Hong Kong's richest man Li Ka-shing donates HK$1 billion to help local businesses survive protest crisis

The 91-year-old Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing donated one billion Hong Kong dollars (127.5 million U.S. dollars) on Friday to help Hong Kong's small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs to survive the city's protest crisis and economic downturn.

The move came less than two months after the Li Ka-shing foundation gave 500 million Hong Kong dollars to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The foundation said Hong Kong's economy is facing "unprecedented challenges," and the fund would complement the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government relief measures.

"I hope the one billion Hong Kong dollars from the foundation can play a leading role," said Li, the foundation's chairman, in a statement. "I encourage different sectors to give their opinions, work together and pool our wisdom."

In August, the HKSAR government announced 14 relief measures that will cost about 19.1 billion Hong Kong dollars to help companies and individuals. 20 days later, the government announced new measures to help businesses deal with the economic downturn that accompanies the protests--a fund worth up to 35 billion Hong Kong dollars.

Given to the government's latest "stimulus package," the city's Financial Secretary Paul Chan said, the "instant help" aims to help small and medium-sized firms to "ride out the storm."

The new measures were unveiled shortly before the chief executive of HKSAR, Carrie Lam, announced the formal withdrawal of the fugitive bill.