Lee Kum Kee International Holdings Ltd. (Chinese: 李錦記集團) is a Hong Kong-based food company which specialized in manufacturing oyster flavored sauce and a wide range of Chinese and Asian sauces. Founded by Lee Kum Sheung in 1888 in Nanshui, Canton (now Guangdong), Lee Kum Kee produces over 200 Chinese-style sauces, including soy sauce, hoisin sauce, XO sauce, one-step recipe sauce, chili sauce, cooking ingredients, and dipping sauce. The group also purchased London’s landmark Walkie-Talkie skyscraper in July 2017 for £1.3bn, which was a record-breaking transaction for a single building in the UK.
The company is based in Hong Kong but its products are sold in over 100 countries worldwide including China, and in many overseas markets, including North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Its primary brand, Lee Kum Kee (Chinese: 李錦記; pinyin: Lǐjǐnjì; Cantonese: Lei Gam Gei) is popular throughout China and the overseas Chinese community. Lee Kum Kee was named Most Popular Brand On-line at the 2004 Hong Kong Top Brand Awards.
The company was founded by Lee Kum Sheung (Chinese: 李錦裳; pinyin: Lǐ Jǐnshàng), a chef at a small eatery that sold cooked oysters, who is credited with having invented oyster sauce in Nanshui, Zhuhai, Guangdong. In 1888, he formed the Lee Kum Kee company to market what has now become a staple sauce, seasoning and condiment in Cantonese and southern Chinese cuisine. It continues to be run as a family business by the Lee family.
From 1902 to 1932, the company’s office was located in Macau and in 1932 it moved to its newest headquarters in Hong Kong’s Tai Po Industrial Estate. Lee Kum Kee opened a United States of America based headquarters in City of Industry, California in Greater Los Angeles followed by a Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. Production bases are located in Xinhui, Huangpu, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Los Angeles. The Xinhui factory is the largest operation occupying 1,700 acres.
In April 2016, the Lee Kum Kee family donated $21 million to fund Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, to „help identify how positive aspects of living can lead to better health and a longer life“ and „coordinate research across many disciplines at Harvard University“ and „understanding the complex interplay between positive psychological well-being and human health.