Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani’s two-year reign as Asia’s richest person has finally come to an end, as the title has been backed by Zhong Shanshan, a Chinese billionaire and vaccine investor.
Zhong Shanshan’s net worth has soared from $70.9 billion to $77.8 billion this year. This is one of the fastest accumulations of wealth in history. This made him the eleventh richest person in the world.
Zhong Shanshan, who was rarely quoted by the news reports, isn’t involved in politics and his business interests are also not entwined with other rich families such as the property tycoons. This is the sole reason for him being named as the Lone Wolf.
Talking about Lone Wolf’s early life, Zhong Shanshan dropped out of primary school during the chaos of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China. Before starting his own business, he has worked as a construction worker, a newspaper reporter, drugmaker, and beverage sales agent.
In April 2020, Zhong took over vaccine maker Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co. which is among those developing a COVID-19 vaccine. This went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Months later his bottled water company Nongfu Spring Co.’s shares jumped 155% since their debut, and Wantai’s went more than 2000%. His controlling stake in the company saw his overall fortunes surge as much as $20 billion by August.
Zhong’s Nongfu Spring Co.’s water bottles are sold across China be it in small shops or luxury hotels. Along with bottled water, it also sells teas, juices, and flavored vitamin drinks.
Zhong Shanshan surpassed Mukesh Ambani who also had striking deals to transform his conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. into technology and e-commerce titan – his fortune surged from $18.3 billion to $76.9 billion; and Jack Ma, who backed the Asia’s richest person before Ambani took over- saw a downfall in net worth from a high of $61.7 billion in October to $51.2 billion.