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# 475 Zong Qinghou $5.22B

Random fact: Member of China's top legislative body since 2003.


Zong is the chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha Group, a beverage maker with more 80 production bases across China. He founded the Hangzhou-based company in 1987 and controls most of it with his family. It also produces food, baby formula and children's apparel, and had revenue of 52 billion yuan ($8 billion) in 2021.

As of :
Last change -$275M ( -5.0%)
YTD change -$333M ( -6.0%)
Biggest asset Hangzhou Wahaha Group Co.
Country / Region China
Age 77
Industry Food & Beverage
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Zong Qinghou's net worth of $5.22B can buy ...

troy ounces of gold
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

of the GDP of the United States
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
of U.S. existing home sales
times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Zong's fortune is derived from closely held Hangzhou Wahaha Group, a Chinese beverage maker with more than 80 production bases in the country, according its website.

Zong and his family control about 80% of the Hangzhou-based beverage producer through holding companies, according to a 2012 Bloomberg report. The group reported revenue of 52 billion yuan ($8 billion) in 2021, according to the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce's top 500 companies list.

The valuation is based on the average enterprise value-to-Ebit, enterprise value-to-Ebitda and enterprise value-to-sales multiples of four publicly traded peers: Tingyi Cayman Islands Holding Corp, Uni-President China Holdings Ltd and Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd.

A liability is included to reflect the 3 billion yuan ($485 million) Wahaha Group paid to buy out the stake held by former partner Danone Group.

Shan Qining, a Wahaha spokesman based in Hangzhou, confirmed Zong's stake in Wahaha in a 2012 interview. Lu Dong, a spokeswoman for Wahaha Group, didn't respond to more recent emails seeking comment on Zong's net worth.


Family: Married, 1 child

Zong Qinghou founded a grocery store with two retired teachers and a $22,000 loan in 1987, selling popsicles, sodas and stationery to nearby school students. Four years later, the company changed its name to Wahaha after buying a money-losing, state-owned food company with 2,000 workers for $12.6 million.

Wahaha has benefited from China's rapid economic growth in the past two decades. It has about 60 factories in 29 provinces across the country, making beverages, food and baby formula, as well as children's apparel. Zong, together with his wife Shi Youzhen and daughter Kelly Zong Fuli, owns more than 80 percent of the company. He called himself "China's poorest chairman" in a March 2011 interview with Bloomberg News.

Wahaha formed a joint venture with French food and drinkmaker Groupe Danone in 1996. The venture had grown into 39 factories across China by 2007, when the collaboration began to sour over a dispute regarding the use of the Wahaha brand. Zong bought Danone out of the partnership following two years of legal battles in 2009. The deal was brokered by the Chinese and French governments. Both companies declined to disclose the price of the stake sale, which was reported as $379 million by China's Caijing Magazine.

His daughter, Kelly Zong, is expected to take over the company when he retires.

  • 1945 Zong Qinghou is born in Suqian, in eastern China's Jiangsu province.
  • 1962 Family moves to Hangzhou, where Wahaha is based now.
  • 1987 Founded a grocery store in a school.
  • 1989 Changes the company's name to Wahaha.
  • 1991 Becomes chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha.
  • 1996 Forms a joint venture with Groupe Danone SA.
  • 1998 Creates "Future Coke" soda to take on Coca-Cola.
  • 2002 Introduces children's apparel.
  • 2003 Becomes a delegate to the National People's Congress.
  • 2009 Buys out Danone's share of their joint venture.