A former entertainment reporter has become Hong Kong's richest woman. Did she get the scoop of the century? No. Did she land an editor-in-chief gig with equity in the company? Nope. Her real estate tycoon husband gifted her with roughly $6.8 billion.
Chan Hoi Wan is married to property mogul Joseph Lau. Lau may be familiar to readers, as he made headlines in late 2015 for purchasing a nearly $50 million diamond for his seven-year-old daughter. Lau is also the charming guy who placed full-page ads in the papers to announce that he had broken up with his girlfriend and given her nearly $250 million to hit the road.
Chan received the billions in various forms. She was given cash, luxury apartments, and was made the owner of one of the most popular shopping malls in Hong Kong.
The 66-year-old billionaire is the fourth-richest man in Hong Kong with a net worth of $7.2 billion. The 38-year-old former reporter dated Lau for 15 years before the couple married in November 2016. The couple has two children together, a daughter named Josephine and a son named Lau Chung-hok.
Chan got to know Lau through an actor friend when she was a showbiz reporter for the Hong Kong-based tabloid Apple Daily. After meeting Lau, Chan left the paper and joined one of the subsidiaries of Lau's Chinese Estate property company.
Chan proved her loyalty when she stood by her man's side when he was convicted of bribery and money laundering in 2014.
For most of their relationship, Lau also had another long-term girlfriend, with whom he also has two children. Yvonne Lui is an ex beauty pageant contestant who dated Lau from 2002 to 2016 when he took out the full-page newspaper ads to denounce their relationship.
Chan has been benefiting from Lau's poor health of late. The billionaire mogul has been transferring much of his fortune to his wife. Lau is reportedly suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and kidney failure.
She has been given more than $640 million in cash and has been made the trustee of $1.5 billion worth of shares in her husband's company that are for their children. Chan holds slightly more than a 50% share in Lau's Chinese Estate, one of the largest real estate investment firms in Hong Kong.
Lau is known for being involved with a string of actresses over the years. He finally settled down with Chan because she is "simple" and "not greedy."
Chan Hoi Wan unseats Pollyanna Chu (net worth $1.5 billion) as the richest woman in Hong Kong. Chu, however, remains the richest self-made woman in Hong Kong.