Australian-Chinese billionaire businessman Chau Chak Wing has been revealed at the buyer of James Packer’s $70 million Vaucluse mansion.
Domain reports that Chau , who is an Australian resident but is predominantly based in China, already owns a $3 million waterfront mansion in Hunters Hill.
The property developer and investor is best known locally for his $20 million donation to build the new Frank Gehry-designed $180 million building at the University of Technology, Sydney, which carries the philanthropist’s name.
Chau, who is worth a $US1 billion according to Forbes, is Australia’s largest overseas-based political donor, having spent more than $2 million on our major political parties in the past.
For example, in 2007 Chau donated $30,000 to Alexander Downer’s re-election committee. And in 2004 Chau’s daughter, Winky, worked for former New South Wales premier Bob Carr – the same year Chau opened a Chinese language daily newspaper in Sydney, the Australian New Express Daily.
While his wife and two of his three children are based in Sydney, Chau is based in Guangdong, China where he has established significant connections with Australian politicians, business people there.
His connection also extended into high-powered circles in Guangdong, where he chairs several business groups.
In a rare interview with Fairfax Media in 2009, Chau said: “I am a small businessman and I honour my reputation. I focus on friendship and integrity. People who make friends with me feel secure with my friendship. If I have a friend, I will never impose or create problems. I never ask them for any request. I don’t mix friendship with business.”
Chau invested the $20 million into the UTS building after his son studied architecture there. He also gave UTS $5 million towards scholarships for Australian and Chinese students to study here and in China. It’s part of the University’s $1.2 billion City Campus Master Plan, which includes the equally striking Broadway IT building, lit with green strips, which opened last year.
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