Taiwanese footwear group head killed by Chinese manager

Hanoi, April 15 (CNA) The chairman of the Kingmaker Group, a Taiwan-invested footwear group, has died from severe wounds after he was slashed by a Chinese manager at the company's factory in Vietnam, Taiwan's representative office in Ho Chi Minh City said Friday.

Mickey Chen (陳敏雄), 63, died at a hospital in Taiwan on Thursday, two days after he was hacked by a 45-year-old warehouse manager from China when they quarreled at Kingmaker Footwear's factory in Thuan An in Binh Duong Province, according to the office.

The fight erupted when Chen challenged the Chinese manager, identified only by his surname Li, over stolen shoes from inventory, an official at Taiwan's office told CNA.

Unable to control his temper, Li waved the knife and slashed his boss and other factory managers from Taiwan, said the official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk publicly about it.

Other factory workers then subdued Li and drove the injured victims to the hospital for emergency treatment.

After being informed of the attacks, Vietnamese police arrested Li and launched an investigation into the case, the official said.

Chen was flown back to Taiwan on a medical aircraft on Thursday morning, but because of the severity of his wounds, the footwear tycoon could not be saved, according to the Taiwan liaison office.

The two Taiwanese managers who were also injured during the attack were treated and have been discharged from the hospital in Thuan An on Thursday, the office said.

Kingmaker Footwear, established by Chen in 1981 in Taiwan's Changhua County, opened the Thuan An factory 15 years ago.

Apart from Vietnam, the footwear manufacturer also has production lines in China and Cambodia and makes shoes for famous brands such as Asics, CAT, Clarks, Fiona's Prince, GH Bass, K1X, New Balance, Robeez, Skechers, and Striderite, according to the group's official website.

Kingmaker went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1994 under the name of Kingmaker Footwear Holdings, Ltd.

On Friday, the Kingmaker Group released a statement on the Hong Kong stock market saying that its chairman had died, but it did not say what caused Chen's death.

After a halt in trading of the stock on Thursday, Kingmaker shares fell by 4.4 percent to 2.17 Hong Kong dollars on Friday.

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