The onetime refugee turned Chow Tai Fook into one of the largest jewelers in the world
Cheng Yu-tung, the Hong Kong billionaire who turned Chow Tai Fook into one of the largest jewelers in the world, died Sept. 29 at 91, according to a statement from New World Development Group.
According to The Wall Street Journal and other sources, in 1940, when he was 15, Cheng left Macau to avoid the Japanese invasion, eventually fleeing on foot after his bicycle was stolen. He was given refuge by a goldsmith who owned the original Chow Tai Fook store. He soon married the jewelers’ daughter and turned the chain into the largest in Asia.
His empire extended to include considerable holdings in real estate, through New World. Forbes has called him the third richest man in Hong Kong.