Who Is China’s Richest Man?

Li Hejun, with a wealth of 160 billion yuan, is ranked as the China’s wealthiest person and the world’s 28th wealthiest on the Hurun Global Rich List. (Image: Secret China)
Li Hejun, with a wealth of 160 billion yuan, is ranked as the China’s wealthiest person and the world’s 28th wealthiest on the Hurun Global Rich List. (Image: Secret China)

As of Jan. 27, when the stock market closed, the stock price of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. soared 10.36 percent, which gave Li Hejun, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Hina Holdings Group, have a sudden rise in social status.

Together with hydroelectric power assets of the Hina Group, Li’s worth has surged to US$28 billion, ranking him as China’s wealthiest person ahead of Dalian Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin, with assets of US$25 billion, and Alibaba chairman Jack Ma Yun, with US$24.5 billion.

This makes Li Hejun the world’s 28th wealthiest person on the Hurun Global Rich List, rising 108 positions.

Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing is still Asia’s richest man, ranking 16th globally with US$32 billion.

Low-key acting style

Li Hejun was born in Xiantang Town, Dongyuan County, Heyuan City in Guangdong Province. He graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Beijing Jiaotong University.

It’s said that since his time in college, he has always been business-minded. After graduating from college in 1988, Li Hejun continued his studies in graduate school for more than a year. After that, he dropped out of school to go into business. He was involved in many industries, such as selling electronic components, toys, mineral water, and later mining and real estate development. He has always been low-key, but this has changed dramatically since last year.

Southern Metropolis Daily reported that he has accepted more than a dozen media interviews since September 2014. The English edition of his book China’s New Energy Revolution, released on Oct. 29, 2014 in Singapore, has now hit the U.S. market.

An invisible billionaire

What allowed Li to leap into the global rich list was the Hina Holdings Group that he founded in 1994. He is also involved in the hydropower industry. Hina Group invested in hydropower projects in Yunnan and Guangdong provinces, of which the most important one was the Jin’anqiao hydropower station in Yunnan.

In 2002, Hina Group held an 11% stake in the joint venture that developed the Jin’anqiao station and managed the Jinsha River basin. The Jin’anqiao station took the Hina Group 10 years to construct, and has started generating electricity in March 2011. After generating electricity, the rate of return was amazing. With an annual installed generation capacity of over 13 billion KW, the Jin’anqiao station’s annual income soared to 160 billion yuan in 2014.

As he becomes China’s new “richest man,” Li Hejun himself and his managed Hina Group will draw more people’s attention both in China and abroad.

Li Hejun (Image: Secret China)

Li Hejun, Mainland China’s newest richest man. (Image: Secret China)

Translated research by Joseph Wu & Mona Song.  

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