li gives media a piece of his mind on coverage of touchy issues
The continuing 3G losses did not seem to ruffle tycoon Li Ka-shing. The media coverage on him, his ParknShop and his son Richard did.
Mr Li took time during his annual post-results press conference yesterday to clear up what he considered to be unfair press coverage of certain issues dear to him, including the 'I-don't-want-to-sell-to-my-dad' PCCW sale debacle.
Did Superman and Superboy have quarrels? asked a reporter.
Mr Li replied with his own questions: 'I suppose you don't have a 16-year-old son, right? Where in the world can you find a father and son that have no disagreement? If there is such a case, the kid must have problems.
'Maybe you haven't gotten married, so you ask this question. Thank you for your concern.'
Richard, by the way, just turned 41.
The tycoon was also not too happy with the press coverage over the January codfish/oil fish mislabelling at ParknShop, maintaining the supermarket had acted responsibly in the case in which it sold an ill-making species as a popular and tasty variety.
Instead, he pointed the finger at some media for picking on him. 'You ask me about my feelings about the 10th anniversary to China: I think the most important thing is fair reporting,' said Mr Li.
Not just fair, but also accurate.
Mr Li ridiculed press accounts positing that he had donated a billion dollars to the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine - now the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine - because former dean Lam Shiu-kum was his private doctor. If fact, he said, Dr Lam wasn't.
But all this was fun and games compared to a response to an Apple Daily reporter. 'Only Apple Daily and Next Magazine have problems, all others are fine,' said Mr Li, who apologised several times to their reporters because he was not targeting them, but only the owner behind the publications.
In a city rife with media gossiping about tycoons like they were a band of Brad Pitts, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying's publications provide the most extensive coverage of Mr Li and his family.
Hardly a day passes without news (good and bad) about them. In the past 12 months, Next Magazine splashed the Li family on the cover of seven issues, including an exclusive report about the trip to Rome by Mr Li and his girlfriend, Solina Chau Hoi-shuen.
a mere asset trader? that's a laugh
Mr Li did have a chuckle, though. When a reporter asked if he was just an asset trader who knew how to buy low and sell high, but didn't know how to run a company, Mr Li laughed, and then said, 'I started working at age 12, and built Cheung Kong at age 22... I have worked 50 years with businesses in 56 countries... Perhaps you may want to do more research.'
3g woes persist for one operator
3G is not a buzzword in Hong Kong, but luckily is not a bust word either.
Three years after Hutchison Whampoa launched its third-generation service, the local mobile arm reported its first operating profit, of HK$247 million.
That means all Hong Kong mobile-phone operators made money in the most recent reporting period - oh, except one.
Sunday Communications, which was taken over by Richard Li Tzar-kai's PCCW last year, is expected to report a loss of about HK$200 million next month, similar to a year earlier.
state bank's fat cats
Who is the best paid executive at Bank of China?
According to the results announcement, it was Lonnie Dounn (left), the former chief credit officer.
As the first foreigner sitting in senior management at the state-owned bank, Mr Dounn made 7.91 million yuan for his truncated nine months of service last year.
The second-highest paid executive was Jason Yeung Chi-wai, secretary to the board of directors, who received 5.61 million yuan last year.
A total of 11 BOC executives made more than one million yuan last year.
Chairman Xiao Gang made 1.523 million yuan, or almost 5,000 yuan less than vice-chairman and president Li Lihui.