|Member of the Legislative Council
30 September 2004 - 30 September 2008
|Preceded by||Szeto Wah|
3 July 1946 |
|Spouse(s)||Paula Tsui (m.1971-1979)
Irene Lo (m.1987-present)
Albert Cheng Jing-han GBS JP (Chinese: 鄭經翰) (born 3 July 1946), widely known as "Tai-pan" is a Hong Kong businessman and politician. He is the lead figure in D100 Radio (Global Chinese Network Limited) and was the chairperson of Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Ltd (香港數碼廣播有限公司), formerly Wave Media Ltd, a radio station. He was the host of Now TV's talk show, Sunday Taipan, on the Now Hong Kong Channel. Cheng is a former Legislative Councillor, when he chaired the Legco Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting. He also hosted a radio talk show and founded a publishing company. In 2005 he opposed the listing of the Link REIT on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
- 1946 Cheng was born in Hong Kong
- 1968 Cheng emigrated to Canada
- 1982 Cheng returned to Hong Kong and joined Sing Tao Holdings
- 1986 Cheng founded Capital Communications Corporation Ltd
- 1991 Capital Communications was acquired by Paramount Publishing Group
- 1994 Cheng became a host of ATV’s talk show “News Tease” (龍門陣)
- 1995 Cheng left Paramount Publishing Group and Capital Communications and began to host Commercial Radio’s talk show “Teacup in a Storm”
- 1998 Cheng was attacked and injured by thugs while on his way to work
- 2000 Cheng established 36.com Holdings Ltd.
- 2003 Cheng was tagged the “Chief Executive before 10am” because of his criticisms of government officials and actions to support frontline medical workers during the SARS outbreak
- 2004 Cheng's contract with Commercial Radio was terminated. He was elected a Legislative Councillor later in the year, helping to prevent the privatization of the commercial properties of public housing estates.
- 2008 Wave Media Limited was awarded a licence to operate a radio station. Cheng announced that he would not stand for Legco re-election.
- 2009 Set up the preparatory office for the first Digital Audio Broadcast service in Hong Kong.
- 2010 Received a Digital Opportunity Award from the World Information Technology and Services Alliance; WITSA for the invention of the innovative Mobile Link Service, a 24-hour personal emergency service for senior citizens
- 2010 Cheng was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star GBS by HKSAR Government
Cheng was born in Hong Kong and has family roots in Chaozhou, Guangdong. Cheng received his education in Hong Kong. He later became an aircraft maintenance apprentice, and obtained professional qualifications as an aircraft maintenance engineer in Canada. Between 1970 and 1981, Cheng worked as an aircraft engineer at CP Air.
In 1981, Cheng left the aviation industry and became an independent market consultant. In 1983, Cheng was invited by the chairman of Sing Tao Holdings, Sally Aw Sian, to return to Hong Kong and lead the Group’s advertising, marketing and business development. He left the company in 1985.
After consulting for a Sino-Canadian joint venture on the tender for a Light Rail Transit system project, Cheng established Capital Communications Corporation in 1986. The company founded Capital magazine and introduced into Hong Kong Chinese editions of publications such as Playboy and Forbes. The launch of the first edition of Playboy, whose cover girl was Miss Hong Kong Olivia Cheng, and of Olivia Cheng’s Photo Album caused a furor in society. Capital magazine, introduced after the 1987 stock market crash, was the most successful business/financial magazine in Hong Kong and introduced the rich and family listing in Hong Kong.
In 1991, Capital Communications Corporation was acquired by Paramount Publishing Group, of which Cheng became CEO, a position he held until 1994.
In 1999, Cheng took advantage of the dot-com bubble to set up 36.com Holdings Ltd, which was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market in 2000. 36.com was initially a website but it later launched Cup magazine, initially as a weekly but now published monthly. Cheng is still the publisher emeritus of Cup magazine.
From “News Tease” to “Teacup in a Storm”
In 1994, Cheng partnered with Raymond Wong Yuk-man and Chan Yiu-nam to co-host an ATV talk show “News Tease”, which became widely popular. In 1995, Winnie Yu of Commercial Radio invited Cheng to host the morning phone-in programme entitled “Teacup in a Storm”. Cheng’s relentless criticism of government officials and discussions on numerous hotly debated livelihood issues and current affairs made the talk show the most popular current affairs programme in the broadcasting sector. For ten consecutive years, Cheng was named the most popular radio host, and “Teacup in a Storm” ranked the most popular radio programme. Because of this talk show, Cheng was also rated as one of the 25 most influential Hong Kongers by Time magazine in 1997. In 1998, he was selected as one of the 50 Asia’s Stars by Business Week. In 2000, Cheng was named one of the 25 most influential Hong Kongers by Asiaweek and Ming Pao.
In August 1998, on his way to work, Cheng was attacked by thugs outside the Commercial Radio headquarters. He suffered eight slashes and the tendons of his hand were chopped off. He was hospitalized for two months. To date, nobody has been arrested for the attack.
During the SARS outbreak in 2003, many medical workers of the Hospital Authority called Cheng’s talk show to complain about the Authority’s slow action against the epidemic outbreak. In response, Cheng contacted and queried the concerned officials, and organized a fund-raising campaign to help purchase facial masks for frontline medical workers. He was thus hailed as the “Chief Executive before 10am”. He also ordered from a Canadian manufacturer 500,000 bottles of Vitamin C pills in one go and distributed them to primary and secondary school students in Hong Kong. Moreover, he launched the “One orange for one medical worker” campaign, which successfully raised approximately HK$100 million worth of supplies and services.
The Talk Show Saga
During the SARS outbreak, to safeguard the welfare of medical workers, Cheng ruthlessly condemned his friend Ko Wing-man, former Director of Hospital Authority, in his talk show. In April 2003, Cheng called Lau Kai-hung, Assistant Director of Housing, a “dog official”. In June, according to sources, the government would renew Commercial Radio’s operating licence for three years only. In the summer of 2003, Cheng took leave from the radio operator until autumn. This was seen as a move to reconcile the parties concerned and help the Commercial Radio renew its licence for a normal six-year period.
On 1 May 2004, Cheng announced that he would take leave again on the grounds of pressure and was temporarily replaced by Allen Lee Peng-fei, Leung Man-to, Tony Tsoi Tung-ho and Ivan Choy Chi-keung as co-hosts of the talk show. However, Cheng was suddenly dismissed by Winnie Yu during his leave and was forced to quit the radio programme. Yu and Cheng confronted each other over the issue on a number of media occasions. Commercial Radio later dismissed Tsoi and Leung as well, and suspended Choy from his duties on the programme. In October 2004, “Teacup in a Storm” was replaced by a new programme called “On a Clear Day”.
In August 2004, Cheng decided to seek a political position, and joined hands with Andrew To Kwan-hang, then secretary of The Frontier and Wong Tai Sin District Council member, to contest the Legislative Council election in Kowloon East constituency. The swift approval of his application to relinquish his Canadian nationality by the Canadian government qualified him to run for the election. Cheng won a seat with more than 73,000 votes, the most obtained among the candidates. In 2008, he announced that he would not stand for re-election.
During his service as a lawmaker, Cheng was a member of the Public Accounts Committee and chairman of the Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting. He was considered a pan-democrat in the legislature, but differed from the pro-democracy camp over the constitutional reform in 2005 and the nomination of his good friend Donald Tsang Yam-kuen as chief executive.
The Link Reit Incident
In December 2004, the Housing Department bypassed the legislature and injected into the Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Link REIT) the commercial properties of public housing estates, including 150 public shopping malls and 80,000 car park spaces. It also launched an initial public offering and planned to list the Link REIT on the stock exchange on 16 December. Cheng opposed the listing on the grounds that the public assets were sold to the Link Reit at too low a price. He thus supported the attempt of a public housing estate resident, Lo Siu-lan, to prevent the Link REIT from being listed on the stock exchange by initiating a case in the High Court on 8 December, accusing the Housing Department of breaching the Housing Ordinance. Although the case was overruled by the Court of Final Appeal, the listing was withdrawn since the ?suit did not close before the listing date. The Link REIT was officially listed in 2005.
Cheng’s opposition to the listing of the Link REIT was then criticised for hindering others from reaping profits. In 2007, however, with the increasing number of complaints about the Link REIT, the public changed to support Cheng’s position. Cheng also stressed in his promotion materials his clear objection to the listing of the Link REIT in December 2004.
Digital Broadcasting Corporation
Cheng reportedly married Canto-pop queen Paula Tsui Siu-fung in Canada in 1975 but was divorced in 1979. Neither of them has ever admitted the reports. According to sources, they were only lovers at that time; the pair got married just to help Tsui and her family members to migrate to Canada, and they had no actual husband-and-wife relationship. In 1987, Cheng married Irene Lo Kam-seung, Miss Hong Kong of 1981; shortly after their marriage, she gave birth to three boys.
In Canada in the 1970s, Cheng was active in various movements for minority equal rights. After returning to Hong Kong in the 1980s, he founded the Chinese Canadian Association of Hong Kong in 1987. He was also the chairman and a board member of the Society of Hong Kong Publishers, and the chairman of the Hong Kong Film Awards in 1982. In 1996, he set up the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association, of which he has been a trustee. The association provides the Personal Emergency Link Service for the elderly, and has been recognized as a role model for social enterprises.
- Official website of Hong Kong Legislative Council
- Homepage of Albert Cheng
- Homepage of D100 Hong Kong Radio
- Teacup in a Storm
|Legislative Council of Hong Kong|
|Member of Legislative Council
Representative for Kowloon East
Served alongside: Fred Li, Chan Yuen Han, Chan Kam-lam, Alan Leong
|Lost seat to Kowloon West|
|Order of precedence|
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
|Hong Kong order of precedence
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star
Recipients of the Gold Bauhinia Star