Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.

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Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. is "a Hong Kong-based commercial empire founded and largely owned by" Chinese multi-billionaire Li Ka Shing. [1]

The Center for Security Policy reported in August 2002 that U.S. intelligence believed that Li, who is "closely tied to the Communist leadership in Beijing, [had] turned Hutchison into a global colossus described in a recent company press release as having 'over 120,000 employees worldwide, operat[ing] and invest[ing] in five core businesses in 37 countries: telecommunications; ports and related services; property and hotels; retail and manufacturing; and energy and infrastructure.'"

The Center noted that "one of Hutchison's subsidiaries secured long-term leases at either end of the Panama Canal" in 1999 and was, in 2002, "hard at work acquiring a presence for China at other strategic 'choke points' around the world, including notably the Caribbean's Bahamas, the Mediterranean's Malta and the Persian Gulf's Straits of Hormuz. At a moment inconvenient to the United States, such access could translate into physical or other obstacles to our use of such waterways."

Chinese "Security" Connections

Li Ka Shing, who owns the "huge shipping firm Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and the giant Far East investment firm Cheong Kong Holdings," was "also a 'member of the boards of directors of the China International Trust and Investment Corporation (CITIC)'," Charles R. Smith wrote February 27, 2006, for NewsMax. "CITIC is the bank of the Chinese army (People's Liberation Army, or PLA), providing financing for Chinese army weapons sales and Western technology purchases. CITIC is known to have set up Chinese arms front companies such as Poly Technologies.

"CITIC also owns a controlling interest in the Hong Kong-based Asia Satellite Telecom Co. Ltd., or AsiaSat. AsiaSat, a company founded in 1988, operates several communications satellites in the Far East bought from U.S. manufacturers such as Hughes.

"AsiaSat signed an exclusive deal with billionaire Li Ka Shing to carry his STAR television service – 54 channels of premium cable/satellite television. In addition to the direct TV broadcasts of STAR, AsiaSat satellites also regularly carry communications traffic for Chinese military units and Chinese military-owned companies.

"A 1996 report written by then U.S. Ambassador to China James Sasser noted that the Chinese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and Chinese billionaire Li Ka Shing were both directly involved with the PLA in financing the communications networks for the Chinese army," Smith wrote.

A 1997 RAND Corporation "secret report on the 'Chinese Defense Industry'," Smith wrote, "included a section on billionaire Li Ka Shing [highlighting] Li Ka Shing's direct connections to the Chinese military. According the Rand report, 'Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong, controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka Shing, is also negotiating for PLA wireless system contracts, which would build upon his equity interest in [Chinese army] Poly-owned Yangpu Land Development Company, which is building infrastructure on China's Hainan Island.'"

Additionally, Smith wrote, Li Ka Shing's "closest tie to Beijing is also his global business partner. The national flag shipping carrier for communist China, the Chinese Ocean Shipping Company, better known as COSCO, has an exclusive contract with Li Ka Shing's Hutchison Whampoa. ... Although presented as a commercial entity, COSCO is actually an arm of the Chinese military establishment" and "frequently take[s] part in Chinese military exercises and have been armed with missile launchers."

DP World Redux?

The Bush administration is finalizing a no-bid contract with the Hutchison Whampoa "to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere," the Associated Press's Ted Bridis and John Solomon reported March 23, 2006. This will be "the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present." Freeport in the Bahamas is located "65 miles from the U.S. coast."

"While President Bush recently reassured Congress that foreigners would not manage security at U.S. ports, the Hutchison deal in the Bahamas illustrates how the administration is relying on foreign companies at overseas ports to safeguard cargo headed to the United States," Bridis and Solomon wrote. "Hutchison Whampoa is the world's largest ports operator and among the industry's most-respected companies. It was an early adopter of U.S. anti-terror measures. But its billionaire chairman, Li Ka-Shing, also has substantial business ties to China's government that have raised U.S. concerns over the years."

"Three years ago, the Bush administration effectively blocked a Hutchison subsidiary from buying part of a bankrupt U.S. telecommunications company, Global Crossing Ltd. (GLBC), on national security grounds," Bridis and Solomon wrote. "And a U.S. military intelligence report, once marked 'secret,' cited Hutchison in 1999 as a potential risk for smuggling arms and other prohibited materials into the United States from the Bahamas.

"Hutchison's port operations in the Bahamas and Panama 'could provide a conduit for illegal shipments of technology or prohibited items from the West to the PRC (People's Republic of China), or facilitate the movement of arms and other prohibited items into the Americas,' the now-declassified assessment said.

"The CIA currently has no security concerns about Hutchison's port operations, and the administration believes the pending deal with the foreign company would be safe, officials said."

"However, there are no U.S. customs agents checking any cargo containers at the Hutchison port in Freeport. Under the contract, no U.S. officials would be stationed permanently in the Bahamas with the radiation scanner," Bridis and Solomon reported.

Ports & Related Services

  • Hutchison Port Holdings
  • Logistics Information Network Enterprise
  • Hongkong United Dockyards Company Ltd.
  • Hongkong Salvage and Towing


  • Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited

Property and Hotels

  • Hutchison Whampoa Property and Hotel Group
  • Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Company Limited
  • Hutchison Properties Limited
  • Cavendish International Holdings Limited

Retail and Manufacturing

  • A.S. Watson Co., Limited

Energy and Infrastructure

Contact Info

Hutchison Whampoa Limited
Ms Cheung, Laura
Tel: (852) 21281289
Fax: (852) 21281766
Email: laura AT

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