Zhong Shanshan is chairman of Nongfu Spring, a bottled water company. The Hangzhou-based beverage business had revenue of 33.2 billion yuan ($4.9 billion) in 2022. He’s also the major shareholder of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, the maker of vaccines and hepatitis test-kits that had revenue of 11.2 billion yuan in 2022.
The majority of Zhong’s fortune is derived from his 84% stake in Nongfu Spring, a bottled water supplier based in Hangzhou, China. The beverage maker became publicly traded in Hong Kong in September 2020. Zhong owns the stake through investment vehicles Hangzhou Youfu and Yangshengtang, according to the company’s 2022 annual report.
The valuation of Nongfu Spring was revised on Sept. 8, 2020 when it became publicly traded. This led an increase in the net worth calculation of $32 billion.
Zhong also has a 73% stake in publicly traded Beijing Wantai Pharmacy Enterprise, a vaccine and hepatitis test-kit maker in China. He owns the stake directly and through closely-held Yangshengtang, according to the company’s 2023 first-quarter report.
The value of his cash investments is based on an analysis of historical transactions, stock performance, dividends and tax.
Zhou Li, spokesman for the company, declined to comment on the net worth calculation.
Zhong was born in Hangzhou, a city in eastern China, in 1954. He failed his college entrance exams twice in the late 1970s before enrolling at the Open University of China, according to a Chinese media report by The Paper.Zhong became a reporter in the 1980s. He quit after a five-year stint to set up a bottled water distributor business in Hainan, an island province in southern China. He founded Yangshengtang, a health products brand, in March 1993 and Nongfu Spring, a beverage brand in September 1996, according to Nongfu Spring’s 2020 prospectus for an initial public offering. Nongfu started publicly trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange in September 2020.He acquired a majority stake in Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmaceutical Enterprise Co. in 2001. The medical products company began trading publicly on the Shanghai exchange in April 2020. Zhong left the Wantai board in January 2021, citing personal reasons, according to a company filing.
- 1954 Born in Hangzhou, China.
- 1996 Founded Nongfu Spring, a bottled water brand.
- 2001 Acquired a majority stake in Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise.
- 2020 Nongfu Spring becomes publicly traded in Hong Kong.