Our Namesake – The Late Mr. Choi Kai Yau

Our College is named to honor the memory of Mr. Choi Kai Yau, an influential entrepreneur and philanthropist who lived and worked in Macau and Hong Kong. Mr. Choi was born in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China in 1928. As a teenager, he came to Macau, and it is here that he first opened a seafood business as an adult. By 1957, Mr. Choi founded the Sun Wah Group in Hong Kong, establishing a core business in seafood processing, wholesale, and distribution. In the 1970s, the Sun Wah Group had a fishing fleet, factories and cold storage facilities in many coastal cities in Mainland China and Southeast Asia. In the 1980s, the Group expanded further, setting up branches in the USA, Canada, and Australia. Mr. Choi became renowned in the Pacific Rim as the “King of Seafood.”

Mr. Choi established the Group’s real estate business in 1976 in Macau under the name of San Kei, which has developed millions of square feet of buildings and has become one of the major land developers in Macau.

As a philanthropist, Mr. Choi contributed to educational and technological development in Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China. He established the Choi Educational and Cultural Foundation of Macau in 1989, sponsoring exchanges among China, Portugal, and Macau. He also established the Xin Hua School and Xin Hua Evening College in Macau. In 2006, the University of Macau honored Mr Choi by naming one of its complexes on the former Taipa campus the “Choi Kai Yau Building.”

In recognition of his life-long contribution to his country, Mr. Choi was invited to Beijing to meet with the then Chinese Premier, Mr. Zhu Rongji in 1992. Mr. Choi was also awarded the Meritorious Medal of Education by the Chief Executive of the Macau SAR. The Zijinshan Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences also named a minor planet numbered “5389” as the “Choi Kai Yau Star.” In 2014, the Choi Kai Yau College opened on the new campus of the University of Macau on Henqin Island — a further tribute to Mr. Choi’s distinguished life and legacy.