Joseph Lau

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Joseph Lau
Chairman of the Chinese Estates Holdings
In office
12 December 2006 – 14 March 2014
DeputyLau Ming Wai
Preceded byThomas Lau
Succeeded byLau Ming Wai
In office
1992 – 18 November 1999
Preceded byThomas Lau
Succeeded byThomas Lau
CEO of the Chinese Estates Holdings
In office
11 April 2006 – 14 March 2014
Succeeded byLau Ming Wai
Chairman of the Kwong Sang Hong International Limited
In office
24 February 1998 – 18 November 1999
Preceded byPhilip Leigh Tose
Succeeded byThomas Lau
Chairman of Evergo China Holdings Limited
In office
1994 – 18 November 1999
Succeeded byThomas Lau
Personal details
Lau Luen-hung

(1951-07-21) 21 July 1951 (age 69)[1]
Hong Kong
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom[2]
Hong Kong
Spouse(s)Theresa Po Wing-kam†[3]
(1977–1992, 2 children)
Kimbee Chan
(2016–present, 2 children)
Domestic partnerYvonne Lui (2002–2014)
RelationsThomas Lau
ChildrenLau Ming-wai
Jade Lau Sau-yung
Lau Sau-ying
Lau Sau-wah
Lau Chi-fung
Lau Chung-hok
ParentsIp Sok Wun (1920–2015)
Alma materUniversity of Waterloo, Kitchener, ON, CA [1][4]
Net worthIncrease US$16.9 billion (February 2020)[2]
Joseph Lau Luen Hung
Traditional Chinese劉鑾雄
Simplified Chinese刘銮雄

Joseph Lau Luen Hung (Chinese: 劉鑾雄; born 21 July 1951) is a Hong Kong billionaire. He owns a 61% stake in Chinese Estates Holdings and his fortune is estimated by Forbes at $17.4 billion as of July 2020.[5] He is a convicted felon and fugitive in Macau.[6]

Early life[edit]

Joseph Lau was born on 21 July 1951 in Hong Kong. He has a younger brother Thomas and two younger sisters. He had his university education in Canada.


Lau owns a 61% stake in Chinese Estates Holdings.


On 31 May 2012, the Macau Court of Final Appeal confirmed that Lau and Steven Lo were involved in the case of offering Macau's former public works chief Ao Man-long HK$20 million over the bid for five plots of land opposite Macau International Airport. Lau and Lo were charged with bribery and money laundering. They both denied the charges and Lo earlier told the court that the HK$20 million was a preliminary payment to construction company San Meng Fai.

On 14 March 2014 Lau and Lo were found guilty of the charges against them in Macau's Court of First Instance. Lau was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, but he appealed.[7] However, the Court of Second Instance rejected his and Lo's appeals on 19 July 2015 and let the length of their prison terms stand.[8] Lau has so far escaped extradition and remains at large as a fugitive as Macau and Hong Kong do not have an extradition treaty.[9]


Lau married Bo Wing-kam (1954–2003) in 1977 and they were divorced in 1992. They had two children: a son, Lau Ming-wai (born 1979 Dec) and daughter Jade Lau Sau-yung (born 1983). In 2008, Lau Ming-wai's wife gave birth to mix twins, they are Lau's eldest grandchildren. Lau Ming-wai, a British citizen, is vice-chairman of Chinese Estates Group and is both chairman of the government's Commission on Youth[10] and on the steering committee of the HK$10 billion Community Care Fund, established in 2010. He was formerly a member of the Commission on Poverty. In 2011, he was part of Henry Tang's election team for the 2012 chief executive election.[11]

Lau had two children with former assistant Kimbie Chan (aka Chan Hoi-wan) – a daughter, Josephine (born 2008) and a son (born 2012).[12] In 2008, Lau became the grandfather of twins. Lau junior acceded to the chairmanship of Chinese Estates following his father's conviction in the court of Macau on bribery charges in 2014; Sue Chan, the elder sister of Lau's girlfriend Kimbie, became the chief executive of the company Lau founded.[13]

In May 2007, Lau was revealed to be among the first seven purchasers of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet for private use.[14]

According to the Sunday Times, Lau owns a collection of 10,000 bottles of red wine, and is an avid art collector.[2][15] On 7 November 2007, he made the top purchase of the evening at a Sotheby's auction by paying $39.2 million for Paul Gauguin's Te Poipoi, a painting of a Tahitian scene.[16]

In 2009, Lau bought a 7.03 carat blue diamond for his daughter Josephine, that he named the "Star of Josephine" at Sotheby's for $9.5 million.[17]

In November 2014, Lau bought a 9.75 carat blue diamond for his daughter Zoe, at Sotheby's for $32.6 million, that he named "Zoe Diamond".[18] He also bought her a Cartier brooch featuring a 10.1 carat ruby,[19] that he named "Zoe Red" at Christie's for $8.4 million.[20]

In November 2015, Lau bought another two expensive diamonds.[9] On 10 November, he bought a 16.08 carat pink diamond at Christie's for $28.5 million.[9] The next day, Lau bought a 12.03 carat blue diamond at Sotheby's for $48.4 million, setting new records for the most expensive jewel sold at auction and the most expensive diamond ever.[9] He subsequently renamed them the "Sweet Josephine" and the "Blue Moon of Josephine" respectively.[9]

On 7 December 2016, Lau married Chan Hoi-wan (Kimbee) at Hong Kong, they have two children.[21] In 2017, citing serious health issues, the business tycoon has transferred his 75% shares in Chinese Estates to his new wife and his son.[22]


  1. ^ "Lau, Joseph Luen Hung 劉鑾雄". Webb-site. 13 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Joseph Lau". Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Theresa Po left behind a life in media's gaze". South China Morning Post.
  4. ^ "Board of Directors". Chinese Estates Group. 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Takemitsu Takizaki". Forbes. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Did fugitive tycoon Joseph Lau sell a David Hockney painting for US$30 million?". South China Morning Post. 16 February 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Billionaire Lau Guilty of Bribery, Corruption in Macau". Bloomberg News. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  8. ^ Lai, Stephanie (19 July 2015). "Court of Second Instance rejects appeal lodged by Joseph Lau, Steven Lo". Macau Business Daily. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  9. ^ a b c d e "What a gem: Hong Kong tycoon buys daughter $48 mn diamond". Yahoo News. Agence France-Presse. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  10. ^ Panama Papers: Future political star and Heung Yee Kuk lawmaker have British nationality, Hong Kong Free Press, 20 April 2016
  11. ^ Lo, Alex (28 Nov 2011). "The man on Henry Tang's coat-tails", South China Morning Post.
  12. ^ Olsen, Robert (28 October 2010). "Tycoon's Two Girlfriends Seek $1.4 Billion of AIA Shares". Forbes. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  13. ^
  14. ^ ABC News: ABC News
  15. ^ Stephen Jones "Article 15. Joseph Lau: £3.937b" Archived 8 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Sunday Times Rich List 2011, 9 May 2011
  16. ^ (in German) Sothebys Auction –
  17. ^ "Billionaire buys 7-year-old daughter Blue Moon diamond for record $48m". The Guardian. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  18. ^ DeMarco, Anthony. "Bunny Mellon's Blue Diamond Sells For More Than $32.6 Million, Sets Two World Auction Records". Forbes. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  19. ^ "AN EXTREMELY RARE RUBY AND DIAMOND BROOCH, BY CARTIER". Chistie's. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  20. ^ "Crooked tycoon buys daughter $77M in diamonds at auctions". CBS News. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  21. ^ 【承認身份】大劉娶甘比 共同持有200億元華置股份. Apple Daily (in Chinese). Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  22. ^ "Joseph Lau". Forbes. Retrieved 7 May 2017.