Tung Chee Hwa ran the family
shipping empire before becoming Hong Kong's first Chief Executive
Born in Shanghai in May 1937, Tung is the eldest son
of the late shipping magnate C.Y. Tung (Tung Chao Yung), founder of the Orient
Overseas Container Line (OOCL).
The Tung family had strong commercial interests in
Shanghai, but fled to Hong Kong in 1950 after the Communist takeover of China in
In Hong Kong and Taiwan, C.Y. Tung began building up a
fleet of tankers and cargo ships that today, as OOCL, is one of the world's
largest integrated logistics, terminal and container shipping companies.
Its fleet includes seven of the world's largest
container vessels, the 8,063-TEU (20-foot container equivalent units) SX class.
Along with tankers and cargo ships, Tung senior in
1970 also bought the old Cunard liner "Queen Elizabeth." He renamed it
"Seawise University" and began work in Hong Kong harbor on converting
it into a floating campus.
In January 1972, the work was nearing completion, with
the ship scheduled to sail for Japan for a final check ahead of its maiden
voyage in its new guise. But a fire broke out on January 9, destroying the ship
in spectacular fashion and creating what remains one of Hong Kong's most
While his father was busy building the Orient Overseas
line, Tung Chee Hwa went to the UK to study at the University of Liverpool,
where he graduated with a B.Sc in marine engineering. He then went to work for
General Electric in the United States.
By 1969, he was back in Hong Kong, working in the
family company. He took over as chairman in 1979 when his father fell ill (and
subsequently died in 1982).
In the early 1980s, the Tung family's shipping line
almost went broke during a global downturn in the industry, but was saved by a
restructuring that involved the Bank of China, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank,
and a group of pro-China businessmen led by the influential Hong Kong tycoon
Henry Fok Ying-tung.
A restructuring of the business saw Fok's group emerge
with a stake of 8 percent.
In October 1996, Tung handed over the running of the
family business to his younger brother Tung Chee-chen. He stepped down as
chairman of OOCL and of Orient Overseas International Line (OOIL) to run for the
post of Hong Kong's first Chief Executive.
In the final run-off of a stage-managed poll on 11
December 1996, Tung won easily, picking up 320 of the 400 votes from the
selection committee. His rivals, fellow business tycoon Peter Woo Kwong-ching,
and former Hong Kong chief justice Sir Yang Ti Liang, received 36 and 42 votes
Tung was elected unopposed for a second term on
February 28, 2002, and began his second term on July 1, 2002.
Tung Chee Hwa is married to Betty Chieu Hung-ping.
They have three children, all of whom live in Hong Kong. -
2005 March 1 CNN
Heir set to take over at helm
Alan Tung Lieh-sing, the eldest son of former chief
executive Tung Chee-hwa, has become an executive director of Orient Overseas
International Ltd (OOIL), paving the way for his rise to the helm of the
family's shipping and property firms.
Alan Tung, 37, managing director of wholly owned
Orient Overseas Developments - the holding company for the group's property
portfolio - was appointed to the OOIL board on Sunday.
The position would groom him to take over from
chairman Tung Chee-chen, the former chief executive's younger brother.
'It is all part of the natural succession process,' an
OOIL spokesman said, adding the company did not expect a changing of the guard
'In a family-owned business, it is not a matter of
Mr Tung Chee-chen, 62, has been chairman of OOIL since
1996, when his elder brother resigned to become Hong Kong's first Chief
Mr Alan Tung has been working for OOIL for 13 years in
various positions, including heading the family's privately held Island
Navigation, where he oversaw the purchase, building and financing of vessels for
OOIL and other firms.
He is an active executive committee member of the Hong
Kong Shipowners Association, according to director Arthur Bowring.
OOIL shares have grown almost 700 per cent in value in
the past two years, with a market capitalisation of about HK$23.5 billion (S$5
billion). - 2005 May 5 published
BUSINESS TIMES and SOUTH CHINA