Real Estate Developer Named China’s Richest Man of 2017

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. tycoon / taɪˈkun / (n) – an influential individual in a particular industry

    The business tycoon invested in several properties.

  2. net worth / nɛt wɜrθ / (n) – the total amount of a person’s money and property minus the expenses and debts

    The chairman of that car company has a net worth of $30 billion.

  3. land / lænd / (v) – to reach a certain spot, as in a list or category

    The singer landed in second place in the list of the country’s most successful people.

  4. balloon / bəˈlun / (v) – to increase at a fast rate

    The company’s profits ballooned to over $50 million after a month.

  5. give rise to (something) / gɪv raɪz tʊ / (idiom) – to cause something to happen

    His grand ideas gave rise to a successful business.


Read the text below.

Real estate tycoon Xu Jiayin is China’s richest man of 2017, according to media company Hurun Report.

Hurun Report is a high-end publishing company that monitors individuals with the highest net worth in China every year through its China Rich List, which began in 1999.

China Evergrande Group’s Xu Jiayin has been reported to outperform last year’s richest man, commercial property tycoon Wang Jianlin, after Xu acquired $43 billion worth of wealth. Following Xu in the list is Tencent Holdings founder Pony Ma, while Jack Ma of the popular online giant Alibaba landed in third place. Real estate heiress and China’s richest woman, Yang Huiyan, placed fourth.

Fifty-nine-year-old Xu is a self-made businessman who founded Evergrande Group in 1996. With over 25 years of experience in real estate investment and property development under his name, he managed several companies such as biscuit machine manufacturer Guangzhou Pengda Group Ltd. and Wuyang Iron and Steel Co. Ltd.

Sales-wise, Evergrande Group is one of China’s largest property developers, after providing thousands of middle-class residences in the country. Because of the increased value of property assets in China, the company’s shares ballooned to over 450%, resulting in a $30 billion increase in Xu’s wealth in 2016.

Aside from making a name for himself in the real estate industry, Xu has been recognized for using his wealth for a good cause. In 2016, Evergrande gave its first donation of over $150 million for poverty eradication initiatives. This gave rise to various projects, such as 200 agricultural programs. In addition, Evergrande has financed various education-related projects, like scholarships and the purchase of instructional facilities.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Xu Jiayin will be able to keep the top spot in the China Rich List? Why or why not?
• If you were Xu Jiayin, how would you use your wealth for a good cause? Explain.

Discussion B

• In your opinion, what is the significance of recognizing the richest people in a certain country? Explain.
• What do you think are the pressures and difficulties that come with this recognition? Discuss.