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Billionaire Richard Li Teams Up With Peter Thiel on SPAC Bet

  • Asian tycoon and Paypal co-founder create $595 million SPAC
  • Li expanding overseas as China tightens grip on Hong Kong
Richard Li
Richard LiPhotographer: Paul Yeung/Bloomberg
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Billionaire Richard Li, who broke away from his famous father Li Ka-shing decades ago to build his own business empire, is taking a page out of his dad’s playbook by further expanding outside Hong Kong.

Since last year, the younger Li has stepped up investment in Southeast Asia, agreeing to pay $3 billion for a Thai insurance business and extending his insurance operations in Vietnam and Indonesia. He was part of a bid for a digital-banking permit in Singapore and -- most recently -- has teamed up with PayPal Holdings Inc. co-founder Peter Thiel to establish a $595 million blank-check firm for acquiring one or more Southeast Asian companies.