Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, has denied offering a set of get-rich-quick tips that have gone viral on the internet recently.
Li issued a statement via his foundation on Wednesday afternoon, saying an article carrying the tips purportedly made by him was actually not his work.
The article, titled “Li Ka-shing offers tips to buying cars and property within five years” and written in Chinese, has been circulated on discussion forums and social media since early this month.
On Facebook, a user posting a link to the article has attracted more than 10,000 likes, 12,000 shares and almost 500 comments so far. The author’s identity remains unclear.
The article says low-income earners can build up wealth and realise their dreams of buying property and cars quickly if they use their income wisely.
As an example it cites a person earning HK$2,000 a month, saying their income can be raised every year by dividing the income into five categories: for living, socialising, learning, travelling and investment.
“Whether you have a high or low income, remember to divide it into five portions,” it says. “Maintain this balance and you will gradually make large surpluses.”
The tips drew criticism from some Facebook users, who called them unrealistic and said Li was unsympathetic to people on low incomes.
A spokesman from the Li Ka Shing Foundation said on Wednesday the 84-year-old tycoon had never offered any such advice.
“The internet has often circulated so-called remarks or axioms purportedly made by Mr Li. These are not always from Mr Li himself,” the spokesman said.
Li was ranked as the world’s ninth-richest man in the Forbes rankings in January, with estimated assets of US$30 billion. The portfolio of his global business empire includes property, retail, telecommunications, ports and other sectors.
His story of success and his advice are often regarded as essential lessons by many in the city.