“If my children are competent, they don’t need my money,” Mr. Yu explained. “If they’re not, leaving them a lot of money is only doing them harm.”
To make sure that didn’t happen, he appointed HSBC as his foundation’s trustee and stipulated that none of its holdings could be inherited, sold or invested.
In a society where capitalism is just 30 years old, and charitable giving an even younger concept, Mr. Yu says one of his primary goals in making a show out of giving his money away was to set an example to other rich Chinese. “Everybody has a different view of money. Some do good things with it, some rich people do nothing with it. …My goal is to be a leader, a pioneer who encourages rich people, inside and outside of China, to do something charitable.”