A Hong Kong-based conglomerate controlled by billionaire Li Ka-Shing. It's the most substantial entity owned by Cheung Kong Holdings Limited which is in turn the flagship of the Cheung Kong group, of which Li is the chairman. Hutchison Whampoa's biggest businesses are in port operations (Hutchison Port Holdings), telecoms (Hutchison Telecommunications), real estate (Hutchison Whampoa Property), manufacturing (A S Watson), and energy (Cheung Kong Infrastructure).
A controversy erupted when in 1996 Hutchison Port Holdings was awarded the contract to operate ports on both sides of the Panama Canal. Right-wingers warned direly against letting the "Red Chinese" control such a strategic passage, but the deal went ahead and the Panama Ports Company, Hutchison's local subsidiary, has done a great deal of upgrading since taking control.
Hutchison Whampoa was created in 1977 when Hutchison International Limited, fresh off an acquisition spree, merged with Hongkong and Whampoa Dock Company Limited, a company founded in 1863. The conglomerate has recently bought the remains of Global Crossing and US Airways.