Chao Kuang Piu
Chao Kuang Piu
|Died||12 March 2021 (aged 100)|
Hong Kong, China
|Title||Founder of Dragonair|
Silas K. F. Chou
Ronald Kee-Young Chao
|Awards||Silver Bauhinia Star|
Chao Kuang Piu SBS (Chinese: 曹光彪; pinyin: Cáo Guāngbiāo; Cantonese Yale: Chou4 Gwong1 Biu1; 24 November 1920 – 12 March 2021) was a Hong Kong-based Chinese industrialist, sometimes referred to as Hong Kong's "Wool Magnate" given his involvement in Hong Kong's garment industry. He was one of the co-founders of Dragonair, Hong Kong's first Chinese-owned airline, which was subsequently acquired by Cathay Pacific.
Chao was a recipient of Hong Kong's Silver Bauhinia Star award in 2002.
Chao was born on 24 November 1920 in Shanghai. His father was a successful businessman in Shanghai. The family traced its ancestry to Ningbo in the Zhejiang province in China. At the age of 17, he had to quit studies when his mother died and his father was critically ill.
In 1950, Chao went to British Hong Kong to set up his business by importing wool-spinning equipment from England and starting his wool-spinning factory. He set up the garment manufacturing and trading company Novel Enterprises in 1964. His career has been noted for growing the then nascent Hong Kong textile industry. He expanded his operations overseas into France, Germany, Portugal and the United States through the 1970s. His companies emerged as one of the world's largest wool enterprises. Chao was one of the first few investors in Mainland China, setting up spinning mills, when the Chinese Economic Reforms led by Deng Xiaoping started in late 1970s. He was referred to as "Wool magnate" or "King of Cotton Yarn" given his success in the industry.
Chao was a co-founder of Dragonair airlines in 1985, with shipping magnate Pao Yue-Kong and Hong Kong-based businessman Henry Fok, along with investments from China Merchants Group and China Resources. The carrier was Hong Kong's first Chinese-owned airline. The company was subsequently sold to Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific in 2006. The carrier was subsequently renamed Cathay Dragon in 2016, and ended operations in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chao was the honorary chairman of the Wharton School's Global Alumni Forum in Hong Kong. He was also the Chairman of Novel Enterprises Ltd. Some of his other positions included being the chairman of the Board of Novel Enterprises, chairman of Dragonair and member of the Hong Kong Consultative & Selection Committee. He was also the honorary consul of the Republic of Mauritius in Hong Kong. He served as an academic advisor to the universities of Tsinghua and Ningbo, and was an honorary professor at Zhejiang University.
Chao's daughter, Susana Chou, is the first President of the Legislative Assembly of Macau, Macau SAR, while his son Silas K. F. Chou, is a director of Novel Enterprises which owned Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors. His grand-daughter is socialite Veronica Chou. Chao's eldest son, Ronald Kee-Young Chao (Chinese: 曹其鏞, born 1939), is also a director of Novel Enterprises and founded the Bai Xian Scholarship program in Hong Kong.
Honors and awards
- The Asteroid 4566 Chao Kuang Piu was named after him by the Purple Mountain Observatory
- Silver Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong government in 2002
- Wharton School Dean's Medal, awarded by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
- "曹光彪获颁美国"沃顿勋章" 海外私企内地探路人_财富人物_财经纵横_新浪网". finance.sina.com.cn. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
- "Biography of K.P. Chao : The Wharton Global Alumni Forum-Hong Kong". www.whartonhongkong07.com. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- "Hong Kong's Dragonair founder, 'Wool Magnate' Chao Kuang-piu dies at age 100: report ｜ Apple Daily". Apple Daily 蘋果日報 (in Chinese (Hong Kong)). Archived from the original on 13 March 2021. Retrieved 15 March 2021.
- "Founder of Dragonair Chao Kuang-piu dies aged 101". 點新聞-dotdotnews. 12 March 2021. Retrieved 16 March 2021.
- "Hong Kong Entrepreneur Series". cuhk.edu.hk. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- "Chao Kuang Piu, founder of Dragon Air, passes away at the age of 101". Archived from the original on 10 May 2021.
- "曹光彪前孫婿燒炭亡 - 20210102 - 港聞". 明報新聞網 - 每日明報 daily news (in Traditional Chinese). Retrieved 24 April 2022.
- "Welcome from the Honorary Chairman : The Wharton Global Alumni Forum-Hong Kong". www.whartonhongkong07.com. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- "香港富豪3.5亿美元捐哈佛 下一笔捐南加州大学_新闻_腾讯网". news.qq.com. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
- Sebag-Montefiore, Clarissa (24 April 2014). "Heiress Veronica Chou on her Beijing 'courtyard house in the sky'". Retrieved 17 March 2021.
- "Honorary Chairman - Bai Xian Asia Institute". www.bxai.org. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
- Jing, Sijia (22 November 2013). "Businessman Ronald Chao funds Sino-Japanese student exchanges". Retrieved 17 March 2021.