Samsung’s Lee meets Hong Kong’s Li

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Samsung’s Lee meets Hong Kong’s Li

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Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, left, shakes hands with Hong Kong business magnate Li Ka Shing at the Cheung Kong Group headquarters in Hong Kong yesterday. Provided by Samsung Group


Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee met yesterday with Li Ka Shing, a Hong Kong business icon and Asia’s richest man, to discuss future business cooperation in fields ranging from mobile phones to construction.

The meeting was the first between the two business icons.

“Top managers from two of Asia’s biggest business groups - Samsung and Cheung Kong - talked about each other’s matters of interest and measures of prospective cooperation based on their own strengths,” said Samsung in a press release.

Also attending the luncheon in Hong Kong was Choi Gee-sung, the vice chairman who heads Samsung Group’s corporate strategy office, and the Chairman’s first son and heir apparent Jay Y. Lee.

Li, an 83-year-old self-made billionaire, is chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, and has an estimated wealth of $25.5 billion. Li ranked ninth among the world’s top 100 richest men last year.

Korea’s richest man Lee, 70 years old, has $8.3 billion in personal assets as of March, according to Forbes magazine.

The luncheon took place at the Cheung Kong Group headquarters in the Central business district of Hong Kong and the topics included mobile handsets, installation of long-term evolution (LTE) telecommunication networks, plants, construction and engineering, according to the release.

Lee expressed his appreciation for Samsung Electronics being chosen as the exclusive supplier of base stations for LTE networks currently being installed by H3G, a subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, in Britain.

Hutchison Whampoa operates a mobile carrier in Britain and through the contract Samsung got into the European LTE network market for the first time.

Samsung owns over 800 LTE standard-related patents, the most of any company.

Samsung has been preparing to use its LTE patents to its advantage in its upcoming legal scuffle against Apple.

The Korean tech firm lost its patent suit in the U.S. against the California-based company last month.

In July, Samsung C&T, a construction arm of Samsung, received a job from Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation to build the Shatin-Central Line of the city’s subway system.

With this deal as a catalyst, the two top businessmen agreed to step up cooperative efforts in fields they are strong in.

The two moguls also “exchanged in-depth opinions about measures to tackle the global economic downturn,” according to Samsung.

Chairman Lee left for Hong Kong with his wife and eldest daughter Bu-jin, chief executive of Shilla Hotel, a Samsung affiliate, Monday morning via Gimpo International Airport.

Until it released its press release, the Samsung Group kept secret the purpose and schedule of the chairman’s trip.

By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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