Colin Huang, the big man behind online Chinese food retailer Pinduoduo, has seen his fortune dwindle by 27 billion this year. He now has only $125 billion left.
This is according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Of the 500 names in the index, none of them lost more than Huang, not even Hui Ka Yan of Evergrande Real Estate roving group. He is in trouble and is struggling to pay off his debts.
Huang is one of the many self-made entrepreneurs in China. He started his career at Microsoft and Google, but then chose entrepreneurship. This move coincided – coincidentally or not – with a meeting with Warren Buffett.
His big breakthrough came in 2015 with the start of Pinduoduo, an online platform for food products. At the end of last year, it had 788 million active users in China. It even toppled e-commerce giant Alibaba, albeit not in terms of revenue and profits.
The downfall of Pinduoduo has everything to do with the Chinese government’s hunt for private companies. The regime is rapidly tightening the screws on the business world, a process that fits in with the broader fight against social inequality in the country.
According to the Bloomberg Index, of the 10 billionaires who recorded the largest drop in wealth this year, six come from China.