Li Ka-shing is permanently trending


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Asia’s richest man appears to follow just three people on Twitter: the political giants that are president Barack Obama; former Mr Olympia and Conan the Barbarian Arnold Schwarzenegger; and senator John McCain.

Despite tweeting only twice – once about the meaning of life and once about being content with his life’s work, Li Ka-shing has 1,429 followers.

It might be that the Twitter account has nothing to do with octogenarian Li himself. The point is that his every would-be action, particularly when it comes to investing, is watched with keen interest. Li’s recent decision to sell his real estate holdings in Hong Kong, among them a house on the Peak for a cool $95 million, along with those in Shanghai and Guangzhou, has been taken as a sign that China’s real estate market is about to tank. His decision to opt for an IPO of his AS Watson retail arm, as opposed to trying to sell his ParknShop business at a wildly inflated asking price, has triggered a revival in the equity capital markets.

Li last month also invested in Bitstrips, an app that allows Facebook users to create cartoons of themselves. An avatar, thought to be of Li, looking about a quarter of his actual age, appeared on his Horizon Ventures website alongside the announcement of the investment. We imagine that avatars and cartoon characters will now be responsible for all future announcements coming out of Hong Kong.