Hong Kong patriotic tycoon Tsang Hin-chi, a pioneer in China's industrial development, died in his hometown in Meizhou, Guangdong province, on Friday afternoon. He was 85.
The Goldlion Group confirmed Tsang's death in an announcement on Friday evening, adding that the company will always remember him.
Tsang founded the famous manufacturer of menswear in 1968, and has steadily invested in the manufacturing industry on the mainland since the early days of the country's reform and opening-up.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, in expressing her "deepest condolences", said the successful entrepreneur was a trailblazer among overseas Chinese who contributed to the country's economic reform that started 41 years ago.
Tsang was devoted to contributing to the country's development, dedicated to serving the public, and made important contributions to Hong Kong's smooth transition in 1997, Lam said.
He was among the first batch of people in Hong Kong to have been awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 1997 — the highest award under Hong Kong's honors and awards system.
During a grand gathering in Beijing on Dec 18, Tsang was one of 100 Chinese awarded a medal as a "reform pioneer" for outstanding contributions to the country's advancement. The ceremony was held to mark the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up.
Tsang was recognized for his support to the development of education, aviation, sports, science and healthcare on the mainland, with donations of more than HK$1.2 billion ($153 million) since the 1970s.
Tsang was a member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, from 1994 to 2008. He was appointed a member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Consultative Committee in the 1980s.
Choy So-yuk, a Hong Kong deputy to the NPC, said she was sorry to hear of Tsang's death. She spoke highly of the philanthropic entrepreneur's patriotism, noting that when NPC members visited areas of poverty on the mainland, Tsang would donate to the construction there.
Albert Au Yeung, a senior Hong Kong journalist who interviewed Tsang over 10 years ago, recalled that Tsang was an easygoing person, very friendly to journalists, and often invited journalists to gatherings at his home. Though at that time Tsang already had some health problems, the tycoon continued his charity for the country, Au Yeung said.
Tsang also organized many media tours to the mainland to promote Hong Kong journalists' understanding of the country's development, Au Yeung added.