Chairman of WahKwong Maritime Transport and Chaos family’s second generation, George Chao Sze-kwong died on Wednesday.
He passed away beside his wife Lily Ho at the Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital.
Yesterday, his wife and brother confirmed his death. Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, his elder brother said his sibling had been sick for quite a while.
“I am the only one left among four brothers,” he said.
George Chao’s three daughters and son and their mother were at the Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point for more than an hour.
Over the past decade, George Chao was suffering from heart attack and repeated strokes.
In 2002, while playing golf with CK Hutchison (0001) chairman Li Ka-shing he felt unwell and was sent to the cardiac section’s I.C.U of the Northern District Hospital.
In 2004, he was forced to be in a wheelchair and rely on walking stick because of a heart attack.
In 2004, a heart attack forced him to rely on a wheelchair and he had to use a walking stick in public occasions. He afterwardgo through a heart procedure, but underwentanother stroke two years later.
He was the youngest son of Chao Tsong Yea, and was known as one of the “three kings of the sea” in Hong Kong.
He was as protuberant as two other “titans,” former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa’s father, Tung Chao-yung and PaoYue-kongin Hong Kong.
Chao had more than 60 ships at the topmost of the local shipping industry in 1970s and 1980s. And moreover his firm was listed on the local bourse.
In the 1980s, WahKwongexperienced a HK$6.7 billion dues and afterwards delisted.
Chao auctioned many of his antique collections, reorganized his company and paid off all of its dues.
Chao amalgamatedWahKwong in the 1960s and acquired the firm in 1999. He afterwards brought the firm back on tracksuccessfully in the past decade and gathered a fleet of 27 ships by the year 2005.
After he became ill, Sabrina Chao Sih-ming his eldest daughter took charge of the firm who is also WahKwong’s vice chairman.