Li CHEUNG KONG HOLDINGS/HUTCHISON WHAMPOA

CHEUNG KONG HOLDINGS/HUTCHISON WHAMPOA

HONG KONG Li CHEUNG KONG HOLDINGS/HUTCHISON WHAMPOA Asia's richest man, Li Ka-shing, is preparing to pass on the keys to his empire. Which son will he choose--the steady, cerebral firstborn or the flashy, creative younger son? 2002 Revenues: $20.5 billion

Wealth will not pass beyond three generations," warns a Chinese proverb. Genes, the thinking goes, don't always carry the entrepreneurial DNA of an empire's founder to his descendants, who consistently dissipate the ancestral fortune. That quaint admonition must be weighing on the mind of Hong Kong--based alpha tycoon Li Ka-shing. Though he has given no indication that he is contemplating retirement,...

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