Clans On The Run

As a new generation takes over, Asia's richest business families are being forced to change their cloistered, Old World ways

Name A Japanese corporate colossus, and chances are it started as a family firm--Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Toyota, Kikkoman. Hundreds of millions of Indians garb themselves daily in cloth made by the Ambanis or Wadias. Residents of Hong Kong can barely avoid contributing to the coffers of billionaire Li Ka-shing and his sons, who control office towers, supermarkets, electronics outlets and telephone companies. Business in Asia is a family affair, and the most accurate picture of an Asian economy remains a diagram of an extended family tree connecting clans that make things to those that finance them, with dotted lines sometimes leading to...

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