Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, was the wealthiest person in China with a net worth of $48.2 billion, but The Bloomberg Billionaires Index now puts Mr Zhong Shanshan, the founder of Nongfu Spring in the top spot with a net worth of $58.7 billion.
Zhong Shanshan in 1996 founded a bottled water company called Nongfu Spring in the eastern coast of China. Recently, his stock market listing, as well as stake in vaccine development, has helped raise his fortunes. He is called “Lone Wolf”, who is now the 2nd richest person in Asia after India’s Mukesh Ambani with a net worth $88 billion of Reliance Industries, Mumbai. Mr Zhong is 17th ranked in the world’s top 500 wealthiest people.
Usually, China’s wealthiest billionaires are from the tech industry, yet with rising issues between the U.S. and China over TikTok, WeChat, and Huawei have pushed down the Chinese tech stocks even further. Whereas, the grocery and food sector is booming and found the country’s new richest person.
Mr Zhong’s Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise got listed on the Chinese stock market in April 2020. His predominant stake in the firm saw his overall revenue spurt to $20 billion by August. The pharma company states it has partnered with two universities to produce a candidate vaccine to combat Covid-19.
The bottled water company, Nongfu Spring shares, plunged 54% on the first day of trading beginning September 2020 when they were listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.
Nongfu Spring’s bottles are marketed nationwide from elite hotels to small stores. The company additionally sells flavored vitamin drinks, teas, and juices.
The booming stock market listing thrust Mr Zhong Shanshan into China’s one of the top richest people along with Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Ma Huateng. But this week’s tech stocks saw a downturn moving Mr Zhong up the ladder to become China’s richest person.