YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong Hiew King was born to a poor family in Sarawak, Malaysia in 1935. Although he had to tap rubber when he was young, he had a strong thirst for knowledge. He graduated from Chung Cheng Primary School in Sibu, and later Methodist High School and Sacred Heart High School.
Subsequently, he took up a correspondence course with a Chinese university as he knew there was no limit to what a person could learn. He began his working life at his uncle's timber company, which laid a solid foundation for his future development. In 1975, YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong set up Rimbunan Hijau. He showed the kind of perseverance that Fuzhou people are known for. Together with some of his brothers, Rimbunan Hijau Group established a solid reputation and has emerged as a revered multinational corporation.
YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong has worked on a global scale to erect a diversified business spanning six continents, whose countries and regions include Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Central Africa Republic, Gabon, Brazil, British Guyana, Canada, and the United States. He also has investments in Qinzhou, Shanghai, Harbin and Guangzhou in China. Other than timber exports and timber processing, his business has also expanded to media and publishing, agriculture (oil palm plantations and mills), oil and gas, mining, aquaculture, reforestation, finance, information technology, trading and property development.
In 2010, YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong Hiew King was awarded "Malaysia Business Leadership Award 2010 – The Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his entrepreneurship achievements and contribution to the country. In Malaysia, there are four public listed companies under the Group, namely Subur Tiasa Holdings Berhad, Jaya Tiasa Holdings Berhad, Rimbunan Sawit Berhad, and Media Chinese International Limited. The Capitalists magazine named YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Sir Tiong as one of Malaysia's ten richest businessmen.
In 1989, the Rimbunan Hijau Group (RH Group) took the challenge of entering Papua New Guinea. The country later became one of the major timber bases of the Rimbunan hijau Group in the Asia-Pacific region.
RH Group also started its first English language newspaper publishing business in Papua New Guinea (The National) in 1993.
RH Group ventured into softwood timber operations in 1990, acquiring timber concessions and operations in New Zealand. RH Group’s investments in New Zealand grew rapidly within 10 years. Today, it is a reputable corporate citizen there, involved in major timber operations and reforestation, owning the largest salmon farm in New Zealand, and engaging in property development and plastic-based products.
RH Group also spread its wings to Australia, China, and the African continent (Equatorial Guinea, Gabon).