As Hong Kong companies race to reinvent themselves for the Internet Age, Richard Li, 33, is setting the standard. The son of tycoon Li Ka-shing has transformed what was a small property developer into Pacific Century CyberWorks, the biggest Internet holding company in non-Japan Asia. His controversial contract to build Cyber-Port, Hong Kong's Silicon Valley, with free government land, has pushed ahead Hong Kong's hopes of becoming an Internet hub. He has inspired a slew of startups keen to take advantage of Hong Kong's new focus on the Net. Li cleverly found a way to convert his paper into hard assets while the Internet bubble was still expanding--a bid for telecom giant Cable & Wireless HKT worth $29 billion--and used his family's unrivaled connections in Beijing to do it.
A favorite of Hong Kong's gossip masters, the unmarried Li creates headlines simply by going to the barber.