Every single courier in China, working long hours for little pay, is hoping that someday he’ll end up like Wang Wei.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the richest man in China is Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, followed by Dalian Wanda CEO Wang Jianlin. In third is SF Express founder Wang Wei with $26.7 billion.
Which is not bad for a guy who founded his company back in 1993 in Hong Kong with a small loan from his dad of about $13,000. Along with a handful of other couriers, Wang himself helped to discreetly transport packages across the border to get his fledgling delivery business going while evading the authorities.
“When SF started delivering packages in the 1990s, it was still an illegal business called “black delivery,'” Wang told People’s Daily in 2011, in the only interview he has ever given. “We would be fined if caught by postal officers, so we had to handle packages sneakily.”
Now his business has grown into “the FedEx of China” with an army of 80,000 couriers, 15,000 vehicles and 30 planes that operate in 200 countries across the world. His company’s fortunes have been helped by the fact that China changed its postal laws in 2009, finally making what they were doing legal, along with the e-commerce boom in China that has led to Chinese consumers relying more and more on online shopping sites for buying everything they need.
Last Friday, Wang’s wealth skyrocketed after SF Holding, the operator of SF Express, completed a backdoor listing in Shenzhen. In the last year, Wang has added $22.1 billion to his net worth helping him to pass by Tencent founder Pony Ma and a number of other billionaires to become China’s third richest man.
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