Biography Philanthropists

Joseph Lau

Joseph Lau.jpg

Joseph Lau
Born 劉鑾雄
Lau Luen-hung

21 July 1951 (age 67)[1]
Hong Kong
Citizenship United Kingdom[2]
Hong Kong
Alma mater University of Waterloo, Kitchener, ON, CA [1][3]
Occupation businessman
Net worth Increase US$15.1 billion
(April 2017)[2]
Spouse(s) Theresa Po Wing-kam†[4]
(1977-1992, 2 children)
Chan Hoi-wan
(2016-present, 2 children)
Children 6
Relatives Thomas Lau

Joseph Lau Luen Hung (Chinese劉鑾雄) (born 21 July 1951 in Hong Kong) is a Hong Kong billionaire, convicted felon and fugitive. He owns a 61% stake in Chinese Estates Holdings. His fortune is estimated by Forbes at $15.1 billion as of April 2017.[5]

Early life[edit]

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


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.[6]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.[7] Lau has so far escaped extradition and remains at large as a fugitive as Macau and Hong Kong do not have an extradition treaty.[8]


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[9] 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.[10]

Lau had two children with former assistant Kimbie Chan (aka Chan Hoi-wan) – a daughter, Josephine (born 2008) and a son (born 2012).[11] 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.[12]

In May 2007, Lau was revealed to be among the first seven purchasers of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet for private use.[13]

According to the Sunday Times, Lau owns a collection of 10,000 bottles of red wine, and is an avid art collector.[2][14] On 7 November 2007, he made the top purchase of the evening at a Sotheby’sauction by paying $39.2 million for Paul Gauguin‘s Te Poipoi, a painting of a Tahitian scene.[15]

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.[16]

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”.[17] He also bought her a Cartier brooch featuring a 10.1 carat ruby,[18] that he named “Zoe Red” at Christie’s for $8.4 million.[19]

In November 2015, Lau bought another two expensive diamonds.[8] On 10 November, he bought a 16.08 carat pink diamond at Christie’s for $28.5 million.[8] 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.[8] He subsequently renamed them the “Sweet Josephine” and the “Blue Moon of Josephine” respectively.[8]

On 7 December 2016, Lau married Chan Hoi-wan (Kimbee) at Hong Kong, they have two children.[20] In 2017, citing serious health issues, the business tycoon has transferred his 75% shares in Chinese Estates to his new wife and his son.[21]


  1. Jump up^ “Lau, Joseph Luen Hung 劉鑾雄”Webb-site. Webb-site. 13 December 2014.
  2. Jump up to:a b c “129 Joseph Lau”Forbes
  3. Jump up^ “Board of Directors”. Chinese Estates Group. 2012. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  4. Jump up^ “Theresa Po left behind a life in media’s gaze”South China Morning Post.
  5. Jump up^ “#247 Joseph Lau”Forbes. 5 March 2008.
  6. Jump up^ “Billionaire Lau Guilty of Bribery, Corruption in Macau”. Bloomberg News. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 12 November2015.
  7. Jump up^ Lai, Stephanie (19 July 2015). “Court of Second Instance rejects appeal lodged by Joseph Lau, Steven Lo”Macau Business Daily. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  8. Jump up to: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.
  9. Jump up^ Panama Papers: Future political star and Heung Yee Kuk lawmaker have British nationality, Hong Kong Free Press, 20 April 2016
  10. Jump up^ Lo, Alex (28 Nov 2011). “The man on Henry Tang’s coat-tails”South China Morning Post.
  11. Jump up^ Olsen, Robert (28 October 2010). “Tycoon’s Two Girlfriends Seek $1.4 Billion of AIA Shares”Forbes. Retrieved 21 June2013.
  12. Jump up^
  13. Jump up^ ABC News: ABC News
  14. Jump up^ Stephen Jones “Article 15. Joseph Lau: £3.937b”Sunday Times Rich List 2011, 9 May 2011
  15. Jump up^ (in German) Sothebys Auction –
  16. Jump up^ “Billionaire buys 7-year-old daughter Blue Moon diamond for record $48m”The Guardian. 12 November 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  17. Jump up^ DeMarco, Anthony. “Bunny Mellon’s Blue Diamond Sells For More Than $32.6 Million, Sets Two World Auction Records”Forbes. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  18. Jump up^ “AN EXTREMELY RARE RUBY AND DIAMOND BROOCH, BY CARTIER”Chistie’s. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  19. Jump up^ “Crooked tycoon buys daughter $77M in diamonds at auctions”CBS News. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  20. Jump up^ “【承認身份】大劉娶甘比 共同持有200億元華置股份”Apple Daily 蘋果日報. Retrieved 2016-12-21.
  21. Jump up^ “Joseph Lau”Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-07.