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Late Evergreen Group founder likely to leave wealth to charity

2016/01/20 19:54:25

Chang Yung-fa at the Evergreen Marintine Museum inside the headquarters of his foundation.

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) Evergreen Group founder Chang Yung-fa (張榮發), who died at the age of 88 on Wednesday, will likely leave his vast wealth to charity based on repeated statements he made while still alive.

Chang, one of the richest men in the world with assets worth about US$1.6 billion, said at a gathering with the media in 2012 that he would donate all of his assets to the foundation in his name for charity.

He also said at the time that he would leave nothing to his five children but still expected them to continue to do good deeds to help more people in need.

Chang started with only one old vessel when he founded Evergreen Marine Corp. in 1968, but the venture grew to become the world's largest container company in 1985.

He later expanded his operations to the aviation sector by setting up EVA Airways, which is now Taiwan's second largest airline.

His philanthropic activities began in 1970, when he set up scholarships at schools for impoverished students in the name of Evergreen Marine Corp.

In 1985, he set up the Chang Jung-fa Foundation to promote charitable activities, and the foundation extended its reach in 2011 to all corners of Taiwan by helping people identified as being in need of support through a national police notification system.

Chang also published and distributed for free the "Morality Monthly" to advise people on doing good deeds.

The self-made billionaire said the purpose of an enterprise was to serve people and give back to society and that money was not "to be enjoyed and owned by oneself alone."

For Chang, it was not a sin to work hard and make money, but he believed that the happiness of making a lot of money was "transient" and the happiness from owning assets could quickly turn into pain if losses were suffered.

He believed that using money to do good things would bring longer lasting happiness, especially if the people who received help were able to "rise up."

Stocks of both Evergreen Marine Corp. and EVA Airways Corp. fell Wednesday, with Evergreen Marine losing 3.03 percent to close at NT$11.2 and EVA Airways dipping 1.93 percent to end at NT$17.8.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Lilian Wu)

About the Evergreen Group founder