Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#70 He Xiangjian $16.1B

Random fact: Midea is China's first public company not based in a major city.

Overview

He is founder and largest shareholder of Midea Group, China's biggest appliance maker. The Foshan, China-based company had revenue of 159 billion yuan ($23.9 billion) in 2016. Publicly traded Midea produces a range of household products, including air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators and washing machines.

As of April 26, 2018:
Last change -$282M (-1.7%)
YTD change -$240M (-1.5%)
Industry Consumer
Biggest asset 000333 CH Equity
Citizenship China
Age 75
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

He Xiangjian's net worth of $16.1B 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
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
0
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of He's wealth is derived 35 percent of Midea Group, a Fosun-China based company that trades on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the world’s largest maker of major appliances with about 130,000 employees, according to its website. The business went public in September 2013 through a merger with publicly traded subsidiary GD Midea. 

He holds the shares directly and through closely held Midea Holding, according to the group's 2016 annual report. Midea Holding doesn't disclose financial results and can't be valued. The fortune is calculated using the value of the listed stakes.

The share count used in this analysis reflects a May 2017 share sale and removes pledged shares based on a company disclosure dated Nov. 20, 2017. The valuation was updated on Nov. 29, 2017 to reflect the latest pledged share count and this led to an increase of more than $1 billion in the net wealth calculation.

He's collected about 7 billion yuan ($1 billion) in dividends and has had a net cash inflow of about 12 billion yuan from share sales and purchases through December 2017, according to company filings and an analysis of Bloomberg data. The value of his cash investments is based on these cash flows, as well as market performance and taxes.

Jiang Peng, secretary to the board, didn't respond to requests for comment on He's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 8/1942
Family: Married, 3 children

He Xiangjian was born in Shunde, Guangdong province in 1942. He started his business with 23 villagers making glass bottles and plastic lids. At age 38, He switched to electric fans and named his company Midea. Before long, the operation started to make air conditioners, a novelty in China at the time. It first sold shares on Shenzhen's stock exchange in 1993.

In the next decade, Midea built a more diversified product line, including refrigerators and microwave ovens, which gained popularity among Chinese households.

He resigned as chairman of GD Midea in 2009 and sold some of his stake to institutional investors in 2011, paving the way for his retirement the following year. In August 2012, Fang Hongbo, a Midea veteran, was appointed chairman of the group after He Xiangjian retired. Son He Jianfeng is a director in the company.

Midea's appliance business has been a beneficiary of the housing reform initiated by China's former Premier Zhu Rongji, who privatized state-owned housing, transferring home ownership from the government to families occupying the dwellings. The demand for appliances has skyrocketed since then.

Midea Group, whose businesses range from selling appliances to providing logistics services, took its unit private as part of plans to list the group, according to filings with Shenzhen stock exchange. Midea Group listed in Shenzhen on Sept. 18, 2013.

He speaks Cantonese, a dialect commonly used in Guangdong. He rarely speaks publicly or grants interviews because he doesn't speak Mandarin well, which is the official national language.

Milestones
  • 1942 Born in Shunde, a county in southern China's Guangdong province.
  • 1968 Starts making plastic products with 23 neighbors.
  • 1980 Enters electrical appliance industry by making fans.
  • 1981 Trademark Midea is registered with the Chinese government.
  • 1993 Midea Group is founded in Shunde, Guangdong.
  • 1993 GD Midea sells shares in a Shenzhen public offering.
  • 2002 He founds Midea's refrigerator business.
  • 2011 Sells some of his personal stake to ICBC and CDH investors.
  • 2011 Acquires Carrier’s air-conditioning business in South America.
  • 2012 Retires as chairman of Midea; appoints Fang Hongbo chairman.