Reclusive Chinese Water Tycoon Is Now Asia's Richest Person
Beijing, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Mar, 2021 ) :Until recently, few people had even heard of the Chinese billionaire with a gruff reputation who built a fortune on China's seemingly unquenchable demand for his ubiquitous red-capped bottled water.
But reclusive Zhong Shanshan has become Asia's richest man following the stock listings last year of his Nongfu Spring mineral water and separate pharma company Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, which has tapped into massive demand for Covid-19 test kits.
Zhong's net worth has surged to $85 billion and made him the seventh-richest person on the planet, Hurun Report, a China-based compiler of "rich lists", said last week.
He became the first Chinese entrepreneur to enter Hurun's top-ten global rich list this year, leaping out of nowhere to put him hot on the heels of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and American investor Warren Buffett.
Not bad for someone who dropped out of school at the age of 12 during the political upheaval of China's 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, and whose later jobs included bricklayer, carpenter and news reporter, according to Chinese media.
Zhong founded Nongfu Spring in 1996 and still owns an 84 percent stake in the company which, according to market research firm Mintel, holds more than a quarter of the bottled water market in China, where many people avoid tap water over health concerns.
His fortunes have risen just as those of Chinese tech companies have slid.