Li Ka-Shing: One of the Most Influential Businessmen in Asia

A determined man is a successful man, Li Ka-Shing is a man who had seen a lot in his life and turned his difficulties to the brighter side and rose to become one of the richest people of China. Born on 13th June 1928 in Guangdong Province, China, he was forced to leave his studies at a young age and take up work owing to the demise of his father. He is a known business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.

Li’s first job was at a plastic factory where he toiled for 15-16 hours a day. After grasping the mechanics of plastic manufacturing, he opened his own factory with his savings, and in a short, while he became the largest exporter of high-quality yet affordable plastic flowers in and around Asia, Europe, and the Pacific.

After a successful venture, he invested in the plummeting real estate of Hong Kong in 1967 after the riots with a superb and accurate vision, profiteering in the time of crisis. In 1971, Li officially named his real estate development company Cheung Kong Holdings and went on to purchase a major stake in Hutchison Whampoa Company Limited from Hong Kong Bank through Cheung Kong. As the revenues got generated and profits began to increase, Li further placed his foothold in many industries including transportation, financial services, retail, and energy and IT industry and utilities. Not only in China but he invested overseas in various ventures in Singapore and Canada.

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 but is still involved as a senior advisor. Not only in business but Li Ka-Shing has also been actively involved in the politics of his country Hong Kong and endorsed various political campaigns. For all these years of sheer perseverance he has been awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal of Hong Kong, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Commandeur, Légion d’honneur of France.

A known philanthropist, he founded the Shantou University (STU) and the Shantou University Medical College in 1981, Guangdong Technion, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in China. A tower has been named after him at Hong Kong University as well as Li Ka-Shing Centre of Oncology at Cambridge University.

In 2014, The Li Ka Shing Foundation provided a US$10 million gift to support UC Berkeley and UC San Francisco to jointly launch the Innovative Genomics Initiative (IGI). In 2018 Li Ka Shing donated HK$10 million to Food Angel, a program that provides hot meals for people in need. After his retirement in 2018, he has focussed all his energies on expanding his philanthropic ventures.

Popular for his simplicity the man is known to be humble and is succeeded by his two sons Victor and Richard Li, prominent figures of business as of now. He is said to be a peaceful person and has been awarded the Justice of Peace.