No. 9 Xu Jin
Company: Kouzi Distillery
Net worth: US$1.3 billion
Xu Jin is estimated to have a net worth of US$1.3 billion by Forbes, and his fortune came from baijiu producer Kouzi Distillery.
Kouzi Distillery is the flagship baijiu producer in China’s central Anhui province, and Xu Jin, an Anhui native, was credited for turning a profit-losing spirit company to a profitable operation.
In the 1990s, two drinks companies were merged and formed today’s Kouzi Distillery. Xu was elected the leader of the newly formed company after purchasing a majority stake in one of the merged companies.
Distilled alcohol from Kouzi town in Anhui earned its fame back in China’ The Warring States Period (475–221 BC). Different from Moutai, which is known for its sauce aromas, Kouzi baijiu is a representative of more complex and layered of aromas.
Under his leadership, the company started to show positive growth at the turn of 2000. By 2009, its annual turnover reached RMB 2 billion, and last year it recorded RMB 5.02 billion in sales, led by high-end baijiu sales, which accounted for RMB 4.78 billion, according to its financial filing.
The baijiu company is most known for its baijiu brand Kouzijiao, and also owns other brands including Laokouzi, Kouzifang, and Kouzimeijiu, among others.
The drinks company went public in 2015, becoming the 17th listed baijiu company in China.