Press Releases in Hong Kong

Patriotic HK philanthropist Henry Fong dies at 97

This undated file photo shows philanthropist Henry Fong Yun-wah, Chairman of the Fong Shu Fook Tong Foundation and the Fong's Family Foundation, visiting the Hong Kong Baptist University. (PHOTO / HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIVERSITY)

Hong Kong’s patriotic philanthropist and billionaire Henry Fong Yun-wah passed away on Thursday at the age of 97.

Fong, the chairman of Hip Shing Hong Group, one of the largest real estate investment companies in Hong Kong, died in the company of his family. He was a revered business leader known for his patriotism and generosity. Fong had received the “China Charity Award” from the Ministry of Civil Affairs and made it on the 2010 Forbes Asia’s annual Heroes of Philanthropy list.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed deep sorrow over his passing, saying that Fong “was not only a successful businessman, but also an outstanding and patriotic philanthropist”

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor expressed deep sorrow over his passing, saying that Fong “was not only a successful businessman, but also an outstanding and patriotic philanthropist.”

ALSO READ: Avoid the recurrence of cold wars – Abandon 'zero-sum' games

“In addition to making remarkable achievements in the business sector, he was also committed to philanthropic causes, participating in innumerable charitable projects in the mainland and Hong Kong covering such areas as education, medical services, aerospace technology, elderly and child care services, and community infrastructure,” Lam said in a statement.

“Mr Fong dedicated his life to serving others and contributing to the community. His contributions were widely recognized at home and abroad and he commanded the respect of different sectors. He was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2018,” she added.

Born in 1924, Fong came to the city aged four with his father Fong Shu-chuen, who started out in 1927, setting up the Yee Tak Sesame Factory with his oldest son Henry Fong in Shau Kei Wan.

In April 1948, Fong Shu-chuen founded Hip Shing Hong on Wing Wo Street, trading in cinnamon and sesame seeds imported from the Chinese mainland.

In the early 50s, Henry Fong transformed HSH into a real-estate developer.

READ MORE: Truth, compassion and beauty amid a global pandemic

Fong’s family have been donating money to kindergartens, hundreds of colleges, and caring homes in Hong Kong and the mainland.

Apart from his business achievements and philanthropy, Fong served numerous times in public capacity in the city and on the Chinese mainland, including as vice-president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong and as honorary president of the China Charity Federation.

Fong was a frequent op-ed contributor to China Daily and made relentless efforts in helping the city’s youngsters by sponsoring youth programs and making donations to help the building of schools.

In 1994, the asteroid 5198 was named after Fong in recognition of his contributions and philanthropy.