China's BYD Chairman Richest Man of China

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The Chinese equivalent of the Forbes Richest People in America is the Hurun Rich List. On top of the list, released Tuesday, is Wang Chuanfu, founder and chairman of the automobile and battery maker BYD Company. Wang Chuanfu dethroned Huang Guangyu , who was the chairman of electronics retailer GOME. Huang was jailed last year on charges of stock marked manipulation – along with several senior Communist Party and government officials suspected of involvement.

Last year, Warren Buffet’s invested $232 million into the the car and battery producer BYD. Wang, China’s richest man, moved up 102 places on the list and has an estimated worth of more than $5.1b. Since September 2008, the BYD share had risen nearly 1000 percent.

Several of the richest entrepreneurs on the list are from the new energy industry. “It’s easy to understand where the new millionaires are coming from,” Xiong Bingqi, a professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University, told China’s Global Times. “The young rich were mainly entrepreneurs who graduated in the 1990s, when the new energy and high-tech industries were taking off.”

According to China Daily, Beijing has the largest number of wealthy people in China, “with 143,000 multimillionaires and 8,800 billionaires in Beijing. There are 116,000 multimillionaires and 7,000 billionaires in Shanghai.” In Yuan, not in dollars. 6.82 Yuan to the dollar.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Ivyinvestor Ivyinvestor on Oct 15, 2009

    Okay, I'll play: I chuckle every time I hear folks call China a "communist" state. Such name droppers have likely neither studied politics, nor economics, and probably not spent much time, if any, in the PRC. Let me say something about very many of my PRC friends: they're extremely happy and proud to be Chinese, and they're pleased with their country's progress and direction. Many are open-minded, and capture and apply knowledge like I've never seen - and I used to work with some of the top physics minds, including several astronauts, and two very senior government officials. It's a different paradigm than we in the west are used to pondering, to be sure. On the other side of things, yes, I was in BYDDF very early. It has been a marvelous ride. Enough, in fact, to buy a marvelous ride...and reinvest the rest.

  • BDB BDB on Oct 16, 2009
    Okay, I’ll play: I chuckle every time I hear folks call China a “communist” state. Yeah, "authoritarian", "nationalist", or good 'ol "Fascist" would be much more accurate. Let me say something about very many of my PRC friends: they’re extremely happy and proud to be Chinese, and they’re pleased with their country’s progress and direction. You could substitute "Germans" and "Germany" if this were the 1930s. I don't care how much money mainland China makes for their elite, they're a horribly repressive government that treats their workers like disposable garbage. I mean those who don't live in the gilded cities of Shanghai and Beijing--which is 100s of millions of people. They're very careful not to let foreigners see that side of China, and the Tom Friedmans of the world are happy to oblige and have orgasms over how wealthy the Chinese elite are instead. The American elite and top 1% would really, really love for us to be like China, you know, call in the army whenever we get to uppity. /end Those who have "spent time" in the PRC, you've probably been to Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and other world cities. Well, let me know when you spend some time in Linfen (the most polluted city in the world, where children have their growth permanently stunted from all the coal soot.) and places like it. That's where the vast majority of Chinese live.
  • Abcb Abcb on Oct 16, 2009

    BDB: It's mostly our fault. If we stop buying everything that is made in china, and only buy stuff that's made in a country that value human rights and environment regulation, then the city of Linfen would never be polluted or have huge impart on children been born there. So rather than criticizing the end result, why not focus on the cause?

  • BDB BDB on Oct 16, 2009

    abcb I agree with you, however, if China were an electoral democracy like Mexico, Brazil, India, etc. I'd have less of a problem buying from them because in those countries the people can pressure their elites to beef up environmental and safety standards over a period of time (as we in the west did in the 19th Century). I understand that in the initial phases of development pollution and abuse of workers will be bad, but China has no way to move out of that phase. Unions (ones that are independent of the government, anyway) are illegal, there's one party, etc. When I do buy things though I try to buy things made in the USA, Europe, or the Asian democracies (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan), then second/third world democracies like Mexico, Brazil, and India, only places like China and Vietnam as a last resort. I believe in free trade among countries that respect human rights and have at least basic pollution and safety standards, but not with nations that don't do either of those things.