Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#242 Zhang Jindong $6.70B

Random fact: Started as a wholesaler of air conditioners in 1990.

Overview

Zhang is founder and chairman of Suning Commerce Group, an electronics retailer in China. The Nanjing-based company has more than 10 million household products available for sale through its e-commerce platform and network of 4,000 stores across 600 cities. The retailer has also diversified into real estate development.

As of Dec. 16, 2017:
Last change -$26.6M (-0.4%)
YTD change +$1.06B (+18.8%)
Industry Retail
Biggest asset 002024 CH Equity
Citizenship China
Age 54
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Zhang Jindong's net worth of $6.70B can buy ...

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troy ounces of gold
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barrels of crude oil

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of the GDP of the United States
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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
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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 Zhang's net worth is derived from his 34 percent stake in Suning Commerce Group, an electrical appliance retailer in China with both online and offline sales networtks of 4,000 stores across 600 cities, according to the company's website. 

Zhang holds the shares directly and through two closely held companies: Suning Electric and Suning Holdings, according to the company's third quarter report for 2017.

Zhang also owns 86 percent of Suning Real Estate, a closely held property developer. It's valued based on the average price-to-book value ratio of four publicly traded peers: China Vanke, Gemdale, Poly Real Estate and Longfor Properties.

His miscellaneous liabilities reflect share purchases and investments in Suning Real Estate. 

Michelle Ge, a spokesperson for Suning, confirmed Zhang's public stakes and declined to comment on his net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 3/1963
Family: Married, No children
Education: 1984, Nanjing Normal University, Bachelor's Degree

Zhang Jindong was born in a small town in eastern China's Anhui province in 1963. When he turned 18, he competed against other high school students academically and managed to enter Nanjing Normal University, where he majored in Chinese literature. At the time, university students were respected in China to the point of being called, "God's favored ones." The expression was intended to convey how fortunate the students were.

After spending five years at an industrial company, Zhang rented a 2,215-square-foot shop in central Nanjing and named it "Suning." He sold air conditioners in the 1990s, which at the time was considered a luxury item, Zhang said.

Sales boomed at Suning, partly because other well-established retailers were busy selling television sets and refrigerators. Zhang opened his first store outside Nanjing in 1996, and expanded the product line to include consumer electronics two years later. Suning stores occupied every major city in China by 2002. Zhang sold Suning shares on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2004 to fund its further expansion.

The billionaire has recently focused on real estate, internet retailing and expanding beyond China. Suning acquired Japanese retail operator Laox in 2009. It took over Hong Kong-based electronics retailer Citicall Appliance in the same year. Its e-commerce business began in 2010. Zhang said in 2011 that his goals for Suning include doubling the number of stores to 3,500 by 2020, and for its revenue to climb sixfold to $56 billion in the same period.

Milestones
  • 1984 Graduates from Nanjing Normal University; major in Chinese literature.
  • 1990 Opens first Suning store selling air conditioners in Nanjing.
  • 1996 Establishes first shop outside Nanjing in Yangzhou.
  • 2004 Sells Suning shares on the Shenzhen stock exchange.
  • 2009 Company takes over Japanese retail chain Laox.
  • 2012 Changes name from Suning Appliance to Suning Commerce Group.
  • 2015 Alibaba buys a stake in Suning for $4.6 billion.
  • 2016 Buys 70 percent of Italian soccer club Inter Milan