Chester Koo

Chester Koo (Chinese: 辜啟允; pinyin: Gū Qǐyǔn; Wade–Giles: Ku Ch'i-yün; 1952–2001) was a Taiwanese business executive.

Chester Koo
Died(2001-12-24)24 December 2001
NationalityRepublic of China
EducationMaster of Business Administration
Alma materWharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
RelativesLeslie Koo (brother)

Early life and educationEdit

Born in 1952,[1] Koo earned a master's degree in business administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.[2][3]

Life and careerEdit

After his graduation and subsequent return to Taiwan, Koo managed a branch of Chinatrust Bank, and at age 35 was appointed president of the China Life Insurance Company.[4]

Koo later led many other Koos Group (KGI) subsidiaries and was active in the media industry.[5] He was responsible for KGI's 1997 acquisition of Chinese Television Network (CTN).

Koo eventually sold CTN in January 2000, having never turned a profit.[6] In an attempt to increase the market share of China Network Systems [zh] (CNS), a cable company owned by KGI, Koo restructured CNS and sought investors to form a media conglomerate, becoming partners with Rupert Murdoch in the process.[7] Though he was credited with helping Koos Group gain a foothold in new industries,[6] many of Koo's investments were also regarded as risky, and multiple ventures lost money.[8] He resigned his position at China Life in December 2001.[9]

As a result, Koo became less involved with Koos Group business ventures, except for Hoshin Gigamedia Center Inc. which he had founded in October 1998.[10] Under his leadership, GigaMedia reached an agreement with Microsoft and began working on a set-top box design suitable for broadband Internet via cable services. In November 1999, Microsoft bought a ten percent stake in GigaMedia.[11] The next year, GigaMedia began work with Yahoo Inc. on building a website which offered multimedia entertainment to GigaMedia customers.[12]

Shortly after leaving China Life, Koo died from gallbladder cancer on 24 December 2001, aged 49.[13] Later, Leslie Koo split Koos Group holdings with cousin Jeffrey Koo. Together, the two returned KGI to profitability.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

Chester Koo's father Koo Chen-fu and younger brother Leslie Koo were also businessmen. Chester Koo's only son was Koo Kung-yi.[15]


  1. ^ Chen, Ming-Jer (2003). Inside Chinese Business: A Guide for Managers Worldwide. Harvard Business Press. p. 40. ISBN 9781591393276.
  2. ^ "Koo Family Gives $10 Million for New Educational Facility". Wharton Magazine. 1998. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  3. ^ Sherwin, Edward (13 April 1998). "Family gives $10m. to fund Wharton bldg". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  4. ^ Curtin, Michael (2007). Playing to the World's Biggest Audience: The Globalization of Chinese Film and TV. University of California Press. p. 153. ISBN 9780520940734.
  5. ^ "Wharton's Alumni Leadership in Asia". Wharton Magazine. 1998. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b Wong, Jesse; Dean, Jason (23 August 2001). "Chester Koo Blends Vision With an Impulsive Style". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  7. ^ Chen, Yi-Shan; Lin, Judy (24 January 2014). "Where Taiwan's Billionaires Stash Their Cash". CommonWealth Magazine (Asia Today). Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017. Alt URL
  8. ^ Dean, Jason (7 December 2001). "China Life's President, Chairman Resign In Restructuring of Taiwan's Koos Group". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  9. ^ Huang, Joyce (7 December 2001). "Pundits praise China Life reshuffle". Taipei Times. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Taiwan going all out for online expansion". Taiwan Today. 1 October 1999. Retrieved 25 January 2017.[dead link] Alt URL
  11. ^ "Microsoft Takes 10% Stake In Broadband Firm GigaMedia". Wall Street Journal. 12 November 1999. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  12. ^ Nystedt, Dan (6 September 2000). "GigaMedia, Yahoo ink deal". Taipei Times. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Chester Koo, a founder of GigaMedia, dies of cancer". Taipei Times. 25 December 2001. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Preserving the Family Escutcheon". CommonWealth Magazine. 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 20 December 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2017 – via China Post.
  15. ^ Everington, Keoni (2 February 2017). "Cement empire line of succession starting to set in". Taiwan News. Retrieved 12 August 2019.