Zhong Shanshan, the founding father of the favored Chinese language bottled water model Nongfu Spring, has overtaken Alibaba (BABA) founder Jack Ma to turn out to be the nation’s wealthiest individual, in accordance with the Bloomberg Billionaires index.
Zhong was already China’s third richest individual after his firm went public earlier this month with a blockbuster itemizing in Hong Kong. As of Wednesday, his estimated web price had reached $58.7 billion, surpassing Ma’s $56.7 billion, in accordance with Bloomberg calculations.
Zhong’s new standing additionally places him forward of Pony Ma, who based Tencent (TCEHY). Not like Jack Ma and Pony Ma, Zhong just isn’t a tech entrepreneur. Outdoors of his stake in Nongfu Spring, he’s the top of a vaccine maker, Beijing Wantai Organic Pharmacy. That firm went public in Shanghai this yr, which additionally helped increase Zhong’s wealth.
“You’ll have usually anticipated the primary in China to come back from [technology],” stated Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of wealth analysis agency Hurun Report.
Zhong can be identified for being extra low-profile and reclusive in comparison with different high enterprise leaders, which has earned him the nickname “lone wolf.”
“He is not identified to have many entrepreneur buddies,” stated Hoogewerf, a longtime China watcher who relies in Shanghai. “He simply sort of will get on together with his personal enterprise.”
However even previous to his newest success, Zhong’s monitor document was spectacular.
“Zhong Shanshan is likely one of the few folks in China to not simply construct one $10 billion enterprise, however two $10 billion companies,” stated Hoogewerf. “It is fairly outstanding.”
New breed of billionaires
Zhong’s ascent underscores the fast tempo of wealth creation in China.
Earlier this yr, China was already residence to many of the world’s billionaires, with greater than the US and India mixed, in accordance with a world wealthy checklist compiled by the Hurun Report.
Based on Bloomberg calculations, Zhong’s estimated web price was $20 billion final month — suggesting he has tripled his fortune in only a matter of weeks.
The growth is anticipated to proceed.
In latest months, a parade of preliminary public choices has unfolded all over the world, particularly in China.
Hong Kong is the world’s second hottest venue for inventory market listings up to now this yr, behind solely the tech-heavy Nasdaq in New York, in accordance with information supplier Refinitiv.
Shanghai’s Star Market, a Nasdaq-style tech board launched final yr, has additionally seen an enormous swell in exercise these days. IPOs and secondary listings have raised a mixed $21.6 billion up to now this yr, in accordance with Refinitiv.
And that is even earlier than the extensively anticipated mega-IPO of Ant Group, Alibaba’s monetary companies arm, which is anticipated to be one of many largest listings in historical past. Ant is getting ready to hit the markets in each Shanghai and Hong Kong this yr, which might elevate as a lot as $30 billion.
The occasion might simply let Jack Ma reclaim his title because the nation’s richest man.
A report launched by Deloitte on Wednesday stated that “a number of different developments are set to maintain the prevailing development of listings within the Chinese language Mainland and Hong Kong over the remainder of this yr,” together with the approval of cross-listing guidelines and a brand new tech index in Hong Kong.
That can doubtless spawn much more billionaires in China, Hoogewerf predicts.
He estimates that about 100 new billionaires might be created in China this yr due to the IPO growth. That is “one each 4 days. Two per week,” he stated.
— Laura He contributed to this report.