Run Run Shaw, aka Shao Yifu or Shao Renleng, is most widely known for being the founder of the Shaw Brothers Studio, one of the largest film production companies in the world responsible for many famous “Hong Kong movies”, and the dominant TVB television company in Hong Kong responsible for so many of Hong Kong’s television shows and serials.
Shao Yifu Passes Away at Home in Hong Kong at the Age of 107
According to Hong Kong TVB news report, 2014 January 7, Sir Shao Yifu passed away peacefully at home at the age of 107. Shao Yifu, formerly known as Shao Renleng, Hong Kong’s well-known movie producer, entertainment mogul, and philanthropist. He was born in the Great Qing Dynasty, in Zhejiang Ningbo Zhenhai. As a movie producer, philanthropist, and billionaire, he donated billions of funds for the construction of educational and medical facilities in both Hong Kong and the mainland.
Shao Yifu, formerly known as Shao Renleng, was born in Zhejiang Province Ningbo City Zhenhai Town, with a family origin in Zhejiang Ningbo. Honorary Chairman of Television Broadcasts Limited of Hong Kong, one of the founders of Shaw Brothers Studio, member of Shanghai Trade Council in Hong Kong, famous movie producer in Hong Kong. In 1974, the Queen of England awarded him with CBE. In 1977, he was kinghted by the Queen of England.
Among his 8 brothers and sisters, Shao Yifu was the 6th. During his time in Shanghai, he was referred to as “Shao Six”. Later in Hong Kong he was respectfully addressed as “Uncle Six”. For many years, Shao Yifu donated billions of funds for the construction of educational, medical and many other facilities in both Hong Kong and the mainland. Over the years, he donated over 10 billion Hong Kong dollars for public welfare and charity affairs. Among which, 4.75 billion Hong Kong dollars was donated to mainland education, with the total number of projects he sponsored more than 6,000.
In 1990, the Chinese government named Planet 2899 discovered by China “Planet Shao Yifu”. In 1991, San Francisco established that the 8th of September of each year would be “Shao Yifu Day”. In 2003, the Shaw Prize was established. Each year, scientists who have achieved great accomplishments in the fields of mathematics, bioscience, medical science, and astronomy are awarded. Picture is of Shao Yifu (archive photo).
Shao Yifu’s father was the owner of Shanghai Jintaichang Textile Company. But by the time Shao Yifu had grown up, the Shao family had already gone into declined, with only an old house in Shanghai and a Shanghai theater named “The Stage of Laughter”. At that time, the Shao brothers chose to sell the house, using the money to buy a movie camera, And in 1924, they produced China’s first feature film New Leaf in Shanghai, which was a huge success. In 1925, the Shao brothers established “Tianyi Film Productions”, which was also the predecessor Shaw Brothers Studio. Picture is of Shao Yifu and his two brothers. From right to left: Shao Yifu, Shao Renmei, and Shao Cunren (archive photo).
In 1932, after the September 18th Incident, the situation in Shanghai became unstable, and “Tianyi Film Productions” decided to moved to Hong Kong to continue development, where “Unique Film Productions” was established. The screening of China’s first talking picture “Platinum Dragon/White Golden Dragon” produced and directed by Shao Yifu was a sensation, and brought Chinese moviegoers into the “Era of Sound”. After the war, the Shao brothers returned to Hong Kong to rebuild their business, and changed “Nanyang Film” into “Shaw & Sons”. In 1957, Shao Yifu returned to Hong Kong and bought the land that “Father & Sons Company” owned in Clear Water Bay with 320,000 HK dollars, constructed Shao Brothers Studio, and established Shaw Brothers (HK) Ltd., he began independently developing his movie industry business. Picture is of Shao Yifu and Bruce Lee (archive photo).
Shao Yifu married twice. In 1937, Shao Yifu married his first wife Huang Meizhen. Together they had two sons and two daughters, the eldest son Shao Weiming, the elder daughter Suwen, the younger daughter Suyun, and the youngest son Zhongwei. Huang Meizhen died of illness in Los Angeles in 1987. In 1997, Shao Yifu married his business partner Fang Yihua in Las Vegas. Picture is of 1978, London, Shao Yifu with his wife and daughter after he was knighted by the Queen.
In 2002, Shao Yifu established the “Shaw Prize” and the first award ceremony was held in 2004. The awards imitate the Nobel Prize. Each year, scientists who have achieved great accomplishments in the fields of mathematics, medical science, and astronomy are awarded a million dollars each as commendation. Picture is of Shao Yifu and Yang Zhenning (archive photo).
On the night of 2004, September 22, in Chongqing, while having a conversation with Chongqing City Municipal Party Secretary Huang Zhendong and Mayor Wang Hongju, Shao Yifu said: ”I’ve only made a tiny contribution to my country.”
2010 September 28, Shao Yifu attending “Shaw Prize” awards ceremony with the then Governor of Hong Kong Zeng Yinquan.
2008 November 19, in Hong Kong, TVB celebrating Shao Yifu’s birthday, with Wang Mingquan and Zheng Yuling sitting next to Shao Yifu.
2010 November 19, in Hong Kong, Shao Yifu attending Hong Kong TVB’s 43rd Anniversary.
2011 August 7, 2011 Miss Hong Kong Glee Feast, Shao Yifu taking group photos with winner Zhu Chenli, runner-up Xu Yini, and Miss International Goodwill Liang Liqiao.
Comments from NetEase:
Rest in peace. The library of the middle school in which I studied was built by Shao Yifu’s donation. Who knows how many “Yifu Library” buildings are standing in campuses nationwide.
May the departed rest in peace!
No, the Yifu Building in our school is still under construction.
Rest in peace.
Comments from Sina:
I saw a Yifu Building a couple of days ago. When thinking how the number of schools Mr. Yifu donated to is beyond count, a sense of reverence springs in my heart. Spreading the wealth into education is the greatest philanthropic act.
Yifu Buildings are everywhere. Rest in peace!
Uncle Six, rest in peace!
This reminds people of the Yifu Buildings in countless universities. Thank you. Rest in peace!
[There are many] Yifu Buildings across the country.
May Mr. Yifu rest in peace!
A centenarian, may he rest in peace!
There’s also an Yifu Bulding in Peking University.
Comments from QQ:
Local tyrants [nouveau riche] should all learn from him: The highest state of human life–be greatly outstanding, with great virtues, achieve the greatest good, live a prolonged life.
From the majestic Yifu Libraries in Wuxue Teacher’s Middle School and Wuxue Experimental Senior High School where I studied, I came to know you and your great philanthropic deeds. Rest in peace! In success, one tries to let others be benefited. In poverty, one should pay attention to his own moral uplifting!
A great philanthropist. Yifu Buildings can be seen everywhere in our country. There are Yifu Buildings in universities, high schools, and elementary schools. There’s even an Yifu Middle School in my town. Thank you very much for what you have done for the people nationwide. Rest in peace!!!
In his life, he has given too much to the world. He has left his mark everywhere while he was alive. Medical treatment and education, these are what the people need the most. I’ve seen many Yifu schools, and there’s even one in my city. Life should be like this, this is why life is so great. I offer my most sincere respect to Mr. Yifu. This world is a better place because of you! Thank you! Who should we present a bouquet to? The bouquet must be presented to you–Mr. Shao Yifu. It’s so good that this world had you! Wish you well in heaven…
He didn’t use charity to fish for fame and reputation, but instead persisted over the long-term to work charity truly into the hearts of his fellow countrymen. He never made any flowery speeches, but dependably helped children with what they needed the most in their growth. He provided children with classrooms with good conditions to study in, and warm libraries to read books. He hoped not for people’s gratitude, but the rise of the entire nation. [To have had him is] the good fortune of our nation! The good fortune of our people!
Having read the comments on the news of the passing of Mr. Shao, my mind can’t be calmed. I’ve read a lot of comments on many celebrities and their deeds. They are all mixed with praises and criticisms. Only old Mr. Shao received all positive reviews. Why? Because only when you help the general public can you receive admiration from everyone. Mr. Shao financed education, and his deeds of helping the general public are witnessed by all of us, his deeds having reached everybody. The development of men is the driving force of the development of society, and education is the best tool for the development of men. The profound meaning of financing education goes without saying. But look at today’s China, where the number of the people whose wealth can compete with that of an entire country is countless, yet how many of them are generous enough to open their wallets to aid all human beings? Very few, or none. Without doubt, in recent years, some celebrities of the performing arts have done many charitable donations. Let’s first admit their contributions before we express our doubts. Our society can’t rely on this. In a capital-dominated materialistic society, capitalists are the rulers of society, their every move influencing the mainstream of society. It is true that capital is the lifeblood and root of the capitalists’ existence, but while capital can stimulate and encourage people while they are alive, what influence does it have to capital holders when their lives are over? Why do they bring this capital to their graves (of course, through the passing of it down to their offspring and descendents). We can’t say passing such huge amounts of capital to one’s offspring is immoral, but objectively speaking, it is a manifestation of feudal society’s hereditary system. I think, this kind of hereditary mindset that hinders the development of society will continue to be an obstacle in the development of more civilized modern society. Therefore, Mr. Shao already possessed the ideology and consciousness that only comes with a good society hundreds, even thousands, of years in the future. An entrepreneur like him is such a great pioneer. So, Mr. Shao should be deeply remembered, he should be written into a positive history teaching material which arms our mind for the battle for a better society with equal education, equal rights to live, and equal competition.
You’ve gently gone, not a cloud was taken. Countless schools and hospitals are left by you towering in people’s hearts. You didn’t leave us with many famous quotes or mottoss, but the story of your life is forever inspirational. A philanthropist who selflessly contributed to society leaves a good name forever.
This was an old man. He was a good man. This old man was charitable all his life. A good man with a good heart. He loved and protected students who lived in poor conditions. looked after the young. The school buildings are filled with the sound of people studying, while the medical buildings have not a moan of pain to be heard. His love floats through all generations, his love molding the people’s hearts. The sun and the moon will accompany you when you walk, as the world looks up to the clouds.
Great uncle Shao Yifu’s philanthropic deeds will be remembered within our hearts forever. I first learned about you from Shao Yifu School Buildings and the classic kung fu films of the Shaw Brothers. What’s most awesome is your philanthropy. It is unparalleled in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and even many other countries of the world. You weren’t necessarily the richest of the rich people in China, or the world. But as a philanthropist who has had an impact worldwide, your philanthropy is the most successful, the professions you helped the most appropriate, the number of people who have benefited the largest. At present, all organizations and all people, from the top to the bottom, should learn from you, pay their respects to you, and express a moment of silence in tribute.
Old Shao was an angel sent to earth, with each moment of his life filled with a philosophy of life, and now his achievements have come to their conclusion! May he yet again receive a good beginning. May all of us recognize you as a mentor, increase our self-cultivation, so the world will be filled with love and care! Rest in peace!
Update: The following microblog post is currently the number 1 hottest post of the week, reshared over 100k times…
From Sina Weibo:
@许文广: Shao Yifu [donated] buildings on Baidu Maps, densely all over the place, nearly 30,000 buildings. Our respects to Shao Yifu’s 107 years of life, with them being having more power than any word/writing.