Name: Hui Ka Yan
Date of Birth: 9 October 1958
Type of Business: Real Estate
Main Achievements: CEO of Evergrande Group, topped Forbe’s China Philanthropy List, came as third on Forbes’ list of Richest Chinese Billionaires.
Something interesting about the person: Hui Ka Yan is an ardent football fan, he is planning to introduce a Harvard related hospital to China.
The Donald Trump of China, Hui Ka Yan, whose name is written as Xu Jiayin in Mandarin Chinese, was born into a poor veteran’s family in Jutaigang Village, China. His childhood was not spent playing around and enjoying with his friends; instead, when he was only eight months, he lost his mother, who died of sepsis. Yan never knew a mother’s love; his paternal grandmother raised him. His father was a retired soldier who participated in the Second Sino Japanese War. After the war was over and when China became a communist state, his father became a woodcutter. His grandmother used to sell homemade vinegar, and they had no money to send Hui Yan at school. After completing his high school education in 1975, Yan started working at a cement factory. After that, he worked at home for two years. When Mao Zedong revolution came to an end in 1978, Hui was lucky enough to become one of China’s first college students at the then Wuhan Institute of Iron and Steel, which is now known as Wuhan University of Science and Technology. He was the proxy in charge of Hygienic in his class. After he graduated from the Institute in 1982, he was assigned to a job in his home province at state-owned steel, which was offering him a work guarantee of a lifetime. Hui Ka Yan took the job and also continued to study. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of West Alabama in the year 208.
Since Yan’s first job was also in a cement factory, he got the hang of his job quickly and worked in Wuyang Iron and Steel Company for ten years. He got a promotion in 1983 and became an associate director from a technician. After that, he became the official director of the steel company. He remained the director of the company for seven years and after that, he resigned. He joined the ‘Zhongda’ trading company in Shenzen in the year 1992. Yan was a hardworking man and was skillful since the start due to which within just one year, he becomes the president of the company’s branch “Quanda.” However, Yan did not stop there; unlike others, he had a vision and a dream. Success was like a drug, and he wanted to be the most successful person in China. Fueled by his dreams and goals, Yan moved to Guangzhou in 1994 to establish the Guangzhou Pengda Industrial Co., Ltd. Two years later, in 1996, Yan established Evergrande Group and became the company’s chairman.
Everrgrande Group, formerly known as Hengda Group is the second-largest property developer group in China. The company’s primary focus is on the investment of real estate properties, especially to the elite and middle class. Evergarnde is an investment holding company whose majority of the shareholder is Hui Ka Yan. The company has various businesses, including finance, hotel, health industry, and internet business. On the Hong Kong stock exchange in the year 2009, the company raised an IPO of $722 million. Hui Ka Yan is a staunch sporter of football; he has a great love for the sport, which is why, as an investment strategy, Yan bought the Guangzhou Evergrande football in 2010. The investment proved to be in Yan’s favor as the club won the 2013 AFC champions league. Due to its success, the club now has its football coaching and tutoring school. However, 50% of the Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club was sold to Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group for 192 million dollars in 2014 by Yan. He met Yang Huiying at Wuyang Iron and Steel Company, and later they both got married.
Yan currently lives in Guangzhou with his wife and two children. His son Xu Zhijian who received his MBA from Tsinghua University, is now a vice president at Evergrande. Along with all this, Hui serves as a member of the 11th National Committee of Political Consultative Conference of Chinese People. He also serves as a vice president at China Real Estate Association, China Entrepreneur Association, and China Enterprise Association. Because of his lavish purchases, he is referred to as the Donald Trump of China. However, currently, Hui Yan has serious debt problems. Both Evergrande and Hui Yan are under the growing risk of being crushed by unmanageable debt. In the past three years, Yan’s wealth dropped about 200 billion dollars. His company currently owes more than a hundred billion dollars. His estimated net worth is 23 billion dollars.