A Thai billionaire has been the latest to call for an end to the violence in Hong Kong with advertisements in local papers, linking local tycoons handling the financial fallout in the months-long unrest.
Dhanin Chearavanont, senior chairman of Charoen Pokphand Group Co., a conglomerate that controls the planet’s biggest manufacturer of animal feed and a top telecom company in Thailand, performed ads Tuesday in Ming Pao, Sing Tao, and Oriental Daily.
The mogul’s allure comes as businesses in Asia’s financial hub find themselves in a tight spot in the battle between protesters and Beijing over the future of the semi-autonomous city. Chinese governments have sent an unmistakable signal that companies failing to toe their line would face the consequences. Some local tycoons have endorsed the government, while others like Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing, have urged restraint on both sides.
The demonstrations, which started in early June against what some in Hong Kong view as Beijing’s encroachment on the town’s autonomy, have at times turned violent. The protests have shown no signs of abating.
For the Chearavanont household, Thailand’s wealthiest with a $37.9 billion fortune, according to a recent Bloomberg standing that the stakes are high.
Among Dhanin’s Main holdings is a bet in Hong Kong-listed Ping An Insurance Group Co., one of China’s largest insurers. The team’s CP Pokphand Co., an investment holding company, also deals in town. CP Group Senior Vice Chairman Tse Ping, a billionaire nephew of Dhanin’s, is the chief executive officer of a city-based pharmaceutical company.
The group began almost a century back when Dhanin’s father fled his village in southern China following a typhoon and started a new life in Thailand selling vegetable seeds together with his brother in 1921. Nearly a century after, CP Group is now a primary conduit for Chinese investment in the region.