Kayser Winsiang Sung, editor-in-chief and publisher of Textile Asia, passed away peacefully at the
age of 90 on January 12, 2010 in Hong Kong.
He was born on October 1, 1919 in Nanjing, China. After honing his journalistic skills as
chief reporter and feature editor of Chinese newspapers, he joined the Reuters News Agency as
reporter, translator and feature writer in 1947. He was transferred to Hong Kong in 1949 and
remained with Reuters for the next ten years.
In 1959, he was asked to join the Far Eastern Economic Review, and was managing editor and
publisher there until 1968. In 1964, he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for journalism and
literature jointly with Richard G. Wilson, then editor of the Review. The Magsaysay Award was in
recognition of “their accuracy, impartiality and continuing search for facts and insights in
recording Asia’s quest for economic advance.” The citation also said: “In their editing of the
Review, they have demonstrated that journalism can play a constructive role in fostering healthy
Since 1960, Kayser Sung has applied his journalistic acumen to the Asian textile industry,
editing the bilingual Hong Kong Textile Annual and the Asian Textile Annual and Survey. His
expertise was recognised in 1965 when he was asked to join a four-member textile experts group in a
joint research project on the Asian textile industry for the Economic Commission for Asia and the
Far East (ECAFE) of the United Nations. The textile industry was at that time the most substantial
industrial activity undertaken by developing nations, which were moving from being textile
importers to exporters.
In 1970, Kayser Sung established and co-founded Business Press, Ltd., with the late Cha
Chi-Ming, a noted Hong Kong industrialist, and started publication of the monthly journal Textile
Asia – the Asian Textile and Apparel Monthly, devoted to the coverage of the textile industry in
Asia and the world. He was an expert on quotas and trade agreements, and an outspoken critic of
protectionism, which he viewed as a threat to the economic welfare of developing countries, and
could stunt growth in rich developed countries. A 2,022-page chronicle of his writings on the
textile industry, Asia in the Textile World 1950s to 2000, was recently published by Business
Press, Ltd. He remained editor-in-chief and publisher of Textile Asia for 40 years until his
passing. He has just reached the age of 90 years and was planning for the celebration of the 40th
anniversary of Textile Asia at the time of his passing.
In addition to the Magsaysay Award, Kayser Sung garnered numerous citations during his long
career. In 1983 he was awarded the Medal of the Council of the Textile Institute, Manchester, in
recognition of his outstanding contributions to the textile industry in Asia. It was the first time
that a journalist has received this honour from the Textile Institute. In 1999, he was elected to
the companionship of the Textile Institute, an honour limited to 50 life members. In 2004, he
received a certificate of honour from Professor Xu Mingzhi, President of Donghua University, at the
Textile Institute World Conference in Shanghai, China. He was chairman of the Textile Institute
(Hong Kong Section) from 1986 to 1996, and world vice-president of Textile Institute International
from 1993 to 1996.
In 2006, he was one of 100 recipients receiving the China Enterprise Award for Creative
Personalities in a convocation ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.
Kayser Sung has a long standing association with the Hong Kong Economic Association. He was
vice-president from 1966 to 2000; and a member of its executive committee thereafter.
Kayser Sung is devoted husband of Eleanor Wu I-Wan, whom he married in Xi’an, China, in 1945.
They had met when they were both teachers in a school for gifted orphans in Xi’an. While in Xi’an,
he collaborated as librettist with the Korean composer Han You-Han in composing the first classical
Korean opera, Arirang. Eleanor was the female lead in the opera.
Kayser Sung is loving father of Lilian, Emily, Vicky and Max, loving father-in-law of Swee
Chua, Teddy and Helen, and loving grandfather of Kevin, Jennifer, Kimberly and Richard.
In Memoriam Donation
The ‘Kayser Sung Memorial Fund’ at ‘The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’ has been
established in support of the development of Institute of Textiles & Clothing. For donation to
the fund please contact:
-Ms Janet Wong (王妙瑜小姐)Development Manager (拓展經理)Alumni Affairs and Development Office
(校友事務及拓展處)Tel: 852-3400 3306 Fax: 852-2364 5467 Email:
Office address: Alumni Affairs and Development Office, Room M1504,15/F, Li Ka Shing Tower,
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong (香港紅磡香港理工大學李嘉誠樓M1504室)
Submitted by Vicky Sung
March 23, 2010