Zhong Shanshan, the Chinese billionaire and founder of Nongfu Spring and YST Holdings, has been named the richest Chinese billionaire. With a net worth of $63 bilion billion USD, he has surpassed Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani, who are second and third on the list, respectively.
How he started
Zhong, who is 67 years old, made his fortune through his bottled water company, Nongfu Spring, which he founded in 1996. The company went public in September 2020, and its shares surged over 150% on the first day of trading.
Zhong’s other major holding is YST Holdings, which has stakes in multiple Chinese companies including Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise and Hirun Technology. YST Holdings’ portfolio includes businesses ranging from healthcare to real estate and has grown rapidly in recent years.
Despite his immense wealth, Zhong is known for his low-key lifestyle and shunning the public eye. He rarely gives interviews and has no social media presence. He is said to lead a simple life and is a devout Buddhist.
According to Forbes, Zhong’s fortune grew by $70.9 billion USD in 2020, which is the second-largest wealth gain in history, behind only Elon Musk.
Zhong’s rise to the top of the Forbes World’s Billionaires List is impressive given his humble beginnings. He dropped out of elementary school and worked as a construction worker, a newspaper delivery boy, and a factory worker before starting his own business.
He is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs in China, and his wealth is likely to continue growing as Nongfu Spring and YST Holdings expand their businesses.