No. 7 Xu Bingzhong
Company: Helans International Holdings
Net worth: US$1.9 billion by Forbes
Born in 1974 in China’s Hubei province, Xu Bingzhong is the youngest Chinese drinks billionaire on the list. He joined the billionaire club last year, after publicly listing his company Helans International Holdings, operator of the country’s biggest bar chain.
A retired veteran, Xu reportedly opened his first English style pub, Helan’s bar, in Beijing in 2009 using his savings from working as a security guard for three years. The bar became a hit particularly among young consumers for its affordable drinks. It’s reported that all canned beer sold at the pub is below RMB 10 and patrons can even bring their own snacks.
Today, there are roughly 800 Helan’s bars operating across China, making it the biggest leader in China’s highly fragmented bar scene with 1.1% market share. The company’s annul revenue from last year totaled RMB 1.83 billion, a year-on-year increase of 124%.
In 2021, amid the pandemic, Xu decided to go public with his company. Listed in Hong Kong, Helens is valued at about HK$30 billion, and Xu’s net worth overnight shot up to over HK$20 billion.
The Shenzhen-based company sells its branded beers, fruit drinks and wine and other alcoholic drinks. Its vast network of bars even extended to Manhattan in New York City and Hong Kong, and the company aims to increase the number of bars to over 2200 by 2023.