Li Ka-shing's "confidant" is on Forbes, never fighting for fame, and helping Li Ka-shing regain the richest man in Hong Kong

author:Brother Hong talked about business

On the Forbes 2024 Hong Kong Rich List, a female face has attracted many eyeballs. She is Zhou Kaixuan, who ranked 35th with a net worth of $2.3 billion on the list for the first time, becoming an out-and-out dark horse. Everyone pays attention to her, not only because of her wealthy status, but also because she is Li Ka-shing's confidante. Someone will definitely say sourly that her wealth must have been given by Li Ka-shing. In fact, a lot of people underestimate this woman's business acumen. A project at the Oriental Plaza in Beijing is enough to see Zhou Kaixuan's shrewdness.

For 30 years, Zhou Kaixuan has accompanied Li Ka-shing, helping him not only to take care of his business, but also to take care of his daily life. It is rumored that their accommodation is only five minutes away, and they often dine, shop, and walk together. However, what is puzzling is that Zhou Kaixuan has never officially married Li Ka-shing in the past 30 years, nor has she received a share of wealthy property, how did she accumulate a net worth of tens of billions in silence? Why did she get a different look at Li Ka-shing?

Li Ka-shing's "confidant" is on Forbes, never fighting for fame, and helping Li Ka-shing regain the richest man in Hong Kong

As Zhou Kaixuan said: "I am not an appendage of Li Ka-shing, but a completely independent individual." In fact, many of Li Ka-shing's successful investments have the shadow of Zhou Kaixuan. Zhou Kaixuan's family background is quite mysterious and a bit unclear. Let's say she has no money, she studied at a top girls' school in Hong Kong. Let's say that she has money, everyone else is picked up by luxury car, and she walks to school. But this seemingly ordinary girl is usually arrogant. At the age of 18, after Zhou Kaixuan's internship in the radio station, he invited the leaders and colleagues to the well-known "Kowloon Tong Club" to hold a thank-you banquet. This is a high-end club, the entrance fee is as high as more than 200,000 yuan, and the young Zhou Kaixuan shows such a "heroic", which is impressive.

When the two met, Li Ka-shing was already a 65-year-old business giant, while Zhou Kaixuan, 32 years old, was still a rising star in the business world. In the golden age of Hong Kong real estate, Zhou Kaixuan had a unique vision and made a lot of money on several investments. Later, Zhou Kaixuan set his sights on the mainland and decided to start with the prime location of Wangfujing in Beijing. Zhou Kaixuan personally stepped on the spot and walked through every street and alley in Wangfujing. When told that she couldn't buy just one piece of land, she boldly decided, "Then buy it all!" "It was originally planned to be 10,000 square meters, but now it has become 100,000 square meters.

Li Ka-shing's "confidant" is on Forbes, never fighting for fame, and helping Li Ka-shing regain the richest man in Hong Kong

With such a big investment and big risks, she can't afford to rely on her as a real estate developer, so she thought of Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Hong Kong. But as a fledgling, she did not regard Li Ka-shing as a high god, but confidently walked into his office and boldly presented her research results. Rumor has it that she has prepared a number of drawers full of detailed information. But a miracle happened, and within five minutes, Li Ka-shing decided to invest $2 billion in the joint development of the land. When Zhou Kaixuan asked for a 2.5% commission, Li Ka-shing looked at the future profit of more than 100%, and shook hands without saying a word.

The negotiations, short and decisive, resulted in the largest real estate development project in Beijing since the founding of the People's Republic of China. Next, Zhou Kaixuan began to show her talent and courage again, almost single-handedly completing negotiations with about 1,800 households on Chang'an Avenue, successfully relocating more than 100 units, and presenting the project to Li Ka-shing. Five years later, the land became known as the "Oriental Plaza", and Zhou Kaixuan was paid a whopping HK$400 million.

Li Ka-shing's "confidant" is on Forbes, never fighting for fame, and helping Li Ka-shing regain the richest man in Hong Kong

At that time, Zhou Kaixuan was 37 years old and Li Ka-shing was 70 years old. Since then, she and Li Ka-shing have begun a deep friendship for decades, cherishing each other and supporting each other. Zhou Kaixuan's success in the project also allowed her to gradually enter the internal circle of Cheung Kong Industrial. But Zhou Kaixuan knew in her heart that she was not interested in real estate projects, and she wanted to find something more challenging. In the mid-90s, when the Internet began to rise, Zhou Kaixuan saw this big opportunity, and she strongly recommended Li Ka-shing to invest in the Internet. Although Li Ka-shing has always had a principle of "don't do it if you don't know it", Zhou Kaixuan actually invited Yang Zhiyuan, the founder of Yahoo. After Yang Zhiyuan came, he really didn't come in vain, he really helped Zhou Kaixuan persuade Li Ka-shing. Later, the two founded TOM Group together, with Zhou Kaixuan as the CEO. She only invested 300,000 yuan and became the second largest shareholder. By 2000, TOM Group went public, and its market value skyrocketed to 30 billion Hong Kong dollars, and Zhou Kaixuan's wealth skyrocketed overnight.

In 2007, Zhou Kaixuan came to persuade Li Ka-shing to join Facebook. At that time, Facebook did not make much money, but Li Ka-shing did not hesitate to shell out $60 million. Sure enough, Facebook went public in 2012, and Li Ka-shing's money increased fivefold. In 2013, Zhou Kaixuan pulled Li Ka-shing to join Zoom. When the epidemic hit in 2020, Zoom's stock price soared because of its ability to work online and teach. The market value once exceeded $160 billion, and Zhou Kaixuan's Zoom shares were once worth more than $13 billion.

Li Ka-shing's "confidant" is on Forbes, never fighting for fame, and helping Li Ka-shing regain the richest man in Hong Kong

Zhou Kaixuan's journey, from a nobody to Hong Kong's top rich, relies on her keen business sense and bold decision-making.

Unlike those who typically rely on men to climb high branches, Zhou's style and strength have always been evident. She not only founded her own charity fund to support women in pursuing their career dreams, but also built a number of hope primary schools in the mainland.

In the face of gender issues, she said firmly: "I am not their appendage, I am an independent individual." My friends are all their own people. Referring to her relationship with Li Ka-shing, she also said boldly: "In the relationship between men and women, the most reliable thing is to see if the other party is an irreplaceable friend in your life." That's my principle. With such a relationship, you can be fearless and keep the other person by your side for a long time. It's simple, but it's hard to do. ”

For Miss Zhou, who has been frank and bright all the way, who would dare to compare her with those women who only revolve around the rich and ridicule her for "not marrying into a wealthy family"?

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