Episode 928: Hong Kong : Planet Money In 1960, a 12-year-old boy left mainland China, hidden in the bottom of a fishing boat. He later became one of Hong Kong's richest people. His story is the story of Hong Kong.
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Episode 928: Hong Kong

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Episode 928: Hong Kong

Episode 928: Hong Kong

Episode 928: Hong Kong

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/743480237/743658962" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Protesters march in Hong Kong against the extradition bill. Anthony Kwan/Getty Images hide caption

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Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Protesters march in Hong Kong against the extradition bill.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Jimmy Lai is one of the richest people in Hong Kong. And in some ways, the story of his rise is the story of Hong Kong itself.

Jimmy was born in mainland China. In 1960, when he was 12 years old, he snuck out of China and into Hong Kong by hiding in the bottom of a fishing boat. The day he got to Hong Kong, he got a job in a factory. By the time he was 21, he was running a factory. Today, he's one of the richest people in Hong Kong. He's also one of the most vocal critics of the Chinese government, and a major figure in Hong Kong's protest movement.

Jimmy Lai's story is the story of Hong Kong. And Hong Kong's story is the story of the 200-year-long history of China and with the West — a story of communism, colonialism, and capitalism.

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Music: "French Urban Kids" and "Kuhula."

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