Heritage

Hong Kong Billionaire David Tang Dies, Days After Inviting Friends to a Farewell Party

The founder of Shanghai Tang and China Club passes away at 63.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and columnist David Tang has died at the age of 63. Best known for his boutique, Shanghai Tang, the Hong Kong native was a gentleman throughout his life.

A stickler for etiquette and grammar, Tang would regularly contribute to the Financial Times. His final article titled Wake Up and Smell the Coffee was released a mere eight days before he succumbed to cancer and other health problems that have been plaguing him for years.

“As I have been given by my politburo of medical experts just a month or two to last, I thought the best way to go would be to give a party where we can see each other one more time, rather than at a memorial service where I shall be dead as a dodo.”

While seemingly sudden, he seemed to anticipate his passing, as he had even extended an invitation to his friends that read: “As I have been given by my politburo of medical experts just a month or two to last, I thought the best way to go would be to give a party where we can see each other one more time, rather than at a memorial service where I shall be dead as a dodo.”

Unfortunately, it appears that the British knight would not live to see his farewell party as it is believed to have been set for next month.

The billionaire was the grandson of Tang Shiu-kin, a prominent entrepreneur in Hong Kong’s history. David Tang had worked for his grandfather and taught philosophy and English in Beijing before he started his own ventures. Apart from the popular Shanghai Tang, he also founded the private members’ club China Club, Dorchester’s China Tang, Pacific Cigar Co, and Tang Tang Tang Tang.

Tang's polished brand isn’t his only legacy worth remembering. He also sought to raise money for a diverse group of charities, such as the Hong Kong Cancer Fund, China Tiger Revival, Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, and more. He served as a member of the board for numerous foundations supporting the arts: Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts, president of the London Bach Society, adviser to the London Symphony Orchesta-the list goes on. Tang's work would not go unnoticed by many. In 2008, he was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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h/t: Time

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Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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