Meet the richest person in Taiwan, who built an $11.7 billion fortune

Zhang Congyuan, Taiwan’s richest man, amassed a fortune of $11.7 billion by manufacturing shoes for global brands such as Nike.

The 74-year-old Forbes World’s Billionaires newcomer is the wealthiest self-made billionaire in recent memory.

Zhang opened a shoe shop after graduating from high school and moving to Taiwan to support his family.

He began his career on a pig farm, where he learned the ins and outs of the shoe industry. Zhang Congyuan, Taiwan’s richest person, makes his money by producing sneakers for some of the world’s most well-known brands, including Nike, Adidas, and Puma.

The 74-year-old has the highest net worth of any self-made newcomer on Forbes’ World Billionaires List, which is published annually and ranks the world’s wealthiest individuals.

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Zhang is the founder of Huali Industrial Group, which manufactures shoes for Nike, Ugg, Vans, and other companies. According to Bloomberg, the Huali shoe factory produces approximately 180 million pairs of shoes per year.

Despite his numerous achievements, he keeps a low profile, attending only a few public events and giving only a few interviews. Taiwanese media refers to him as the “mystery shoe king.”
The most humble times in life are those that occur at the beginning of something new.

According to Taiwan Business Weekly, Zhuang was born and raised in the Taiwanese countryside town of Yunlin, where she attended agricultural college and worked in a women’s shoe factory after graduation.

Despite his limited ability at the time, he was able to save enough money to open his own shoe factory in 1980.

“Because I didn’t have any money at home, I was forced to live within my means. Many people buy land in order to build new structures; I bought a farm and a farmhouse in the countryside “Last year, he revealed this in a rare interview with the magazine. “People buy good parcels of land in order to build new buildings.”

According to the magazine, despite its location among rice fields in western Taiwan, the pig farm produced high-quality shoes, citing Goodbox chief Chiang Wei-lun as an example.

“Zhang invested in high-quality materials, and his equipment was never inferior to that of his competitors,” Chiang explained.

Zhang founded a number of other footwear companies in Taiwan and China’s southern region of Guangdong, which is now known as Guangzhou. Guangdong, known as “the world’s factory,” manufactures a wide range of export goods, including everything from handbags and shoes to Christmas decorations.

The web of intrigue is becoming increasingly tangled.

According to Business Weekly, Zhang, on the other hand, saw an opportunity to distinguish himself. This possibility became a reality as a result of the sticky, malleable rubber soles on vulcanised shoes. Despite their low cost, vulcanised shoes were unpopular among shoemakers at the time because they were unfashionable and reflected a period of low profit margins.

Others in the industry had given up on the project, but Zhang told the magazine, “I just wanted to focus on obtaining good quality.”

When these shoes became popular in the 1990s, Zhang had a head start and was able to produce them for brands such as Converse and Vans. According to Forbes, Zhang was still working for Converse when the company went bankrupt in 2001. Nike purchased Converse two years later on the recommendation of Converse, and Zhang was recommended as a possible collaborator.

Huali Industrial, founded in 2004 by Zhang, now employs workers in several countries, including Dominica, Vietnam, and China.

When asked about his success formula, he told Business Week, “There is no mystery.”

According to the speaker, what really matters is whether or not you want to outperform your peers.


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