27 February 2020

Geely chief shows why he’s better than Buffett or Gates

Geely Automobile chief executive Gui Shengyu has shown why he is the No. 1 bridge player in China: he picked up the trophy in Hong Kong’s biggest bridge tournament yesterday.

Gui’s team emerged champion in the Hong Kong Intercity Bridge Championships, beating Ping An, headed by its financial general manager, Ren Huichuan, 159 to 117.

It was not the first time Gui had come away with the trophy that has been famously disputed by some of Asia’s corporate titans.

AIA Group chairman Edmund Tse took time off this summer to play in the tournament and indulge one of their biggest passions.

Gui is a major backer of the event. This year, Geely Automotive was the title sponsor of the open pairs and Swiss pairs competitions.

Also, he has made several appearances in the celebrity side event, mostly with Song Lin, the former China Resources Group chairman who was arrested for corruption this year.

With such dedication to the game, it’s no surprise that Gui has been the top pair in the China Bridge Tournament for nine years, a record in which he takes immense pride being the national champion and an amateur at that.

Gui hasn’t been around as long as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, who are known to break stride to play a game of bridge.

But Gui has the distinction of representing the nation in the World Bridge Championships scheduled for Sanya in October.

“Gui is quite a good player,” said Hong Kong Contract Bridge Association president Derek Zen, also deputy chairman of listed construction company Wai Kee Holdings.

Not only did Gui play very well, he also played very fast. Gui, who played in closed sessions during the final games, finished the last 16 boards in 45 minutes when his partners in the open room could complete only half as much.

Geely Automobile’s flag is flying high. Never mind that the stock is a little low-hanging — it’s down nearly 18 per cent this year in a generally robust China market. The carmaker reported a profitof  2.66 billion yuan (US$430.39 million) for last year, triple the amount in the previous year.

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EJ Insight writer