Few can say they manipulate city skylines the way Adrian Cheng does. Wielding an expansive property and retail empire, the Hong Konger has made his mark on his hometown, as well as the Chinese megalopolises of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and a wave of cities to come.
While Cheng was born into a prominent family — the Chengs are a wealthy, billionaire clan that control real estate developer New World Development and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group — the third-generation businessman has forged his own brand of business.
Starting a decade ago, he combined his family’s trade with his deep love of art, creating the museum-meets-mall K11 concept, which sees world-class art pieces housed under the same roof where people shop, play and dine.
This year alone in his hometown, Cheng has two projects under way that are in excess of $2.5 billion each. The first being Victoria Dockside, which stands on the edge of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor. The complex includes an office tower, a 600-room Rosewood Hotel, and K11 Musea, the flagship of Cheng’s museum-retail properties, and is akin to the city’s Hudson Yards. The second is SkyCity, located at the Hong Kong airport, set to become the city’s biggest retail and entertainment complex when it opens.
In late 2017, Cheng began C Ventures, an investment vehicle with business partner, Clive Ng. Aimed at creating an ecosystem of fashion, media and tech businesses for Millennials and Generation Z, the fund has scooped up stakes in rapid fashion. Bandier, Nowness, Finery, Dazed Media, Moda Operandi, Yoho, among others, all feature in its portfolio.