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9 Things You Didn’t Know About China’s Warren Buffet
Known as “the Warren Buffet of China”, Fosun’s Chairman Guo Guangchang (left) is a formidable businessman. Founded in 1992, Fosun is a Chinese international conglomerate and investment company. In recent years, it has mainly focused on acquiring foreign firms in industries such as healthcare, tourism, fashion and banks, including France’s Club Med, Britain’s Thomas Cook Group, Canada’s Cirque du Soleil, US clothing label St John and insurer Meadowbrook, and Greek jeweler Folli Follie. Most recently, it purchased English football club Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the aim of sending them back into the Premier League. Here are 9 facts you may not have known about the ambitious man behind it all.
- Guo Guangchang was born in the south-eastern province of Zhejiang in 1967, growing up in a poor family during the Cultural Revolution.
- Guo co-founded Fosun in 1992 with current Fosun CEO Liang Xinjun and three of his university friends.
- The company name “Fosun” means “star of Fudan” and comes from the founders’ undergraduate alma mater, Fudan University, where Guo studied philosophy.
Guo later studied at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB) in the 2006 CEO Class, alongside Alibaba’s Jack Ma, Vantone’s Feng Lun and Mengniu Diary’s Niu Gensheng; meanwhile, Fosun CEO Liang Xinjun also studied at CKGSB, taking the EMBA Program in 2007.
Fosun Chairman Guo Guangchang (left) and CEO Liang Xinjun both studied at CKGSB
- Guo’s investment decisions are inspired by his belief in Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. He is also a devotee of taichi, a Chinese martial art.
- He follows a low-meat diet and went vegetarian for a month when he was mourning his mother’s death.
- After Guo Guangchang modeled his strategy on Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, Chinese media nicknamed him “the Warren Buffett of China”. Fosun has acquired approximately 50 firms across a variety of sectors over the past three years and is now one of China's most diversified conglomerates with investments in property, pharmaceuticals, insurance, retail and tourism.
- Guo Guangchang ranked 270th on the 2016 Forbes World’s Richest People list and 19th on the 2016 Forbes China’s Richest People list.
- Guo is dedicated to philanthropy and regularly gives to charity. He is the vice chair of both the China Glory Society and the China Social Entrepreneur Foundation. Fosun has donated over 600 million RMB (around $100 million) to charitable causes to help fight poverty, improve access to education and provide natural disaster relief.