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Reinvention

Former Pipe Factory Worker Becomes a Budget-Store Billionaire

  • Miniso founder and wife now worth more than $4 billion
  • Chinese retailer plans to open hundreds of stores a year
Ye Guofu
Ye GuofuSource: Miniso Group Holding Ltd.

A Chinese entrepreneur who started a chain of stores selling sleek household items at bargain-basement prices has just become a billionaire, benefiting from the global trend of consumers turning to cheap goods as the coronavirus pandemic eats into spending budgets.

Guangdong, China-based Miniso Group Holding Ltd. banked $608 million from an initial public offering in New York Thursday, making founder and Chief Executive Officer Ye Guofu’s stake of about 65% -- held with his wife -- worth more than $4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.