- With a current net worth of $13.3 billion, Zhang Yong tops Forbes’ list of Singapore’s wealthiest
- He grew up in Sichuan, China and recently became a naturalized Singapore citizen.
- Haidilao now has more than 400 branches worldwide.
If you have been around China, Singapore, and Malaysia, you must have encountered even just one branch of Haidilao, the famous chain of hotpot restaurants. The man behind this hotpot empire is Zhang Yong and he has just become the richest man in Singapore.
What made the distinction more noteworthy is that Zhang grew up not in Singapore, but in the rural province in Sichuan. He was previously featured among the richest men in China.
Now that he recently became a naturalized Singapore citizen, he topped Forbes list of Singapore 50 Richest.
Zhang has a current net worth USD 13.3 billion, displacing siblings Robert and Philip Ng of the Far East Organization on top of the list. The real estate magnates now stands at second place with a combined net worth of USD 12.1 billion.
For a decade, the Ng brothers have been at the top of the Singapore’s wealthiest list every year…until Zhang made it to the list this year.
Another interesting fact is that Zhang, who grew up in humble means, did not even experience eating at a restaurant until he was 19. He recalled that the staff was rude to him and that the food was sub-par.
This became part of his drive to provide customers a better dining experience especially when they are out sharing a meal with family.
Zhang quit his welding job in 1994 and started his own small eatery, which only had four tables for customers. Later on, he asked his friends to invest in his business.
From this, he built Haidilao, which now has more than 400 branches globally.
Aside from his famous hotpots, his restaurants now offer extras – such as free manicures and phone screen protectors and plastic bags for phones – which made customers feel more welcome.
Free manicures to go with your hotpot, only at Haidilao.
Hadilao was made available for Initial Public Offering in 2018.
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