updated 8/13/2009 6:05:57 PM ET 2009-08-13T22:05:57

The children of Taiwanese industrialist Wang Yung-ching battled Thursday in a New Jersey courtroom over control of his billion-dollar fortune.

Wang was ranked among the 200 richest people in the world when he died last year in New Jersey at the age of 91.

Control of his vast fortune was the focus of a hearing in a cramped courtroom in Newark.

Wang died without a will, and several of his nine children want control of his vast international holdings. Wang's eldest son is arguing that he should be named the estate's administrator.

None of the children are from Wang's wife of more than 70 years. Family ties are established in Taiwan through something called "household registration," which is the prevailing legal document.

Wang was born to an impoverished tea farming family in Taiwan when it was a Japanese colony. He went on to build the Formosa Plastics Group into a multinational conglomerate with U.S. headquarters in Livingston, N.J. In 2008, Forbes magazine estimated his personal fortune at $5.5 billion.

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