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Guru Gyan

Zhong Shanshan: The Man Who Dethroned Ambani In Rich List

Who is he and how did he surpass Mukesh Ambani as well as Warren Buffett from the rich people list?

The News

Last week, the Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index said that Chinese billionaire Zhong Shanshan has become the sixth richest person in the world. He dethroned Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries and became Asia’s wealthiest person.

Behind The Scenes

Firstly, we need to talk about who Zhong Shanshan actually is?
Zhong Shanshan is the chaiman of Nongfu Spring, a bottled water company and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, a vaccine making company. Before starting his own business, he worked as a construction worker, a reporter and a beverage sales agent. At the time of writing this article, his net worth is estimated at $93.1 billion, which makes him the 6th richest person in the world.

He sounds like the perfect example for a ‘rags to riches’ story but how did he surpass Mukesh Ambani? As we all know, Ambani had a pretty good run in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic. If you could remember clearly, Ambani signed multi-billion dollar deals for his company, Reliance Industries, last year. He raised ₹2 lakh crore from investors, including Facebook, Silver Lake and General Atlantic, in 2020. But, now there is someone who managed to beat that score.

So, how did he do it? The reason behind the rise in Zhong’s net worth is the huge jump in his company’s share price. The shares of Nongfu were listed in September last year, and they rose 54% above their issue price on the first day of trading in Hong Kong. The company’s stock advanced 18% in the first two trading days of 2021. Since its listing, the firm’s shares have jumped more than 200%.

Zhong owns a huge amount of stake in Nongfu (i.e) 84.4%. So, now we know how the jump in stock has pushed his value up. But this is just one company. Zhong also owns a controlling stake in Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise. This company produces test kits for infectious diseases, including COVID-19. So, the pandemic turned into a jackpot for him. This company went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 2020. Since the IPO, the shares have surged over 2,800%. Yes, you read that right. IT IS 2800%. The number made us feel why we didn’t know about this stock when it got listed.

Zooming Out

The one thing that is the most interesting about this entire story is that Zhong does not involve himself in politics or business groups. Furthermore, he is rarely seen making public appearances and talking to the media. Because of this, he is called the ‘Lone Wolf’ by many.

The other thing to note here is that Zhong has four of his relatives become billionaires. His younger sister, Zhong Xiaoxiao and three of his wife’s siblings each own a 1.4% stake in Nonfu worth $1.3 billion. The company has produced dozens of millionaires and the list includes more of Zhong’s relatives and employees.

Lastly, we just wanted to say that Zhong is now just a few steps away from getting in the list of individuals with a wealth of over $100 billion. With his company’s stocks continuing to surge and the firms continuing to grow, that day might not be far away.

Head to moneyguru’s Insight section to stay updated on all major financial news updates of the day!



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