Charlie Munger mourned in China, where he said his best investment was made

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images/File

Charlie Munger has died at the age of 99.

Hong Kong CNN –

Chinese social media users are mourning the death of billionaire investor Charlie Munger.

The vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway died “peacefully” in a California hospital on Tuesday morning, the investment firm said in a press release. A cause of death was not given.

The 99-year-old investor often praised China and remained a staunch supporter despite the country’s recent economic woes.

“The Chinese economy has better prospects for the next 20 years than almost any other major economy,” he said in an interview with the Acquired podcast this year.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of social media users in China shared Munger’s pithy quotes about life, markets and economics. Munger’s death has so far resulted in 32,000 posts on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of X, and 340 million views.

Business leaders also paid tribute to Warren Buffett’s longtime friend and business partner.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who has 1.6 million followers on Weibo, said Munger was a “titan of business and a keen observer of the world around him.”

“Charlie Munger helped build an American institution and inspired a generation of leaders through his wisdom and insights. He will be sorely missed,” he posted in both Chinese and English.

The president of BYD Americas, the Chinese electric vehicle maker that counts Berkshire as a long-time investor and faces strong competition from Tesla, said in a statement: “Munger was not just an investor; He was a visionary who believed in the potential of electric vehicles and renewable energy long before they became global necessities.”

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., speaks before the Daily Journal Corp. shareholder meeting. in Los Angeles, California, USA, on Thursday, February 14, 2019. Munger discussed investments, banking, China and healthcare meetings there.

Charlie Munger, friend and business partner of Warren Buffett, has died

“Charlie’s unwavering support and leadership have been instrumental in making BYD the global clean energy leader it is today,” added Stella Li.

Munger was instrumental in Berkshire Hathaway’s decision to invest in BYD in 2008. The value of that investment, originally valued at 1.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$230 million), has since exploded.

According to a recent filing from Berkshire Hathaway to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company held about 7.98% of BYD at the end of October. These shares are now worth 18.54 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$2.4 billion).

According to its previous information, Berkshire Hathaway has sold more than 137 million BYD shares since mid-2022.

“I never helped with Berkshire [Hathaway] “It was as good as BYD and I only did it once,” Munger said in a virtual meeting in February.

“BYD is so far ahead of Tesla in China.”

Most recently, he praised BYD founder Wang Chuanfu as a “natural engineer” and compared him favorably to the CEO of Tesla.

“The guy at BYD is better at actually making things than Elon (Musk),” he said in an interview with the Acquired podcast published in October.

Munger often praised China’s communist government, which was criticized by Western governments for human rights abuses. He praised the country despite its crackdown on Chinese tech giant Alibaba, which was a top investment of Munger’s at the Daily Journal, a Los Angeles-based newspaper publisher and investment firm that Munger ran from 1977 to 2022.