Richard Li

Richard Li
Richard Li
Born 8 November 1966 (1966-11-08) (age 45)
Hong Kong
Citizenship Canadian[1]
Partner Isabella Leong (2008 - 2011)
Children 3 sons
Parents Li Ka-Shing (father)
Chong Yuet-Ming (mother)

Richard Li Tzar Kai (simplified Chinese: 李泽楷; traditional Chinese: 李澤楷; pinyin: Lǐ Zékǎi) is the younger son of successful entrepreneur Li Ka-Shing and brother of Victor Li.

Li was 26th in the Forbes List of Hong Kong’s 40 Richest people for 2010. The same publication named Li as 773rd in the list of the world’s billionaires, with an estimated fortune of $1.3 billion.[2]


Education and early life

Li left Hong Kong aged thirteen to be educated at Menlo School in Atherton, California. To earn money, he took shifts at McDonalds and also worked as a caddy at the local golf course.[3] He attended Stanford University, studying computer engineering, but did not receive a degree; he states that he withdrew from the school for personal reasons after three years.[4] Nevertheless, later press releases from PCCW described him as a "Stanford graduate". The claim appeared on PCCW's website, but was removed in 2001 after increased media scrutiny of the matter.[5] Li stated in media comments afterwards that his company's publicity materials may have been "erroneous" and confirmed that he did not graduate from Stanford.[4]

Li acquired Canadian citizenship in the 1980s. His Canadian citizenship has proven valuable to him in his financial dealings, allowing him to make bids for PCCW to purchase stakes in companies such as Air Canada and Bell Canada Enterprises without running afoul of restrictions on foreign ownership.[1]

Business activity

Li is chairman of PCCW and chairman of PCCW's executive committee. He is also chairman and chief executive of the Pacific Century Group, chairman of Pacific Century Premium Developments Limited (PCPD), chairman of PCPD's executive committee and chairman of Singapore-based Pacific Century Regional Developments Limited.[6] PCCW is a publicly traded company. In early 2009, Li attempted to take PCCW private again, offering to buy out existing public shareholders at HK$4.50 per share, a premium of nearly 55% to the HK$2.90 price before the offer was announced. In Hong Kong, acquisitions must be approved by shareholders with holdings totalling 75% of all voting shares, and additionally by a majority headcount of all shareholders no matter the size of their holdings. Shortly before the shareholders' vote on the issue, some large existing investors in PCCW granted shares to roughly 800 agents at Fortis Insurance Asia, following which a shareholder vote to approve the merger passed by 1,400 in favour vs. 850 against. As a result, activist shareholder David Michael Webb filed a complaint with the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, resulting in an investigation by the SFC and an eventual court case against what its chairman Martin Wheatley described as "malpractice and manipulation of voting". Court of First Instance judge Susan Kwan initially approved the merger on 6 April on the grounds that such "share splitting" was legal in Hong Kong; however, the SFC appealed the case, and on 22 April, Anthony Rogers, Johnson Lam, and Aarif Barma of the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the SFC and against Li, thus blocking the buyout.[7]

In June 2011, Hong Kong's stock exchange approved the carve-out of the telecommunications and mobile assets by PCCW, which also has broadband television, consulting and property businesses. The exchange initially rejected the proposal in April due to regulatory concerns.[8] In September 2011 the final hurdles were cleared by Hong Kong’s stock exchange for PCCW to list its telecommunications assets as the city’s first publicly traded business trust.[9] On 12 October 2011 PCCW shareholders approved the plan to spin off its telecommunications unit.[10] The listing could raise more than $1 billion.[10]

In September 2009, Li bought the asset management operations of AIG, AIG Investments, for around $500 million.[11] Renamed Pinebridge, the business currently has some US$90 billion of assets under management.

Mr Li is a representative of Hong Kong, China to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and was, along with Mr Anthony Nightingale, praised by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, for “helping [to] raise Hong Kong's profile in this important regional business forum”.[12][13]


During the 2002–03 SARS outbreak, PCCW under Li's direction aided victims by providing telecommunication services to patients, medical staff, and fundraisers; namely, they set up video conferencing for quarantined SARS victims and volunteers to communicate with their families, telephone hotline support for isolated patients and communities to receive medical and legal advice. Li also established a story time program for children kept home to prevent infection, and call center support for charity fundraisers and community activists.[14]

Richard Li and PCCW also donated $1 million to the Business Community Relief Fund for Victims of SARS. Under his direction, employees at PCCW served the community through the company's efforts, and many gave up their free time to work as volunteers.[14]

Later, in 2007, under Li's direction PCCW volunteers participated in the District Elderly Campaign sponsored by the Oriental Daily News Charitable Fund, the Sun Charitable Fund, and Po Leung Kuk. The campaign' mission was to deliver gift packages to the elderly living in the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate.[14]

Personal life

Away from business, Li has served as a council member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, but his term as member and association with the University has since ended.[15] He is also a full member of the Hong Kong Computer Society. He is a licensed pilot, in the United States and Canada[16], and a licensed divemaster.[17]

In April 2009, Isabella Leong, Li's girlfriend and a former Hong Kong singer, gave birth to his son, Ethan Li.[18] In June 2010, Leong gave birth to Li's twin sons in San Francisco.[19]

In March 2011, Isabella announced to the media that the couple have ended their relationship. They have both announced that the split is amicable and that they will both take care of the children.[20][21]

Outside activities

In 2006, Li donated CA$1 million to the Canadian National Arts Centre Foundation, which led to the establishment of the Annual Richard Li Young Artist Chair, putting young musicians each year under the mentorship of musical maestros.[22]

Li is the Governor of the World Economic Forum for Information Technologies and Telecommunications, and a member of the Centre for International Development, the Global Information Infrastructure Commission.[23]


  1. ^ a b "Richard Li May Join Bell Canada Bidders", The New York Times, 2007-05-31,, retrieved 2011-03-13 
  2. ^ "Billionaires 2010: Richard Li", Forbes, 2010-10-03,, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  3. ^ McGill, Douglas C. (July 2005), "Empire of the Son", Wired Magazine,, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  4. ^ a b "H.K. tycoon Richard Li confirms he is no Stanford graduate", Kyodo News, 2001-03-26,, retrieved 2011-09-30 
  5. ^ Crampton, Thomas (2001-03-22), "Richard Li's Company Removes Web Site Reference to Degree From Stanford", The New York Times,, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  6. ^ "Topics: Richard Li", The Wall Street Journal,, retrieved 2010-12-09 
  7. ^ Tang, Theresa; Lee, Mark (2009-04-22), "Li's Blocked PCCW Buyout May Deter 'Share Splitting'", Bloomberg News,, retrieved 2010-12-09 
  8. ^ NISHA GOPALAN And POLLY HUI "PCCW Seeks Listing for TrustPCCW Seeks Listing for Trust", Wall Street Journal, 1 September 2011
  9. ^ Fox Hu and Mark Lee "Richard Li’s PCCW Said to Win Approval for First Hong Kong Business Trust", Bloomberg, 8 September 2011
  10. ^ a b AFP/CNA/ac "Hong Kong's PCCW shareholders approve spin-off plan", Channel News Asia, 12 October2011
  11. ^ Carew, Rick (2009-09-07), "Li Is Back in Game with AIG Purchase", The Wall Street Journal,, retrieved 2010-12-09 
  12. ^ Press Release "Appointment of Hong Kong, China's representatives to ABAC", Hong Kong Gov website, 20 January 2009
  13. ^ Press release "Re-appointment of Hong Kong representatives to ABAC", Hong Kong Gov website, 23 December 2010
  14. ^ a b c Richard Li's Philanthropy page, Faces of Philanthropy,, retrieved 2010-12-28 
  15. ^ Chinese University of Hong Kong “The Council", Chinese University of Hong Kong ', 2011
  16. ^ FAA "FAA Registry: Airmen Certification Inquiry", FAA, Updated monthly
  17. ^ Li, Richard, Bio,,, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  18. ^ "Isabella Leong a few obstacles away from becoming a Li",, 2009-06-16,, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  19. ^ "Isabella Leong gives birth to twin sons", Xinhua News, 2010-07-14,, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  20. ^ "Isabella Leong announces split from tycoon Richard Li",, 2011-02-28,, retrieved 2011-03-02 
  21. ^ "Talk of other women way off the money, says Li", The Hong Kong Standard, 2011-03-02,, retrieved 2011-03-02 
  22. ^ Apprentices with the National Arts Centre's Institute for Orchestral Studies selected to hold the title of Richard Li Young Artists Chair for 2009-2010 season, Canada: National Arts Centre, 2009-09-30,, retrieved 2010-12-10 
  23. ^ "Richard Li", Ask Men, 2006,, retrieved 2010-12-10 

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