Boardroom battles, bribery, and kidnapping: Meet Hong Kong's richest family, who has lost over $2 billion since the protests began
MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images
- The Kwoks are Asia's second-richest family and the richest family in Hong Kong, with a collective net worth of $38 billion, according to Bloomberg.
- Billionaire brothers Walter, Raymond, and Thomas Kwok inherited real estate developer Sun Hung Kai Properties from their father, Kwok Tak-Seng, in 1990, Bloomberg reported.
- The family is unusually exposed to the sectors hit hardest by the economic unrest from the city's ongoing protests, Business Insider previously reported. Two members of the family have lost $1 billion each since the protests started.
- Eldest brother Walter was kidnapped and ousted from the family business before his death in 2018, according to Forbes.
- Younger brothers Raymond and Thomas were arrested on charges of bribery in 2012, according to Bloomberg. Raymond was acquitted while Thomas served five years in prison.
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Hong Kong's richest family is no stranger to crisis.
In 1997, eldest brother Walter Kwok was kidnapped by a gang and held for ransom, according to Forbes. A family feud shuffled the leadership structure of the family business, real-estate developer Sun Hung Kai Properties. And younger brothers Raymond and Thomas Kwok were arrested on charges of bribing a government official in 2012, according to Bloomberg.
The family now finds itself in a financial crisis: The anti-government protests that have disrupted life in Hong Kong for 12 weeks have wiped billions of dollars off their $38 billion fortune, Business Insider previously reported. Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam announced August 4 that the government would withdraw the extradition bill that sparked the protests.
Sun Hung Kai did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on the Kwok family's personal history and involvement with the company.
Keep reading to learn more about the Kwok family.
Kwok Tak-seng was a cofounder of Sun Hung Kai and patriarch of the Kwok family.
Tak-seng built Sun Hung Kai into one of Hong Kong's largest property developers before he died of heart failure in 1990.
In 1997, Walter was kidnapped by a local gang leader who went by the name "Big Spender."
In 2008, Thomas and Raymond ousted Walter from Sun Hung Kai & Co after 18 years as its chairman.
Walter died in 2018 after a stroke.
Thomas served five years in prison for bribery, according to Bloomberg.
Raymond now serves as Sun Hung Kai's sole chairman.
The Kwok brothers rarely sit for interviews with the press and few details about their personal lives and are known to the public.
The brothers also have a close relationship with their mother, Kwong Siu-hing, according to The Straits Times.
The anti-government protests that have gripped Hong Kong for 12 weeks now threaten the family's fortune.
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