New World Takes A Great Leap Back

Henry Cheng's empire is forced to regroup

Henry Cheng has long had to live in the shadow of Hong Kong's premier tycoon, Li Ka-shing. So in the mid-1990s, the scion of the New World real estate and infrastructure empire decided to try to outshine Li in the giant untapped market of China. Cheng also poured hundreds of millions of dollars into developing a fixed-line and mobile operation in Hong Kong on a similar scale to Li's Hutchison Telecom. The competition moved to the dot-com realm: Cheng arranged a back-door listing for his Internet company, New World CyberBase, soon after Li's son Richard engineered a similar deal for his Pacific Century CyberWorks.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.