Mr. Li Ka-shing is the richest person of East Asian descent in the world and the 11th richest person in the world with an estimated wealth of US$26 billion (as estimated by Forbes). His primary operating company is Hutchison Whampoa Limited. Mr Li’s younger son, Richard, is Chairman of PCCW, one of Asia’s leading internet and telecommunications companies.
Mr Li Ka-shing is the Chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited and Hutchison Whampoa Limited. Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited is the flagship of the Cheung Kong Group which has business operations in 54 countries around the world and employs about 240,000 staff. In Hong Kong alone, the Group includes nine listed companies with a combined market capitalization of approximately HKD600 billion (30 June 2009). Hutchison Whampoa Limited is a Fortune Global 500 company.
Born in 1928 in Chiu Chow, a coastal city in the southeastern part of China, Mr Li fled to Hong Kong with his family to avoid the perils of war. His father suffered from tuberculosis and passed away in Hong Kong. Shouldering the responsibility of looking after the livelihood of the family, Mr 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. By 1950, his hard work, prudence and his pursuit of excellence had enabled him to start his own company, Cheung Kong Industries. From manufacturing plastics, Mr Li led and 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 continued to expand by acquiring Hutchison Whampoa and Hongkong Electric Holdings Limited in 1979 and 1985 respectively.
Based in Hong Kong, the Cheung Kong Group’s businesses encompass such diverse areas as property development and investment, real estate agency and estate management, hotels, telecommunications and e-commerce, finance and investments, retail, ports and related services, energy, infrastructure projects and materials, media, and biotechnology. Mr Li is a strong believer in synergy — the power of combined efforts. This belief is reflected in his naming his company Cheung Kong Holdings after the Yangtze River that flows through China, a great river that aggregates countless streams and tributaries. The Times in the United Kingdom and Ernst & Young UK jointly named Mr Li as the Entrepreneur of the Millennium at the turn of the century.
http://www.hutchison-whampoa.com/eng/about/chairman/chairman.htm 30 June 2009