• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 1:32pm

Cecil Chao

Born in 1936, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung is a Hong Kong based real estate tycoon and chairman of HK-listed developer Cheuk Nang Holdings. Known for his flamboyant playboy lifestyle, Chao raised eyebrows the world over in September 2012 when he announced a HK$ 500 million bounty to look for a man who could win the heart of his daughter Gigi Chao, who is believed to be lesbian and have married her partner in a civil union overseas. 

NewsHong Kong

Money still can't buy my love, says Gigi Chao after tycoon father doubles 'dowry' to HK$1b

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 January, 2014, 11:08am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 January, 2014, 10:38pm

Even a billion dollars would not be enough to find a man that Gigi Chao, the lesbian daughter of property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, would be willing to marry.

"I don't think my dad's offering of any amount of money would be able to attract a man I would find attractive," she told the South China Morning Post after her father announced he had doubled the HK$500 million "dowry" that he had earlier offered in an effort to find her a husband.

In an interview with the Malaysian newspaper Nanyang Siang Pau, Chao lamented that although his initial offer of HK$500 million in 2012 attracted more than 20,000 suitors, none succeeded in winning Gigi's heart. "I don't want to interfere with my daughter's private life," Cecil Chao said in the January 20 interview.

"I only hope for her to have a good marriage and children as well as inherit my business."

He also insisted that his daughter was still single and said he believed it was not too late to change Gigi's thinking because she was only 33.

In an exclusive interview with the Post, Gigi responded to her father's latest offer.

"First of all, I'm concerned about his use of the word 'dowry' in an Asian country, as it is well known that dowry deaths are a human rights concern in India, and I don't want people to step backward on hearing this news," she said.

"Secondly, I don't think my dad's offering of any amount of money would be able to attract a man I would find attractive. Alternatively, I would be happy to befriend any man willing to donate huge amounts of money to my charity, Faith in Love, provided they don't mind that I already have a wife. Third and lastly, thank you Daddy, I love you too," she said.

In an interview in September 2012, she said her father's offer had made her realise she was "a really lucky girl to have such a loving daddy, because it's really sweet of him to do something like this as an expression of his fatherly love".

In her latest interview, she told the Post that the news of the new bounty had made her partner of nine years, Sean Eav, "distraught".

She said she had repeatedly told her father to stop talking to the press about the bounty, but "well what can I say, we live separate, private lives after all".

Gigi is an executive director at her father's Cheuk Nang property development company and spends much of her time doing charitable work as the founder and chairwoman of the Faith in Love Foundation, which works to encourage volunteering and to alleviate poverty. Gigi is also an outspoken advocate for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights. She is a founding member of the gay rights group Big Love Alliance, along with lawmakers and celebrities including artistes Anthony Wong and Denise Ho. The alliance works to reduce discrimination against sexual minorities through public education and support networks.

Gigi says her father's persistence in trying to get her married to a man had not hurt their relationship.

"I understand that he loves me, it's just he's from another time and it's difficult for him to understand the plight of the LGBT [community]. At the office it's business as usual. At family gatherings we hug and dance. And we just agree to disagree on what marriage is and family is," she said.

Pink Alliance chairman Reggie Ho Lai-kit said it was common for parents to go through phases of shock and denial when they learned of the sexual orientation of their children.

"Mr Chao is still going through the denial process, thinking money can solve any problem including those involving his daughter," Ho said.

Some parents, he said, would move from denial to acceptance, while others could never reach that stage. But they could choose how to handle the matter to avoid damaging family relations. "Parents should talk to their children on an equal footing … it is the biggest mistake to use their power to change a person," Ho said.

Gigi's receptionist has received some strange telephone calls, most opening their conversation with, "I want to be a billionaire!"

Additional reporting Amy Nip


Watch: Gigi Chao: 'Love shall prevail.'



Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Unfortunately, I fall in the category of 'having older generation ill educated bigoted chinese parents' where money and saving face is of very high importance. My parents would go mental oriental if I was gay and most probably throw money to try and solve the situation! GiGi's dad needs to accept, move on and get with the times. Epic fail.
This father is just making a fool of himself. The man who come forward and marry his daughter will take the money, then have mistresses - just like how Cecil did to Gigi's mom......
please like my comment to support me. i want to marry her and take one Billion, i will share with all those will support me by like now. come on! hit the click now. lol
This article comes immediately in front of my eyes when I enter this website. Is such kind of "news" worthy this place? Would it hit the front page of tomorrow's SCMP ?
Education has nothing to do with moral grounds and cursing your parents really shows how ungrateful and unloving a daughter you are and the real epic fail is being your parents giving you life and bringing you into this world. What comes around goes around.
When you have the money that you cannot take it with you when you die, and all you have is a daughter to carry your legacy, the money is just a commodity. Cecil should understand, after his own life's romance experience, that "the Power of Love is stronger than the Love for Power". He should simply donate his money to bridge the disparity of the wealthy and the "have nots" (poor is not the right word for not having the wealth do not mean one is poor as often the have nots have more heart and sensibility than those with abundance wealth - especially those that grew up with a silverspoon).
ludicrous turn of events. she could marry a man tomorrow but it'd make the whole thing even more farcical. at the end of the she's still a lesbian. dad just cares about his image, and is typical old-school in thinking money can 'fix' anything.
What's this? Double or nothing? Spare a thought for your daughter Mr. Tycoon.
With a father like this, it's no wonder Gigi's not into men.
Yes, it's nice to see that she realizes her father just wants her to have a normal life with a husband and kids and family...........that's all.......He has all the best intentions if you put aside the thought of the billion dollars and etc.
He just wants her to have a normal life............hard to achieve that with her present choice of partner.
So your saying being gay is not 'normal' and happiness is 'hard to achieve with her choice of partner'. Listen to yourself you bigoted imbecile. I suggest you google IVF and not have children. If you do poor them.
Based from your reaction it is safe to assume you're gay. Until the ban on same-sex marriage in HK is lifted you're still a moral abomination in the eyes of the majority and this is a fair response from a person you accused of being a bigot imbecile.
Lets rationalize and see where we’re heading:
In the 21st century Ho-mo-sexual is a choice. In the 22nd century bestiality should be embraced because love should have no bounds. 23rd century pedophilia will be acceptable because freedom of choice would include minors. 24th Century Incest is the norm because medical breakthrough will fix all offspring from the same family from retardation. Need I continue this slippery slope and point the way where to justify your so called "happiness"??
It once again proves that money is not omnipotent. The desperation and the sense of betrayal by his daughter has really broken his heart dearly, even for a cutthroat tycoon that is afraid of virtually nothing. I don't believe in the word Karma but I believe in the parable of "you reap what you sow"
John Adams
It could only happen in Hong Kong .....
You could not make up this kind of news ( or CC's offer !)
I'm sure Gigi is a great person...and any man or woman should be very happy to marry her, it's her father that's fken deluded and so backwards that he still thinks homosexuality is a disease that is the problem.
I hope she finds someone whom she is comfortable with.
first offer HKD 500 million...no takers...new offer HKD 1 billion....they think money can buy love (sic)!!
Amazing how one has choices when you're not worrying about putting food on the table !
I have read this article and I am really amazed with this problem." The rich cry too". But much more I am amazed with some of the comments. Are you people with the God's spirit inside or you are animals? Why do you put your "love" above all? Humans differ from animals because they have consciousness obtained during evolution. At this stage, having a well-developed brain, we must be able to control and drag the character( emotions, appetites, bad habits and desires) and raise the level of spirituality and culture, which is the fundamental and primary principle of any civilization. Are we going forward towards the Golden Era of humanity or stepping back to the darkness and hell? We must try to purify our spirit, our soul to achieve the God. If it is not a goal of a human life, why to live on the Earth? Such spoiled people are not interesting to the God. They are immoral, punished with the incurable diseases and actually dead. Such people fall out from the evolutionary process. They are harmful to the humanity because they propagate their indecent and immoral ideas, seducing chaste souls. Some of them, "doggers'', even copulate in public. People, try to stay the God's children, innocent and pure. Only living a normal family life and enjoying its pleasant moments of joy, harmony and happiness,people can keep their purity and innocence. I wish only A PURE LOVE to the good people! Keep prudence to deserve and receive the GOD's blessings! Elvira from Moscow
Woe to those who insist on evangelizing. If anything, it turns some non-believers off by these rubbishy sayings. Have some respect for others who prefer other gods or no god at all. If you must write, say something sensible, not fanciful rubbish. And pride comes before a fall: who do you think you are to judge other people? "Judge not, and you will not be judged." Remember?
Excellent publicity for business of the father and excellent publicity for business of the daughter.
I liked too but havent you already saved $724 million LOL.
I "liked" but I wonder if daddy expects to vet any potential son-in-law or if its entirely a decision for her to make. I hope she marries you and we can share the $$$.
SCMP, the first report of the dowry offer was funny. Now please stop giving this person further publicity. It is no longer funny and no longer news, and this person is hardly likeable for any reason. If you are out of things to report, you might say that I have no dowry to offer, and that I hope people got together because they cared for each other, irrespective of wealth. If that is naive, doubless other readers will put me right.
I hope I am one of the God's child. I will never have respect for the people without respect to the God inside their hearts. They are lost and their heads are full of fanciful rubbish ideas. I do not pay attention to such people at all. Christ said: "Do not cast pearls before swine". I was addressing with my kind wishes only to the good people. Please do not reply. I do not want to communicate with the people who are worse than animals. Animals are innocent because they can't understand the Truth.
Ah, as always, the rich love their money more than their children. The same the world over. I'm 48 and a mother and I can see this guy is an epic fail. Gigi seems to be a wonderful daughter, always full of forgiveness and love.
off topic: i wrote a comment yesterday which seems to have been changed by SCMP.
it contained the L word (i.e. a woman with same sex preferences) which has now been blanked out.
why on earth did that warrant editing???!
SCMP edited "N-i-g-e-r" in ****ia.
Stupidity and "political correctness" are alive and well at SCMP.
Love does not only happen between men and women only. Understand the idea of Gigi's father, he loves Gigi so much. He is a great father, no doubt. But some soulless marriage really bring true happiness for his daughter?
In fact, every parent wants their children to find happiness in what you want, is not it? After all, why should a private emotional issue public statements it? It hurt the feelings of the father and daughter relationship.
Mate I'm with you on this one! I live in London .... Thank god!
DUDE, dont worry, he can accept or not. at least he gave us a topic to chat and share and looks towards one billion. this news makes me happy that at least one day someone can "WIN" her heart and get one Billion. if even she is 80 years old i am willing to get marry with her. you know what? i will share my money with you guys. i will open a new bar where we can have fun, we can get so many chicks and so on........hahahaha.....day dreaming........i love it.
I always thought she was the wife and not vice-versa.
Her dad's offer is probably akin to that mainland recycling tycoon **** philanthropist...self-publicity. He does not seriously believe that money can buy love does he?
Я готов ты непожалеешь Николай из Украины knyazev.nikolay@bk.ru
Mohsen Elsemary
she is cute but thoughts and ideas cannot be changed this way !!!
Oxymoron- I totally find severe flaws in your comment.
!. "Ho-m-sexual-ity is NOT a choice - psychiatrists in Hong Kong, mainland China, India, UK, North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand all comment on their individual websites that "Homosexuality is NOT a) a mental illness b) a disease b) a perversion-" and this world-wide scientific body has also expressed together that "homosexuality CANNOT be changed, hence it is NOT A CHOICE, and people are born this way."
So I'd go with these educated men over your personal opinion.
2. Your second statement that "love should have no bounds" and then link it to pedophilia (a crime)
and beastility (an animal who cannot give consent) is a right wing Christian "red herring" and is absolutely irresponsible and values makes you part of your name, "moron."
3. By using absurd comparisons of human love to animals and pedophiles - you are replacing human love to SEXUAL ACTS.
4. Married straights or straights in relationships do not reduce their lives to SEX alone.
Straight people are more likely to be pedophiles as this is a diseased based solely on helpless sex of a victim. It is like rape - the act is about domination. Beastility is about domination of an innocent animal to have sex. You can't have a meaningful relationship with an animal - it can't talk.
5. Incest is a shameful act and all religions condemn it. It is predominantly carried out by straight persons. Incest is violent and non-consensual.
David Lloyd-Jones
"Contradiction" is exactly what "oxymoron" *doesn't* mean.

An oxymoron is a word which blends the meanings of the opposites of which it is comprised, so that's a very amusing error to make when one comes to the subject of sexuality -- where blending of opposites seems to be exactly the order of the day.


Lets rationalize and see where we’re heading:
In the 21st century Ho-mo-sexual is a choice. In the 22nd century bestiality should be embraced because love should have no bounds. 23rd century pedophilia will be acceptable because freedom of choice would include minors. 24th Century Incest will be the norm because medical breakthrough will fix all genetic defects that reverse retardation. Love is love, right?
The never ending quest for happiness and equality - In the future, morality will become a fad of the past, the new motto: follow your hearts and sky’s the limit !!
@SCMP editors of anti-freedom of speech. I can play this game all day long you bunch of moronic communist pencil pushers !
I love Gigi. Let's get married! $ Donated to Gigi Faith in Love Foundation. I live alone at home in Russia. PhDrDAK
how could i contact her
hai dear you make my friend
you add me fb
hey baby, will u marry me?
Want to marry Gigi.
Please contact +971505688258
The thing for free in life "Love" money can never buy. I can't believe 20,000 idiots actually apply for it.
"Дохлый номер..." На деньги чувств не купишь. Она со своим(или своей)кем-то там уже 9 лет !И представьте себе сцену расставания с её нынешней "половиной" :"Мой папа даёт деньги,чтобы мы больше не были вместе..." ??? Что в итоге? Скорее всего,все останутся при своём : Gigi Chao - с тем,кого любит,а Сесил Чао - со своими миллионами.
P.S. ЛГБТ сообщества - "страшно далеки они от народа"
Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, I want try! who I need contact? can I decide the place? "ROME".But I don't want money, if I going to made it the father need eat one time a day the carbonara that I cook.Lol
Девченка красивая я бы и без денег ее отца женился. Она просто запуталась
Ты,дружище,её голос послушай....
Judging again. Speaking to myself.
ur daughter is beautiful and ur rich why do u want to try like this......
it will be insult to her and her future life search someone nearer and dearer to u than someone who marry simply because of money interest.
A dad under the denial stage... Fortune can buy a family or love is just a delusional thought.
Does he have a 'normal' life? He doesn't, so why should she?
oh wendie, you are so enlightened , and so tolerant
let me guess , you have zero children, r u g m u n c her?
I think our likes don't matter. Its dad's like that's important. You would have to bribe himself somehow.
Dude, One billion and all i have to do is to get just a marriage certificate with his daughter. you know what i mean.
Agreed. So she's better off with her current partner.
He doesn't know anything about 'love'. He only has wealth and partners attracted by his wealth. So that's how he thinks, a husband for daughter bought by money, and all's well with the world.


SCMP.com Account