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HK tycoon donates for rural studies at PKU

Peking University, Apr. 26, 2011: A Hong Kong tycoon pledged to donate once again to PKU for its rural studies and survey.


Robert Kuok Hock-nien, honorary trustee of Peking University and chairman of the Hong Kong Kerry Group, visited PKU on the morning of April 18.



He talked with PKU students and had lunch with them in Nongyuan Dining Hall, which was built with his financial support.


Professor Min Weifang, Chairman of PKU Council, welcomed Kuok and his fellows in Linhuxuan.


Kuok has contributed to setting grants, establishing canteens and dormitories on campus, and supporting students’ social practices, said Professor Min who paid respect and tribute to the guest.


Kuok told his story as an oversea Chinese born in Malaysia, but still with love for the motherland.


Young students who wanted to start their own business should be ambitious, honest, and tolerant instead of greedy, suggested Kuok.


Kuok also appreciated the intelligence and universal vision of PKU students and promised to support cultivating more elite students.


After the meeting, Kuok communicated with student representatives from different schools and departments. He answered students’ questions about pursuing dreams, starting businesses, and charity programs in China according to his own experiences.


Kuok appreciated the students who reported their survey and research achievements in Baojing during holidays.


The county in central China’s Hunan Province is a pilot base aiming at poverty elimination with financial aid by Kuok Foundation, Kerry Group.


Mima Pianduo, the student representative and a freshman from Tibet Autonomous Region, presented hada and an elaborately prepared gift to Kuok and showed gratitude to him.


Kuok said that he will donate financial support to PKU again for the research on rural issues, especially models of rural poverty elimination. He hopes that more students could take part in rural research with their social responsibility, said Kuok.


After the dialogue, Kuok and his fellows had lunch with PKU students, faculty and staff members in Nongyuan, a students’ restaurant built with his financial support.


Background Info:

Robert Hock Nien-kuok (Guo Henian) is an old friend of PKU. He has supported financially disadvantaged students and invested in rebuilding Nongyuan Dining Hall and Student Dormitory No. 34A. He concerns about China’s rural issues, especially poverty elimination.


Kuok's father arrived in Malaya from southeast China’s Fujian Province at the beginning of the 20th century, and Robert was the youngest of three brothers, born on October 6, 1923 in Johor Bahru.


Kuok senior died in 1948, and Kuok and his two brothers founded Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd in 1949, trading agricultural commodities. Under the new post-colonial government, Kuok started in the sugar business alongside the government. In 1961, he made a coup by buying cheap sugar from India before the prices shot up. He continued to invest heavily in sugar refineries, controlled 80% of the Malaysian sugar market with production of 1.5 million tons, equivalent to 10% of world production, and so earned his nickname "Sugar King of Asia."


In 1971, he built the first Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. His first foray into Hong Kong property was in 1977, when he acquired a plot of land on the newly reclaimed Tsim Sha Tsui East waterfront, where he built the second hotel, the Kowloon Shangri-La. In 1993, his Kerry Group acquired a 34.9% stake in the South China Morning Post from Murdoch's News Corporation.


His companies have investments in many countries and regions, including Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, the Chinese mainland, Indonesia, Fiji, and Australia. Businesses in China include 10 bottling companies for Coca Cola, and ownership of the Beijing World Trade Center.


His political influence is attested by his having been selected as one of the advisors on Hong Kong's future in the run-up to China's resuming the exercise of sovereignty over the former British colony, and his minority stake in CITIC Pacific. He was also instrumental in conveying information and setting up the meetings between Malaysian and Chinese governments, leading to full diplomatic cross recognition of the two countries.



Written by: Lin Zhe

Edited by: Jacques

Source: PKU News (Chinese) and Wikipedia