The tide is turning for Hong Kong’s tycoon families. All of a sudden, the younger generation has to work much harder to convince banks and investors that their money is safe and that their pet projects are sound.
Among them, Adrien Chengthird-generation Harvard-educated heir, and Richard Li“Superman” Li Ka-shingthe second son, are the most daring. At New World Development Co., Cheng developed his commercial projects under the K11 brand, betting that people in Hong Kong and wealthy parts of mainland China appreciate and will pay for artistic and innovative designs. Across the street, Li’s insurance business has been expanding in Southeast Asia, with the belief that consumers will want financial protection once they become part of the middle class. Both projects cost billions of dollars and were fueled by debt.
Hong Kong’s billionaire debt kings are losing motivation