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Charlie Munger mourned in China, where he said his best investment was made – CNN News

By Laura He, CNN

Charlie Munger has died at the age of 99.

Hong Kong (CNN) – Chinese social media users are mourning the death of billionaire investor Charlie Munger.

The vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway passed away “peacefully” on Tuesday morning in a California hospital, according to a press release by the investment firm. No cause of death was given.

The 99-year-old investor often spoke highly of China, and remained a firm supporter despite the country’s recent economic troubles.

“The Chinese economy has better future prospects for the next 20 years than almost any other big economy,” he said in an interview this year with the Acquired podcast.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of social media users in China shared Munger’s pithy quotes on life, markets and business. Munger’s death has so far generated 32,000 posts on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of X, and 340 million views.

Business executives also paid tribute to the long-time friend and business partner of Warren Buffett.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has 1.6 million followers on Weibo, said Munger was a “titan of business and keen observer of the world around him.”

“Charlie Munger helped build an American institution, and through his wisdom and insights, inspired a generation of leaders. He will be sorely missed,” he posted in both Chinese and English.

The president of BYD Americas, the Chinese electric vehicle maker that counts Berkshire as a longtime investor and competes fiercely with Tesla, said in a statement that “Munger was not just an investor; he was a visionary who believed in the potential of electric vehicles and renewable energy long before they became global imperatives.”

“Charlie’s unwavering support and guidance were instrumental in shaping BYD into the global clean energy leader it is today,” Stella Li added.

Munger was key to Berkshire Hathaway’s decision to invest in BYD in 2008. That investment, initially valued at 1.8 billion Hong Kong dollars ($230 million), has since exploded in value.

According to a recent filing by Berkshire Hathaway to the Hong Kong stock exchange, the firm held about 7.98% of BYD by late October. Those shares are now worth 18.54 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.4 billion).

Berkshire Hathaway has sold more than 137 million shares of BYD since the middle of 2022, according to its previous statements.

“I have never helped do anything at Berkshire [Hathaway] that was as good as BYD and I only did it once,” Munger said in February at a virtual meeting.

“BYD is so much ahead of Tesla in China.”

More recently, he praised BYD’s founder Wang Chuanfu as a “natural engineer” and compared him favorably to the CEO of Tesla.

“The guy at BYD is better at actually making things than Elon (Musk) is,” he said in an interview with the Acquired podcast published in October.

Munger often spoke highly of China’s communist government, which Western governments have criticized for human rights violations. He praised the country despite its crackdown on Chinese tech giant Alibaba, which was a top Munger investment at Daily Journal, a Los Angeles-based newspaper publisher and investment firm Munger headed from 1977 through 2022.

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