• SF Express

SF Express (Photo : S.F. Express USA/YouTube)

Going public for a company by launching an initial public offering is one way for a business to become a billionaire or one of the country’s richest persons. Wang Wei, founder of SF Express in China, for instance, is now the fourth wealthiest man in China after the deliveries company he established listed at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

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It also happened to Alibaba in 2014 when the Chinese e-commerce giant launched an IPO at the New York Stock Exchange and broke bourse records by raising $25 billion. It made Jack Ma at that time the richest man in China although Dalian Wanda founder Wang Jianlin overtook him.

China’s Wealthiest Men

However, the latest index by Bloomberg released in March said Jack Ma is still China’s richest with a net worth of $36.7 billion despite the Alibaba founder losing almost $100 million the past year. Wang Jianlin is now second with $31.1 billion, while third is Pony Ma, founder of Tencent, the internet giant in China, with a net worth of $24.1 billion.

Wang Wei, with a net worth of $22 billion, is in fourth place. The listing of SF Express increased his wealth 20-fold. As the top courier company in China, SF Express has 80,000 employees, owns three dozen jets and thousands of vehicles used for delivering parcels and documents across China and the world.

Illegal Service

The Star reported that Wang Wei opened SF Express in 1993 by offering courier services between Hong Kong where he was raised, and the mainland. At that time, his workers used a minivan when the service the company offered was considered illegal.

China’s postal service then dominated the delivery business in the Asian giant and SF Express had to handle packages sneakily to avoid being caught by postal officers and being fined. In 2016, SF Express earned 4 million trillion yuan which is triple the company’s 2.57-million yuan income in 2015. As the largest express delivery service in the world, SF Express has more than 40 percent share of the business.