Li Ka Shing is an industrialist, investor and philanthropist from Hong Kong, China. He was born on 13 June 1928 in Guangdong, China. The Chinese business tycoon is one of the richest man in Asia and the eleventh richest person in the world according to Forbes with an estimated wealth of $USD 31 billion. Li Ka Shing is currently the chairman of the Board of Cheung Kong Holdings, Hutchison Whampoa, Li Ka Shing Foundation and Watsons Group. He is known as “Superman” in Hong Kong where his global business is based because of his business prowess.
Li left school at the young age of 15 after his dad passed away and he worked to support himself and his family. He worked as a watch seller at the age of 17. He quickly became the best sales person at that time and he was hired by a company where he labored 16 hours a day to sell metal items. In 1947, he borrowed money from his family and started to sell artificial flowers. He later created his own company, Cheung Kong Industries to produce the artificial flowers and he hired the best salesman to help promote his business. In a few years, he became the biggest provider of artificial flowers in Asia.
In the 1960’s, the Cultural Revolution caused people to leave the country and thus the price of real estate fell tremendously. Li was convinced the price fall was temporary and would increase sharply sooner. Therefore, Li bought lots of land as an investment. Looking back at history, we knew that this investments certainly produced a thousandfold returns to this visionary tycoon. From industries, Li soon developed his real estate investment company and listed it on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1972.
Li soon became “real estate stronf man” in Hong Kong and he began to invest in ports to expand his business in real estate. In 1979, Li had taken control of Hutchison Whampoa Limited which he holds a 22% share. He had also successfully acquired the Hong Kong Electric Holdings Limited in 1985. Over the years Li continued to increase his investment in many areas. In 1999, he sold his 48% shares in Orange to the group Mannesmann for nearly 15 billion dollars. He also became an investor in 3G. Besides that, Li also invested $USD 120 million in the social network, Facebook.
Besides business activities, the Chinese tycoon is also involved in philanthropy. Li had funded many prestigious universities, such as UC Berkeley, UCSF and many more. The Li Ka Shing foundation was introduced in 1960 and the mission was to promote high quality of education and outstanding medical services and research. In 2014, The Li Ka Shing Foundation gave $3 million to Stanford University, The School of Medicine to improve its infrastructures. This so called “Big Data” will link Stanford with Oxford University to get new insight into new diseases.
His success is admired by many people as no one would ever believe that a young boy from China who had to do low profile jobs to support his family would become the greatest Chinese business tycoon. His hard work, patience, dedication and perseverance is a great lesson and inspiration to all aspiring businessman. With this wealth, Li is able to enjoy the luxurious lifestyle that we could only dream of. The tycoon owns a sprawling yacht and a mansion in Shou Ji Tian Fu. Besides that, he also owns one of the finest private jets which he uses to travel around the world.
In his personal life, the tycoon has two sons, Richard and Victor Li. Both of his sons are also prominent figures in Asia and continue their father’s legacy. Li is now 85 years old but he is still physically fit compared to many younger people. One of his famous quote of all times is “I wasn’t lucky. I worked hard to achieve the goals I set for myself”. Perhaps we should keep this saying in our hearts and mind and learn from one of the greatest businessman in the world. Li Ka Shing’s life has certainly influenced younger generations to strive harder in anything they pursue.
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