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These Are China’s Youngest Billionaires

What’s on Weibo explores who the richest kids of mainland China are: a top 10 of China’s youngest billionaires, according to the Forbes List of the World’s Billionaires.

Manya Koetse

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After inheriting a fortune from her father, the 19-year-old Alexandra Andresen has been named the youngest billionaire on the globe by the Forbes World’s Billionaire List. Forbes has got Weibo talking about money.

The teenage girl Alexandra Andresen from Norway is worth an estimated 1.2 billion US$ according to the Forbes billionaires list. The young rich woman became trending on China’s social media site Sina Weibo under the title of ’19-year-old girl becomes world’s youngest multi-millioniare’ (19岁少女成世界最年轻亿万富翁).

In light of this news, What’s on Weibo explores who the richest ‘kids’ of mainland China are: a top 10 of China’s youngest billionaires, according to Forbes’ World’s Billionaires.

No. 1 – Wang Han (王瀚, 28 years old): 1.3 billion US$

chinasyoungestbillionaires

At just 28 years, Wang Han became one of the world’s youngest billionaires – he is number 7 in the international top 10. Wang became a billionaire after inheriting shares in regional airline Juneyao Air (吉祥航空有限公司) from his late father Wang Junyao (王均瑶), who was the founder. According to Forbes,
Wang Han owns 27% of the airline and 14% of department store Wuxi Commercial Mansion Grand Orient (无锡商业大厦大东方股份有限公司). The Juneyao Group also has businesses in the education and food sector. They are also active on social media; Juneyao also has a rather large fanbase on its Weibo account.

No. 2 – Wang Yue (王悦, 32 years old): 1.1 billion US$

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Wang Yue is a newcomer to the list of the world’s youngest billionaires, according to Forbes 2016. He is called China’s “web game billionaire”. Wang earned a fortune being an online and mobile game entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Shanghai Kingnet Technology (上海恺英网络科技有限公司), better known as Kingnet (恺英网络).

No. 3 – Cheng Wei (程维, 33 years old): 1 billion US$

chengweiwhatsonweibo

Cheng Wei (程维, 1983) is CEO of China’s Uber rival Didi Kuaidi (滴滴快滴), a transportation company which was formed in early 2015 as a merge of Cheng’s company Didi Dache and Alibaba’s Kuaidi Dache. Previous to starting his own company, Cheng worked for Alibaba for 8 years and became vice president for Alibaba’s online payment service Alipay. Cheng has a verified Weibo account, but he has not posted much since his rise to fame.

No. 4 – Yang Huiyan (杨惠妍, 34 years old): 4.9 billion US$

2numberwhatsonweibo

Born in 1981, Yang Huiyan from Guangdong’s Foshan is one of the world’s richest women. She became the largest shareholder of real estate developer Country Garden Holdings (碧桂园集团) after her father transferred his holdings to her when she was just 25 years old (also see the featured image). According to its official website, Country Gardens is “a company constantly fighting for the development of a harmonious society.”

No. 5 – Frank Wang Tao (汪滔, 35 years old): 3.6 billion US$

franktao

Wang Tao, also known in English as Frank Tao or Frank Wang, is the founder and CEO of Shenzhen-based DJI, the world’s largest supplier of civilian drones. Forbes describes him as “the world’s first drone billionaire”. Headquartered in China’s “Silicon Valley” Shenzhen, DJI started as a single small office in 2006, and has now turned into to a global workforce of over 3,000. Their offices can be found in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong (dji.com).

No. 6 – Zhang Bangxin (张邦鑫, 35 years old): 1.01 billion US$

zhangbang

Who ever thought after school tutoring could make you rich? Zhang Bangxin (1980) is the cofounder, chairman and CEO of the Beijing-based educational tutoring firm TAL Education Group (世纪好未来教育科技有限公司). The company has been around since 2003, and it provides after-school tutoring for pupils from kindergarten to 12th grade at over 500 locations throughout China. Zhang is also an official Weibo microblogger, but, like his fellow billionaires in this list, he might be too busy making money to actually post on social media.

No. 7 – Cai Xiaoru (蔡小如, 36 years): 1.2 billion US$

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Cai Xiaoru is chairman of Tatwah Smartech (达华智能), a company that is specialized in the research, development, manufacture and distribution of radio frequency identification (RFID). The company produces, amongst others, non-contact IC cards and electronic labels. Cai became a billionaire in mid-2015, following the fast-growing stock price of Tatwah Smartech.

No. 8 – Li Weiwei (李卫伟 aka 李逸飞, 37 years): 1.3 billion US$

37wan

For Li Weiwei, it is all work and all play. The young entrepreneur, who was born in Chengdu city, is the vice chairman of online game company Wuhu Shunrong Sanqi Interactive Entertainment Network Technology (芜湖顺荣三七互娱网络科技股份有限公司). The company is better known under the name of 37wan, a platform that offers high-quality game products. Li Weiwei is also known as Li Yifei (李逸飞).

No. 9 – Zhou Yahui (周亚辉, 39 years): 2 billion US$

zhou

Another billionaire who got rich through the gaming industry is Zhou Yahui (1977) – the CEO of Beijing Kunlun Tech (北京昆仑万維科技股份有限公司). Kunlun Tech is one of China’s biggest web game developers and operators. In January of 2016, NY Times reported that the company paid $93 million for a 60% stake of Grindr, the largest social networking app for gay men in the world. With over 2 million daily users in 196 countries, the app has proven to be a good investment for Zhou.

No. 10 – Wu Gang (吴刚, 39 years old): 1.3 billion US$

wugang

Wu Gang is co-founder and CEO of money management company Beijing Tongchuang Jiuding Investment Management (北京同创九鼎投资管理股份有限公司), better known as JDcapital (九鼎投资), “a leading investment firm with deep roots in equity investment and management”, as it describes itself.

On Weibo, some netizens have asked Norwegian billionaire Alexandra Andresen to come and visit China. With so many other billionaires, the young heiress will certainly have no reason to feel lonely at the top in China.

– By Manya Koetse

Sources:
*163 (2015): http://news.163.com/15/1104/14/B7J6UOEO00014AED.html
*Jiangsu.China.com (2015): http://jiangsu.china.com.cn/html/jsnews/gnxw/2758273_2.html
*Forbes.com (various pages, see in-text links) and the China Rich List sorted by age.

Images:
Featured: Yang Huiyan (http://blog.sina.com.cn)
http://www.ittime.com.cn/news/news_10433.shtml
http://www.eeyy.com/jinjing/2014/
http://uk.china-info24.com/british/tic/ht/20150729/200775.html
http://baike.baidu.com/view/880927.htm
http://startupbeat.hkej.com/?author=12
http://www.cyzone.cn/a/20131114/247015.html
http://money.163.com/15/1216/07/BAULIVAD00252G50.html
http://www.laonanren.com/news/2015-11/104275.htm
http://www.forbes.com/profile/zhou-yahui-1/
http://www.gsm.pku.edu.cn

©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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Backgrounder

How Chinese Kuaishou Rebel ‘Pangzai’ Became a Twitter King

He’s been called a ‘Twitter king’, but how did the unexpected online fame of this ‘Hebei Pangzai’ start?

Jessica Colwell

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Twitter has fallen in love with a Chinese farmer after his drinking videos on Kuaishou were cross-posted abroad and went viral. He has embraced his new fans and Western social media, arguably becoming one of China’s most successful cultural ambassadors of the year.

He describes himself as the “inventor of tornado beer drinking style” and as an “ordinary peasant from China.” ‘Hebei Pangzai’ only joined Twitter in August of 2019, but he already has a Twitter following of more than 111.6K.

Although his account is temporarily restricted by Twitter at time of writing (“due to suspicious activity”), his popularity is only growing. Some Twitterers, such as the China twitterer Carl Zha (@CarlZha), are even initiating a “#FreePangzai campaign” to restore the account of the “one true King.”

But where and when did the online fame of ‘Hebei Pangzai’ start?

Let’s begin our introduction to Pangzai with one tweet from March of this year, when Twitter user ‘Hunnaban Trenchboss’ posted a video from Chinese short video app Kuaishou (快手) showing a man – ‘Pangzai’ – wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigarette while preparing an incredible mixed drink.

The man in the video smoothly pops the cap off a bottle of beer with a chopstick, pours some in a large jar, then twirls the bottle and propels the rest of the beer in a tornado of force down his throat.

He follows that up by pouring in more beer, some blue liquor, an egg, some Pepsi, and a hefty glass of baijiu – which he dumps in only after lighting it on fire, igniting his finger, and coolly lighting his cigarette. He then chugs the entire concoction in a matter of seconds.

“How do I become as cool as this guy, The Coolest Guy?”, the tweet said.

The same video was shared again in August by a few Russian accounts, was retweeted by an American account, and then went completely viral, racking up millions of views and tens of thousands of retweets.

That video has now been viewed almost 12 million times on Twitter, and has inspired tens of thousands of fans who herald him as ‘king.’

The man in the video referred to as ‘Pangzai’ (胖仔, ‘chubby dude’) is Liu Shichao (刘世超), a 33-year-old farmer and small-time Chinese internet celebrity from a city called Xingtai in Hebei Province.

According to an interview with Technode, he found out about the video on Twitter when some of his new foreign fans opened Chinese social media accounts to find him and tell him about his overnight online fame.

“One message told me that I was a celebrity now in America,” he told Technode: “So I chatted with the person [who sent the message] for a whole day, with the help of translation software.”

Within two days of his video going viral, Pangzai had figured out how to use a VPN, opened his own Twitter account and started uploading videos.

He even posted a reply on the original viral video to alert everybody to his account.

Liu’s early response to his viral video on Twitter.

Since then, Liu ‘Pangzai’ has amassed over 111,000 followers and has posted many more videos of everything from drinking, to cooking, to exploring his countryside hometown.

But it was the drinking videos specifically that earned him his following, both abroad and in China.

 

IT STARTED ON KUAISHOU

“Pangzai epitomizes the typical Kuaishou account.”

 

Liu began his internet career three years ago on Kuaishou, a Chinese short video app massively popular among China’s lower-tier cities and countryside.

In contrast to the polished, celeb-heavy platform Douyin, which is most popular among urban youths, Kuaishou is a platform for the masses. Its users are known for their crazy antics and general disregard for personal safety.

Liu Shichao’s Kuaishou account has 354,000 followers, but the majority of his videos have been removed.

Pangzai epitomizes the typical Kuaishou account. Posting under the handle “Chubby Dude from Hebei” (@河北胖仔), he uploads videos of himself eating and drinking in eye-popping combinations, or sometimes smashing things – from bricks to unopened water bottles – with his bare hands.

Liu’s video of breaking bricks with his hands was also popular on Twitter.

Liu also gained notoriety, and a couple hundred thousand followers, from his mastery of the so-called ‘beer tornado technique’ (小旋风 xiǎo xuànfēng).

According to an interview with the BBC, he peaked at 470,000 followers on Kuaishou and was monetizing his online fame with some 10,000 RMB ($1420) per month.

Liu’s signature beer tornado technique features in the first video he posted to Twitter.

Unfortunately for Liu, China’s Cyberspace Administration announced a crackdown on vulgar and illegal content across multiple social media platforms in spring of 2018, with a focus on Douyin, Kuaishou, and its sister news company Jinri Toutiao. Kuaishou was pulled from app stores until it cleaned up its act.

It is unclear just how many videos and accounts have been removed as a result of the cleanup. We can get a rough idea from an announcement by Kuaishou earlier this year that in March of 2019 alone, it removed an average of over 11,000 videos and blocked almost 1,000 accounts every day.

The result for Liu was that his account was suspended for four months and the majority of his most popular videos, including the one that went viral abroad, were removed for promoting ‘unhealthy drinking habits.’

When you look at his Kuaishou account today, you won’t see many videos focused solely on baijiu and beer chugging.

The videos that remain on his account do include drinking (and his signature tornado move) but it is always accompanied by eating food or some other activity (such as sitting deep in a field of corn, munching on roast duck and dribbling baijiu down a corn leaf into a glass.)

In a video posted to Kuaishou, Liu pours baijiu into a glass from a corn leaf, before then lighting it on fire and chugging it.

Liu still has 354,000 followers on Kuaishou. His Chinese fans, like his foreign ones, marvel at his cool and collected manner as he eats and drinks all sorts of disgusting things.

Canned herring features heavily in his most popular recent videos, where he can be seen sipping the juice directly from the can.

In one of his videos on Kuaishou, Liu eating herring directly from the can, to the disgust of his fans.

“This has to be the most unaffected anyone has ever been by eating canned herring,” says one fan. “The flavor is disgusting! 99.9% of people who try this would vomit,” another online commenter replies.

 

AN UNEXPECTED TWITTER KING

“Liu is like many young men from the countryside of Northern China: open, friendly, humble, and genuinely excited to share his life.”

 

This year, Liu seems to have embraced his newfound international stardom with grace and savvy.

He uses Twitter’s in-app translation to help him communicate with fans and has been highly interactive on the platform.

Liu ‘Pangzai’ was also quick to open up a Paypal account and share it with followers, and has recently made YouTube and Instagram accounts to prevent scams pretending to be him. He has also collaborated with a Twitter fan to sell T-shirts online in America.

Many online fans have dubbed him ‘king’, perhaps the highest praise one can receive on the internet today.

But in contrast to the sunglasses and chill demeanor of his videos, Liu does not appear to be an internet celebrity overly obsessed with being cool.

Instead, he is like many young men from the countryside of Northern China: open, friendly, humble, and genuinely excited to share his life (and drinking habits) with the rest of the world.

Liu began using translation software to communicate with fans soon after joining Twitter.

After reposting all of his old drinking videos from Kuaishou, Liu started asking Twitter fans what they would like to see from him. Many responded that they wanted more about his life in rural China.

He has since followed up with videos showing him fixing a pipe with his friends, exploring his local market, cooking sweet potatoes, and, of course, a tutorial on how to master the ‘tornado beer’ technique.

Liu explaining on Twitter how to perform the tornado beer technique that helped make him famous.

Many have expressed concern for his health in light of his drinking habits, but he has assured everybody that everything he does is “within his ability” and that he doesn’t drink like that very often.

Liu is grateful for all the support and praise he has received from abroad. “It’s crazy to have all of these foreign friends all of a sudden,” he recently said in an interview with Deadspin: “I really have to thank them a lot. If I have a chance I will find them and we can drink together.”

Seemingly to that end, Liu has recently organized a party to be held near his hometown in China, exciting fans all over the world and spurring many to apply for passports and visas.

Once Liu began inviting people to his party, he changed the date and location in order to accommodate more attendees.

The date is set for December 14, 2019 in Zhuamadian City, Hebei Province; too soon for many to make it, but he promises another party in the spring. There is talk also of organizing a visit for Liu ‘Pangzai’ to go to America.

 

WINDOW INTO CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA

“Liu’s growing notoriety abroad seems to have flown completely under the radar of the Chinese internet.”

 

Although there are many vloggers like Pangzai in China, he stands out on Twitter as some sort of window into Chinese social media, especially because this online world is usually so separate from the Western realms of social media.

The recent explosive growth of Chinese social media apps such as TikTok has not done much to facilitate this kind of cultural interaction between China and the West.

Although Tiktok is, in fact, a Chinese app (called Douyin 抖音 in China), there are actually two different versions of the same app in mainland China and abroad, meaning that the other ‘Pangzais’ of the Chinese internet still remain within the social media spheres of the PRC, rarely gaining fame outside of the Great Firewall.

In China, aside from his fans on Kuaishou, Liu’s growing notoriety abroad seems to have flown completely under the radar of the Chinese internet. He is mentioned only one or two times across Weibo, and searches for his name and handle on WeChat, Baidu, and various Chinese tech news sites bring up nothing.

Liu is a rare example of genuine soft power coming out of China. A pure, grassroots man of the people with strong cultural appeal who sincerely enjoys sharing his life and his culture with the rest of the world. His tweets are full of affection and appreciation for his fans, as well as frequent prompts for followers to share their own lives and customs of their home countries.

To watch his introduction to Twitter and rise to fame is to see the best of the internet: cultural interaction, genuinely shared delight, and mutual admiration inspired by hilarious antics caught on camera.

His Twitter fans express their hope that Twitter Support will soon lift the temporary ban on their ‘Twitter king.’ To them, it’s perfectly clear: this online king is nowhere near dead, long live Pangzai!

Follow the #FreePangzai hashtag on Twitter.

Update: Panghaizi is out of Twitter jail!

 
Want to read more about unexpected online celebrities from China? Also see:
The Story of Two Farmers Who Became Internet Celebrities;
The “Vagrant Shanghai Professor”;
From Farmgirl to Fashionista: Weibo Celebrity Fairy Wang.

 

By Jessica Colwell
Follow @whatsonweibo

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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Celebs

“Living a Nightmare” – Chinese Beauty Guru Yuya Mika Shares Shocking Story of Domestic Abuse

Famous makeup artist Yuya Mika shared her story in a video that has since gone viral on Weibo.

Manya Koetse

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on

First published

Chinese famous makeup vlogger Yuya Mika has come out and shared her experience of being physically abused by her former boyfriend. Yuya’s story – told in a documentary-style video that is now going viral – does not just raise online awareness about the problem of domestic violence, it also shows the raw realness behind the glamorous facade of China’s KOLs’ social media life.

Fashion and makeup blogger He Yuyong, better knowns as Yuya (宇芽) or Yuya Mika (@宇芽YUYAMIKA), has gone viral on China’s social media platform Weibo for sharing her personal story of suffering domestic abuse at the hands of her ex-partner.

On Monday afternoon, November 25 – which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – Yuya, a KOL (Key Opinion Leaders/online influencer) who has over 800,000 followers on her Weibo account, wrote: “I’m a victim of domestic violence. The past six months, I feel like I’ve been living a nightmare. I need to speak up about domestic violence here!”

With her post, Yuya shared a 12-minute documentary-style video in which she tells how she has been abused by her partner of one year, with whom she has now separated.

The short doc does not just tell Yuya’s story, it also features the experiences of her former partner’s ex-wives, who allegedly also suffered domestic violence at his hands.

Besides the shocking accounts of the women, the video contains also footage of Yuya’s ex-boyfriend trying to violently drag her out of an elevator – a moment that was caught on security cameras in August of this year.

Yuya identifies her former boyfriend and abuser as the 44-year-old artist and Weibo blogger ‘Toto River’ (@沱沱的风魔教), who was married three times before starting a relationship with the famous beauty blogger.

The two met each other through social media, and Yuya initially fell for his talent and kindness. But, as she says, his perfect social media image soon turned out to be nothing but a fake facade, and the nightmare began.

The beauty blogger explains that the domestic violence went hand in hand with mental abuse, with Yuya being brainwashed into believing she was lucky to be with a man such as her boyfriend.

As the abuse became a regular occurrence, Yuya tearfully explains how she sometimes could not work for a week because her face was too bruised for shooting videos.

Yuya also writes on Weibo that she shares her story so that the experiences she and her ex-boyfriend’s former wives suffered will not happen to other women, and to warn others from ending up in a similar situation.

Meanwhile, the Weibo account of Yuya’s former boyfriend has been closed for comments.

Yuya Mika is not just popular on Weibo and video ap Tiktok. The beauty guru – famous for doing imitation makeup of celebrities and famous icons such as Mona Lisa – also has over 750k fans on her Instagram account and thousands of subscribers on her YouTube Channel, where she posts makeup tutorials.

Yuya Mika as Mona Lisa.

Yuya is part of the company of Papi Jiang (aka Papi Chan), a Chinese vlogger and comedian who became an internet celebrity in 2016. On Tuesday, the Papi Jiang company also responded to Yuya’s video, saying they fully support the makeup artist in coming forward with her story.

At time of writing, Yuya’s story has been shared over 425,000 times, with a staggering thread of more than 280,000 comments on Weibo.

Many commenters respond in shock that the tearful woman in the video is actually Yuya, as the makeup artist is usually always smiling and shining in front of the camera. Other Weibo users express their hopes that Yuya’s ex-boyfriend will be punished for what he did.

With over 160 million views, the hashtag “Yuya Suffers Domestic Abuse” (#宇芽被家暴#) is now in the top five of most-discussed topics on Weibo.

Over the past few years, the issue of domestic violence has received more attention on Chinese social media, especially since China’s first national law against domestic violence came into effect on March 1, 2016. More women have come forward on Chinese social media to share their personal experiences with domestic abuse.

According to Chinese media reports of Tuesday afternoon, local authorities are currently investigating Yuya’s story.

By Manya Koetse, with contributions from Miranda Barnes
Follow @whatsonweibo

It’s almost Black Friday! We’ve already listed the best VPN deal for you here.

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