Chao Yung

Tung Chao Yung

Tung Chao Yung better known as 董浩雲, , born 18th of the eighth lunar month in 1912; died April 15, 1982), also known as C. Y. Tung, was a Chinese shipping magnate, the founder of the Orient Overseas Line (now Orient Overseas Container Line or OOCL). He was the father of Tung Chee Hwa, the first Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

Life

C. Y. Tung was a legend in China. He built his shipping empire from virtually nothing. At the peak of his career, he owned a shipping fleet with over 150 freight ships; his fleet's cargo capacity exceeded 10 million tons. He was one of the world's top seven freight moguls; he was often called the Onassis of the Orient.

Tung believed in the importance of education. In September 1970, he bought the famous oceanliner RMS Queen Elizabeth to convert it into a floating university S.S. Seawise University to keep the World Campus Afloat program alive. On January 9, 1972, the ship caught on fire during refurbishing and sank into Hong Kong's harbor. The wreckage of the ship was featured in a James Bond movie. He did not give up the plan because of this setback. He bought a smaller oceanliner Atlantic to complete the plan. He cooperated with various Universities (e.g. University of Pittsburgh) to run the academic sea program with the Institute of Shipboard Education entitled "Semester at Sea".

Politically Tung was aligned with Kuomintang regime of the Republic of China on Taiwan; indeed the company emblem of the OOCL is a plum blossom, the national flower of the Republic of China. After his death, however, the OOCL went into financial trouble, and it was the government of the People's Republic of China which rescued the company from the brink. This paved the way for C.Y.Tung's son, Tung Chee Hwa, to become the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in 1997.

Trivia

  • In the past, all ships of the OOCL had names that began with the word "Seawise", which was a pun on C. Y. Tung's initials.
  • At the time of his death, C. Y. Tung was the owner of Seawise Giant, the largest ship ever built.

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