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Who is Zhong Shanshan? All you need to know about Asia's richest man

Srishti P
·2-min read

Ever heard of the bottled water tycoon, Zhong Shanshan? This man has now tipped the magnate Warren Buffet, Indian business mogul Mukesh Ambani, and Chinese baron Jack Ma, to become Asia’s richest man and the world’s 11th richest person.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, his net worth stands at $93.8 billion.

Who is He and What’s His Success Story?

Known for

Known for founding Nongfu Spring, Zhong Shanshan is the founder of China’s largest beverage company. He also founded the Chinese pharma company Beijing Wantai Biological. Both companies are publicly listed in the Chinese and Hong Kong stock markets, with their shares becoming the hottest listings.

Early life

Shanshan dropped out of school in the sixth grade when he was 12 years, against the chaotic backdrop of the Chinese cultural revolution. His parents were persecuted by the authorities. Hardships led him to work a number of odd jobs including being a construction worker, news reporter, and a beverage salesman.

Shanshan even sold mushrooms and peddled healthcare supplements before founding his own company.

Also read: Who is Jack Ma? All you need to know

Career boom

Shanshan founded Nongfu Spring in 1996. Today, other than bottled water, the company also produces other bottled beverages like tea and juices. The company boasts one of the largest and most efficient distribution networks.

Nongfu Spring is one of China’s most well known brands in the consumption and FMCG sectors. The brand name itself makes the company’s stock worth holding on to. The signature bottled water can be found in almost any store or supermarket across China. The company has also done wonders to disseminate better health awareness through its marketing and branding, and made consumers more conscious about the water they consume.

Significance in 2020

Shanshan’s other foot is immersed in the pharma giant Wantai; in which he holds a 75% stake. This company has hit prominent interest, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its shares are up more than 2000%, owing to it being in the midst of the development of a vaccine that it can supply locally in China and globally to the rest of the world.

Also read: Don't hide your smoking habit from your insurance company; your loved ones may pay for it


Even though countries like India tried to emulate Shanshan’s bottled water business model, they weren’t able to take it into billionaire status. Zhong Shanshan is certainly a golden man to look out for, who has taken advantage of differentiating himself in both local and global markets.

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