Bloomberg Billionaires Index

View profiles for each of the world’s 500 richest people, see the biggest movers, and compare fortunes or track returns.

#440 Wang Chuan-Fu $4.32B

Random fact: Berkshire Hathaway bought a 10 percent stake in BYD in 2008.

Overview

Wang is the founder and largest shareholder of BYD, China’s largest electric-car manufacturer. The Shenzhen-based company employs 200,000 people and had revenue of $12.4 billion in 2015. It's a maker of electric cars and buses as well as rechargeable and nickel-cadmium batteries for use in mobile phones.

As of Aug. 18, 2017:
Last change +$5.60M (+0.1%)
YTD change +$94.9M (+2.3%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset 002594 CH Equity
Citizenship China
Age 50
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Wang Chuan-Fu's net worth of $4.32B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
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of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
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of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Wang's fortune is derived from his 19 percent stake in publicly traded BYD, China’s largest electric-car manufacturer, which is publicly traded in Shanghai and Hong Kong. The company has more than doubled its revenue since 2008, when MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, acquired a $232 million stake. BYD reported revenue of $12.4 billion in 2015.

The billionaire's cash and other investments are based on an analysis of dividends, insider transactions, taxes and market performance. According to a Hong Kong stock exchange filing dated June 18, 2015, Wang sold 25.7 million BYD shares and loaned the proceeds to employees to facilitate their share purchases. The amount he loaned to his workers is included as an asset in the net worth analysis.

Cary Wei, a spokesman at BYD, confirmed the billionaire's holdings in the company and his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 1966
Family: Married, No children
Education: 1990, Master's Degree, Beijing Non-Ferrous Research Institute 1987, Bachelor's Degree, Central South University of Technology

Wang Chuan-Fu was born into a farming family in China's Anhui province in 1966. He graduated from Central South Industrial University, now known as Central South University, with a bachelor's degree in metallurgical physical chemistry in 1987. He received a master's degree in materials from the Beijing General Research Institute of Nonferrous Metals, where he worked as a deputy director, according to his profile at the Boao Forum.

He worked as the general manager of Bige Battery for a year and a half before using about $400,000 that he borrowed from his cousin to found BYD as a battery maker with 20 employees in 1995. The company was making lithium-ion batteries for handsets by 1997, and later expanded to cars, joining billionaire Li Shufu's Geely Automobile Holdings as one of country's first non-state owned electric carmakers.

BYD began trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2002. It attracted the attention of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who purchased 225 million shares for HK$8 (about $1) each through a unit of Berkshire Hathaway six years later. The company has more than doubled its revenue since then, boosted by the Chinese government's fight against air pollution, which includes a mandate that electric cars make up at least 30 percent of state vehicle purchases by 2016.

Milestones
  • 1966 Born into a farmer's family in China's rural Anhui province.
  • 1995 Starts BYD as a battery manufacturer with 20 employees.
  • 1997 Begins making lithium-ion batteries for consumer products.
  • 2002 BYD starts trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • 2008 Begins selling the world's first production plug-in hybrid.
  • 2010 Sets up BYD's North American headquarters in Los Angeles.
  • 2014 Announces solar collaboration with India's Hindustan Clean Energy.
  • 2015 Uber signs deal to test BYD's electric cars
  • 2016 In talks with several Chinese cities to build monorail systems.