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Chinatown Remembers Sir David Tang

The cultural impact Sir David Tang had on Chinatown is one which will be celebrated for years. We look at the colourful life of this very special man.


Chinatown has lost an icon with the sad passing of Sir David Tang. The Hong Kong-born businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and socialite was a leading pillar of the community and beyond. Beloved for his warmth, fierce intellect and generosity, Tang was a true bon vivant with an appetite for life and meeting people.

In 2015, he founded the China Exchange on Gerrard Street, a dynamic, multi-dimensional space that hosts extraordinary concerts, exhibitions, as well as compelling talks from his fabulously vast rolodex of high profile friends. China Exchange is Chinatown’s creative and cultural hub and the venue was Tang’s way of harmonising Eastern culture with the West. Passionate about the arts, he was a Royal Academy of Arts trustee for 15 years.

It was at the age of 12 that Tang moved to the UK with his parents, barely able to speak a word of English. Later, he went on to read Philosophy at Kings College London, then Law at Cambridge. His London profile rocketed with the launch of his colourful Shanghai Tang luxury fashion label in the nineties and Tang was a permanent fixture on the high society social scene. A decade ago he launched the much-loved China Tang restaurant at the illustrious Dorchester Hotel.

A man of many hidden talents, Tang was an exceptional pianist and skilled linguist. He even translated the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory into Chinese. Sir David Tang has left an indelible legacy for Chinatown as a champion of Chinese culture and his impassioned work for the community will long live on.

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