Real-Life Game Of ‘Succession’ Now Playing Out In China

"I think this is the day his reign ends."

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Succession may make for a hugely entertaining HBO TV show, but when it goes on in real life it can be quite a stressful experience. Speaking of which, a real-life game of Succession is currently going on in China.

Stanley Ho Hung-sun, the billionaire founder and chairman of SJM Holdings – a Macau company that owns nineteen casinos including the Grand Lisboa – married four times and fathered sixteen children. After Ho’s death in 2020, his children are still, almost two years later, fighting over the tycoon’s estate.

Ho, survived by three of his four wives and fifteen of his sixteen children, did not leave a will. His children could not come to an agreement over his multi-billion dollar estate, so in November last year, a Hong Kong court was asked to name administrators to manage it, Bloomberg reports.

Many of Ho’s children have branched out over the years and arguably don’t need a cut of the estate or inheritance. While Daisy Ho has been the chairman and executive director of SJM Holdings since she succeeded her father in 2018 prior to his death, she is also deputy managing director and chief financial officer of Shun Tak Holdings, a large shipping company, that her older sister, Pansy Ho, is the group executive chairman and managing director of.

Ho and some of his children. Image Credit: AFP/AFP

Sabrina Ho has been the director and CEO of Poly Auction Macau, an art auction house, since 2015 and she also founded ​​Chiu Yeng Culture, a non-profit organisation that’s “an international platform for the local rising creatives”.

One of Ho’s sons, Mario Ho, is the chairman and co-CEO of Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) group, a professional e-sports organisation. Lawrence Ho is the CEO and chairman of both Melco International – a multinational investment holding company – and its subsidiary, Melco Resorts & Entertainment and has even won ‘Asia’s Best CEO’ at the Asian Excellence Awards an impressive seven times.

Josie Ho, Ho’s eighth child, is a successful singer and actress in Hong Kong despite her late father not wanting her to pursue a music career.

While many of Ho’s children have been successful in their own various ventures, much like in Succession where Logan Roy’s four children vie for control of the fictional media conglomerate Waystar RoyCo, Ho’s children are still wanting a portion of the billion-dollar Ho estate. We’ll just have to wait and see what the courts decide.

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