Skip to main content

Gigi Chao pictured with her father from an image on Facebook.

Not every parent likes their child's choice in a partner, but this is extreme: A real-estate tycoon in Hong Kong is offering a $63-million prize to the man – any man, anywhere – who can get his daughter to marry him.

Problem is, she's apparently already married: to her long-time girlfriend.

In fact, it seems Cecil Chao Sze-tsung only made his offer after word of his daughter's nuptials leaked to the public. (According to the South China Morning Post, they eloped in the spring to France.)

Now Gigi Chao's dad is denying the marriage news, and, in an apparent act of (highly questionable) face-saving, going ahead with the so-called marriage bounty.

He reportedly told the Morning Post that the wedding announcement was false – and he just wants his daughter to find a husband. Same-sex marriages aren't legal in Hong Kong – as a CTV new story pointed out, it was only in 1991 that homosexuality was decriminalized.

The dad is open-minded, on the other hand, about a possible male mate for his daughter: "I don't mind whether he is rich or poor. The important thing is that he is generous and kind-hearted," he said, according to a quote to the Chinese paper, reported by CTV news.

The father, who the report says lives "an extravagant playboy lifestyle," nonetheless would prefer an entrepreneurial son-in-law – someone who needs the right " inducement" (a.k.a. $63-million) to start his own business.

He did, as reported by the Telegraph, offer some praise for the prospective bride in this business arrangement: "Gigi is a very good woman with both talents and looks. She is devoted to her parents, is generous and does volunteer work," he said. But Gigi Chao, an architecture grad from the University of Manchester and a director in her dad's company, presents a more modern persona, one less likely to appreciate her father's proposal on how to marry her off to the gender of his choosing. Her Facebook profile states: "Helicopter Pilot. Social entrepreneur. Creator of expressions in colour and emotion."

She is reportedly expressing some surprise at being suddenly swamped with friend requests on Facebook, including, as some of the online commentators would suggest, more than a few wannabe husbands with their own entrepreneurial take on the idea: Strike a deal, "vow" eternal love for the old man's sake, and split the cash.

What do you think of the dad's "marriage bounty?" And more to the point, if you were Gigi Chao would you ever speak to your father again?