Some billionaires born in the Year of the Dragon

By Ha Thu   February 11, 2024 | 04:39 am PT
Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka Shing, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey… were all born in the Year of Dragon in the Chinese zodiac.

Lee Shau Kee

Lee Shau-kee trong một cuộc họp báo ở Hong Kong (Trung Quốc) năm 2015. Ảnh: Reuters

Lee Shau Kee at a press conference in Hong Kong, China in 2015. Photo by Reuters

Age: 96

Assets: US$26.9 billion

Nationality: Chinese

In 1963 Lee Shau Kee co-founded Hong Kong’s leading real estate firm Sun Hung Kai with Kwok Tak Seng, the father of the two billionaire Kwok brothers. Ten years later he left the company to establish Henderson Land Development. This real estate firm is still the billionaire’s largest source of wealth. In 2019 he retired at the age of 91, after appointing his son as the firm’s chairman. Lee Shau Kee is admired for his astute investment style.

Li Ka-shing

Li Ka-shing trong sự kiện thông báo nghỉ hưu tại Hong Kong (Trung Quốc) năm 2018. Ảnh: Reuters

Billionaire Li Ka Shing announces his retirement in Hong Kong in 2018. Photo by Reuters

Age: 96

Assets: $36.2 billion

Nationality: Chinese

Li Ka Shing is called "Superman" in Hong Kong because of his business acumen. He was born in mainland China and came to Hong Kong at the age of 12. He had a difficult childhood, had to work hard and dropped out of school after his father passed away. In his youth he was a worker, and when he saved a small amount of money he invested in a plastic factory in 1950.

In just a few years he became the largest supplier of plastic flowers in Asia. By the age of 30 he had earned enough money to retire comfortably, but decided not to stop there. His CK Hutchison empire is increasingly expanding into many businesses. For many years, Li Ka Shing has remained the richest person in Hong Kong and is considered the person who changed its destiny.

Joseph Tsai

Joseph Tsai tại một sự kiện ở California (Mỹ) tháng 10/2017. Ảnh: Reuters

Joseph Tsai at an event in California, the U.S., in October 2017. Photo by Reuters

Age: 60

Assets: $8.5 billion

Nationality: Canadian

Joseph Tsai was born into a family of famous lawyers in Taiwan, and went to the U.S. to study in high school. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1990 and worked at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. After three years he moved to the private equity industry.

Tsai first met Chinese businessman Jack Ma in 1999 in the Chinese city of Hangzhou through a friend. Tsai later became one of the co-founders of e-commerce giant Alibaba. He is considered Jack Ma’s sidekick, helping Alibaba become an international giant. He directed almost all of Alibaba’s initial capital raising negotiations, and participated in dozens of M&A deals. He is also the person who sold Alibaba’s IPO to investors.

Wu Yajun

Ảnh: VCG

Wu Yajun at a press conference in Hong Kong in 2015. Photo by VCG

Age: 60

Assets: $5.6 billion

Nationality: Chinese

Wu Yajun graduated from university with a degree in engineering, and worked at a factory in China. Some time later she worked as a reporter for a newspaper in the Chinese city of Chongqing. In 1993 she co-founded with her ex-husband Cai Kui real estate company Longfor Properties (China) that specialized in building apartments.

In 2021 it was in the Fortune 500 list of companies with the highest revenues. Wu was once the richest woman billionaire in China, but lost the position after her divorce in 2012. She quit as chairwoman of Longfor in October 2022.

Giovanni Ferrero

Giovanni Ferrero tại tang lễ của người cha Michele Ferrero năm 2015. Ảnh: Reuters

Giovanni Ferrero at the funeral of his father Michele Ferrero in 2015. Photo by Reuters

Age: 60

Assets: $39.5 billion

Nationality: Italian

Giovanni Ferrero, 60, is the youngest son of Michele Ferrero, founder of Ferrero confectionery, famous for Nutella hazelnut chocolate jam, Tic Tac candy, Kinder chocolate, and Butterfinger candy. He is currently the richest person in Italy.

Giovani studied marketing at Lebanon Valley University in the U.S. After graduating he joined the family company, working with his father and brother. His first job was at the Tic Tac candy manufacturing branch in Belgium.

Jack Ma

Jack Ma tại một diễn đàn về Internet ở Chiết Giang (Trung Quốc) năm 2017. Ảnh: Reuters

Jack Ma at an Internet forum in the Chinese province of Zhejiang in 2017. Photo by Reuters

Age: 60

Assets: $24.4

Nationality: Chinese

Jack Ma is the co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. He had been the richest man in China for many years and is a symbol of the startup generation in the country.

Jack Ma resigned as chairman of Alibaba in 2019 and quit its board of directors in 2020. But he still wields great influence over the company. He traveled to many countries to study agriculture. He hopes to establish a charitable foundation focusing on education.

Jan Koum

Jan Koum tại Hội nghị Di động Thế giới (MWC) tại Tây Ban Nha năm 2014. Ảnh: Reuters

Jan Koum at the Mobile World Congress in Spain in 2014. Photo by Reuters

Age: 48

Assets: $15.6 billion

Nationality: American

At the age of 16 Jan Koum and his mother emigrated from Ukraine to America. Both had a hard time adapting to their new life, living on government entitlements. Later Koum taught himself computers and co-founded the mobile messaging application WhatsApp. In February 2014 the app was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, turning both co-founders into billionaires.

Jack Dorsey

Đồng sáng lập Twitter và Square Jack Dorsey trong buổi phỏng vấn với Reuters năm 2019. Ảnh: Reuters

Co-founder of Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey during an interview in 2019. Photo by Reuters

Age: 48

Assets: $4.2 billion

Nationality: American

Jack Dorsey co-founded Twitter (now renamed X) in 2006 with Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Twitter made an IPO seven years later, helping him become a billionaire. Dorsey quit as CEO position in 2007 but returned in 2015. In 2021 he stepped down as CEO and chairman of the company. Dorsey currently focuses on managing payment company Block, formerly Square.

Travis Kalanick

Đồng sáng lập Uber Travis Kalanick tại một sự kiện California (Mỹ) tháng 2/2019. Ảnh: Reuters

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick at an event in California, the U.S., in February 2019. Photo by Reuters

Age: 48

Assets: $3.6 billion

Nationality: American

Travis Kalanick co-founded ride-hailing company Uber in 2009 and built it into the world’s most valuable startup. In 2017 he resigned as CEO after a series of scandals around the working environment, trade secrets and disputes with the company’s own drivers. In 2019 he quit the company’s board of directors.

Kalanick currently runs a startup called CloudKitchens, which seeks to create "smart kitchens for takeout-only restaurants" and is funded by Microsoft and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund.

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