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Walter Kwok Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth

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What Was Walter Kwok’s Net Worth?

Walter Kwok was a Hong Kong businessman and real estate developer who had a net worth of $7 billion at the time of his death in October 2018. He spent much of his life as one of the richest people in Hong Kong.

As the eldest son of Kwok Tak-seng, Walter and his two brothers, Thomas and Raymond, were named owners of Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP), Hong Kong’s largest real estate developer, in 1990. In 1997, Walter was kidnapped by a gang leader known as “Big Spender.” Walter was freed after his family paid a $75 million ransom. The gangster was eventually caught and executed in China. Today, their company, SHKP, is known for building and controlling one of the most spacious property portfolios in Greater China, most notably the iconic buildings that define Hong Kong’s skyline. However, the gigantic real estate developer has experienced some level of controversy.

In 2012, co-chairmen Thomas and Raymond faced charges of bribery and conspiring to commit misconduct in public office. In 2014, Thomas was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. Raymond was cleared of all charges. In 2014, the Kwok brothers agreed to equally divide their shares in SHKP. Walter also launched his own privately owned company, Empire Group Holdings. Walter Kwok died on October 20, 2018, at the age of 68.

Early Life

Walter Kwok was born Walter Kwok Ping-sheung in 1950 in British Hong Kong. He was the eldest son of Kwong Siu-hing and Sun Hung Kai Properties founder Kwok Tak-seng, and he had two brothers, Raymond Kwok and Thomas Kwok. The family’s ancestral home was in Zhongshan, Guangdong, which was previously called Xiangshan. Walter attended Imperial College London, earning a master’s degree in civil engineering.

Career

Walter, Raymond, and Thomas gained control of the majority of Sun Hung Kai Properties at the time of their father’s death in 1990. Upon Kwok Tak-seng’s death, Walter succeeded him as the company’s chairman. In 2017, the Kwoks were said to be the third-richest family in Asia, with a $40 billion net worth, and in early 2018, Walter’s net worth was estimated to be $8 billion. On September 30, 1997, Walter was abducted by Cheung Tze-keung, a gangster known as “Big Spender.” He was released a week later without any intervention from the police after his wife, Wendy, negotiated a ransom payment that was rumored to be nine figures. In 1998, Cheung was arrested in Guangzhou and confessed that he had blindfolded Walter and kept him in a wooden container until the HK$600 million ransom was paid. Kwok was so shaken by the ordeal that he reportedly began suffering from psychological problems. He subsequently handed his executive duties over to Raymond and Thomas. He did, however, keep the titles of chief executive and chairman. Walter’s abductor was executed in late 1998.

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Under Walter’s later chairmanship, the media reported that Ida Tong, his mistress, had become very influential in SHKP’s decision-making, which led to Kwok making decisions without the consensus of Thomas and Raymond. In February 2008, SHKP released a statement announcing that Kwok would be taking a temporary leave of absence, and Walter later said that he would spend that time traveling to the U.S. as well as Beijing and other cities. However, in May 2008, the company formally removed him from the position of chairman, and his mother took over as chairperson. Kwok remained a non-executive director at the company until he resigned in 2014. In 2010, Walter founded Empire Group Holdings, which formed joint ventures with fellow real estate developers to bid on leaseholds of Government Land. In 2012, Raymond and Thomas were arrested on suspicion of bribery by Hong Kong’s anti-corruption agency. Thomas was sentenced to prison, but Raymond was acquitted. Some have suggested that Walter passed incriminating information to the authorities as revenge for his family ousting him from SHKP.

Personal Life

Walter began a relationship with Lydia Ku Chee-yung after his parents introduced him to her, and they married on September 15, 1982. The marriage only last six months. In 1983, Kwok wed Wendy Lee Ting-wing. The couple welcomed three children together, daughter Lesley and sons Jonathan and Geoffrey.

Death

On October 20, 2018, Walter passed away at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital at the age of 68. He had suffered a stroke two months earlier. After Walter’s death, his widow, Wendy, released a statement reading, “We are saddened to announce the passing of Mr. Walter Kwok, who left this world peacefully on the morning of October 20th, with his loving family by his bedside. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the supportive team of doctors and nurses, as well as to all our relatives, friends and business acquaintances for their loving care and concern.” Kwok reportedly left his nearly $7 billion fortune to his sons.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.





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