the world's largest operator of container terminals and the world's largest health and beauty retailer.
Li Ka-shing was born in Chaozhou in the Guangdong Province, Republic of China in 1928. In 1940 the Li family fled to Hong Kong to avoid the turmoils in China. Li's family stayed at the home of his wealthy uncle. The success of Li's uncle with his immense wealth ignited Li's determination to make a place for himself in the world. Li married Chong Yuet Ming, his first cousin of the wealthy uncle. Has 2 sons, Victor Li & Richard Li Victor LiRichard Li Li's father died in Hong Kong. Li was forced to leave school before the age of 15 and found a job in a plastics trading company where he labored 16 hours a day.
Plastics manufacturing In 1950, after learning how to operate a plant, Li founded a plastics manufacturing company in Hong Kong with funds borrowed from family and friends. 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 and hiring the best technicians he could find, he prepared for weeks for the plant visit of a large foreign buyer. Impressed with the quality of Li's plant, the buyer placed a large order. A few years later, Li grew to be the largest supplier of plastic flowers in Asia and made a fortune selling them.
Real estate In 1958, unable to renew the lease for his company, Li was forced to purchase and develop a site by himself. An opportunity to acquire last arrived after the 1967 riots were in full swing, many fled Hong Kong. As a result, property prices decrease. Li, believing the political crisis would be temporary, and property prices would eventually rise, bought parcels of land at low prices. By 1971, Li officially named his real estate development company Cheung Kong. Cheung Kong Holdings was publicly listed in Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972.
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. In the spring of 1992, People's Republic of China was implementing an open door policy and welcomed foreign investments. Li’s group began to make large scale investments in the mainland.
Ports and electricity In 1979, Li closed a unique transaction and acquired his current flagship company Hutchison Whampoa Limited from HSBC. The purchase created a massive conglomerate with business interests in multiple industries. The most notable branch of his business is the investment in container port facilities around the world, including in Hong Kong, Canada, China,UK and many developing countries. All in all, his business controls 13% of all container port capacity in the world.
Retail A subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, the A.S. Watson Group is a leading retail operator with over 7,800 stores. Its portfolio encompasses popular retail brands in Europe such as Superdrug (UK), Marionnaud (France), Kruidvat (Benelux countries). In Asia including health & beauty specialist Watson's Your Personal Store, PARKnSHOP supermarkets, Great Food Hall, TASTE food galleria, Fortress electrical appliance stores, Watson’s Wine Cellars and Nuance-Watson airport duty free shops. ASW is also a major producer and distributor of water products and beverages in the region with Watsons Water the top selling brand in Hong Kong.
Hardworking Innovative Charity Like simple lifestyle Farsighted “i nformation and communications technology unlocks the value of time, allowing and enabling multi-tasking, multi-channels, multi-this and multi- that.”