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Bottled Water Tycoon Zhong Shanshan is China’s New Richest Person

According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Zhong Shanshan, the founder of the popular Chinese bottled water brand Nongfu Spring, has beaten two tech tycoons for the title of China’s richest person and the 17th richest person in the world.

Shanshan has overtaken Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, to become China’s richest person. His increased wealth also places him ahead of founder of Tencent, Pony Ma. 

The bottled water billionaire was previously China’s third richest person after his company went public this month with an initial public offering in Hong Kong.   The company sells coffee, juices, tea and red-labeled bottles of water. 

Nongfu Spring stock price surged to 54 percent on its first day of trading and closed Thursday at 38 Hong Kong dollars, above its offering price of 21.50.  

Shanshan is also head of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, a vaccine maker, which went public in Shanghai this year and resulted in an increase of his wealth. 

As of yesterday, Shanshan’s estimated net worth reached $58.7 billion which surpasses Ma’s $56.7 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations. 

Shanshan is compared to other top business leaders as being low profile.  This earned him the nickname “lone wolf.”  He was a news reporter before he got involved in the water business.  

This new achievement now makes Shanshan the second richest man in Asia behind Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries. 

Ambani’s net worth is $83.7 billion which places him as the fifth wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes.

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