By Nisha Gopalan Bloomberg Sun., Dec. 23, 2018 The slow death of the conglomerate has been a theme in the developed world, exemplified this year by the decline of General Electric Co. to a shadow of its former self. By contrast, Asia’s sprawling family-controlled groups have continued to thrive. That’s not to say they’re free of challenges. Victor Li, 54, sits atop a global empire spanning telecom, ports, real estate, retail and energy that was built by his father, the legendary Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. Seven months after taking over from CK Group’s 90-year-old founder, the younger Li must confront a more protectionist landscape that poses a threat to its strategy of diversifying away from its home city and China. The core of the Stanford University-educated engineer’s problem is this: Being a Hong Kong company no longer shields CK from a backlash against Chinese expansion. The rejection of what would have been CK’s biggest acquisition came amid growing concerns about Chinese investment in critical industries. In August, Australia’s government banned China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. from supplying next-generation wireless equipment to the nation’s telecom operators. The vetoing of the APA deal reinforced impressions that regulators are no… Read full this story
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