Superman’s Intervention: Here’s How Much Billionaire Li Ka-Shing Pledges to Aid Struggling Businesses in Hong Kong
Every cloud has a silver lining, the proverbial saying goes, and as much as it is nice to look at the brighter side of things in the midst of chaos, it is not easy to do so. It’s undoubtedly difficult to find the positive while there is relentless disorder around you.
However, if another man can show a single act of kindness, it somehow transcends into a ray of sunshine that can create a ripple effect. The richest man in Hong Kong just did that when he donated millions of dollars to struggling small businesses.
Hong Kong has been the talk of the town for months now because of the political unrest that affected not just the citizens but the businesses as well. The protests have caused disarray on how things go in the region – streets were closed, flights were canceled, etc. – that eventually took a toll on the stock market.
Billionaire Li Ka-Shing stepped up on Oct. 4 and announced that he pledges $127 million or HK$1 billion to the government’s $2-billion recovery fund. The donation, made through his eponymous foundation, was meant to help the small brands that were affected by the protests. Months before, the 91-year-old also started efforts to halt violence, putting out advertisements in newspapers in a bid to stop the hatred “in the name of love.”
The protests were sparked by the extradition bill introduced, which had already been withdrawn by its leader, Carrie Lam. Despite the pull-out, protesters are still restless, which speaks a lot about a bigger problem in the system. In September, things went physical between protesters and responding law enforcement, which prompted Li, who is called “Superman” in the country, to speak out and side with the protesters.
For the Youth
The billionaire’s statements asking compassion for the young protesters, whom he referred to as masters of our future, received backlash from a government agency. The criticism continued on social media and some even urged the government to seize Li’s land to solve the shortage in houses.
This was barely the first time Li expressed support for the youth. In June, the time when protests started, his charity revealed that it will be annually giving $14.4 million, or 100 million yuan, to Shantou University to cover students’ tuition in the next five years. Two months later, the foundation again gifted HK$500 million for the research facility of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Blow after Blow
Behind the giveaway of his fortune to various institutions, Li has suffered a blow in his net worth because of what’s happening in Hong Kong. In July, it was said that he was worth $27 billion after he had lost $3 billion.
Other billionaires who have come out to slam the incidences were Peter Woo and Merlin Swire. Clearly, Li wasn’t the only wealthy man in Hong Kong to have experienced the negative effects of the protests. The combined net worth of the 10 richest of the nation decreased to $15 billion.
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