The city's richest man Li Ka-shing denies that he gave tips on "how to buy a car and a flat in five years" in an article circulated online.
The 2,000-word article, in Chinese, appeared early this month on a number of websites, especially mainland-based ones.
It quotes Li suggesting that income - no matter how big your salary - be split five ways: for living, making friends, learning, travel and investment. On investing, the tip was to save up the cash to start a small business, and when profits are good put it all into long-term investments. "Li's advice" on spending? "Spend money on others when you are poor, and spend it on yourself when you are well-off; there are many who do the opposite."
But a spokesman for the Li Ka Shing Foundation said yesterday that the chairman of Cheung Kong (Holdings) and Hutchison Whampoa had never given the finance tips. "There are many points and proverbs claiming to be from Mr Li that are circulated online, but in many cases they are not necessarily from Mr Li," the spokesman said, adding they had read about the article this week when it was picked up by columnists in two local newspapers.
One of them, in the Hong Kong Economic Times yesterday, claimed the article swiftly racked up 50,000 "likes" after it was posted on Facebook. But the columnist was sceptical about whether the advice really came from Li.
The spokesman said it was not the first time this had happened, but this time it was "serious" enough to need a clarification. But they did not intend to report the matter to police. He said anyone who wanted to read Li's speeches could find them and other company information on the foundation's website.