No. 8 Yang Tindong of Yanghe Distillery
Company: Yanghe Distillery
Net worth: US$1.7 billion
Yang Tindong from Yanghe Distillery has a net worth valued at US$1.7 billion, according to Forbes 2022 Billionaire List.
Born in 1960, Yang first found a career in teaching but later turned to civil work. In 1997, he was transferred from his job as a deputy county head to Yanghe Distillery as its new Chairman. The company apparently was in such bad shape that some employees were ashamed of telling people that they work at the distillery.
By 1998, his focus was solely focused on restructuring Yanghe Distillery. He led market research and trimmed product offerings. The company’s ‘Blue Classic’ series turned out to be a success. By 2004, sales from the Blue Classic range more than tripled 2003’s annual sales to reach RMB 76 million. In 2006, that number reached RMB 678 million.
His fortune came from his stake in Yanghe distillery, which is valued at RMB 266.1 billion (US$39.7 billion). In 2012, Yanghe was ranked as the second most valuable baijiu company in China just behind Kweichow Moutai. The same year, Yang decided to retire at his peak.
A shrewd businessman, aside from his significant shares in Yanghe, Yang also holds shares in a few listed companies including property developers New World and Shenzhen Heungkong Holding.
Located in Suqian City, Jiangsu Province, Yanghe Distillery boasts a 1,300-year history of liquor production that dates back to the Sui and Tang dynasties, peaking during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Known for its Ocean Blue and Dream Blue range of Baijiu, Yanghe’s style of Baijiu is noted for its mellow aromas.
Aside from baijiu, Yanghe also has a sizable investment in wine. In 2012 it launched Sidus wine range from Chile and later collaborated with Concha y Toro for more product releases. In 2018, it bought a stake in Chilean winery Viña San Pedro.