How Billionaire Li Xiting Debuted at No. 2 on Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest List 2020
Despite a declining economy and stock market due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Singapore’s billionaires saw their collective wealth rise to US$167 billion, a 28 per cent increase from last year.
Along with this phenomenon, this year’s Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest List saw a major reshuffling in the top 10.
While Haidilao’s Zhang Yong secured his top spot—together with his wife, Shu Ping, this year—with a combined net worth of US$19 billion, new entrants have pushed palm oil tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong and Worldwide Hotels’ Choo Chong Ngen—who were 9th and 10th on last year’s list—to the 12th and 14th place respectively.
Most notably, Chinese billionaire Li Xiting, who was previously not featured on the list, shot to the second spot making his debut with a net worth of US$17.8 billion. A naturalised Singapore citizen like Zhang, Li was previously 27th in the China Rich List 2019.
The chairman of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics, Li is a self-made billionaire who co-founded the Shenzhen-based medical device supplier with the mission to make healthcare more accessible for all. Prior to establishing Mindray, the Bachelor of Science from the prestigious University of Science and Technology of China was an employee of Anke, another Shenzhen-based medical imaging devices manufacturer. It was at this company where he met Xu Hang and Cheng Minghe, who would be his future co-founders. One of China’s largest medical device manufacturer since 2008, Mindray became a publicly-traded company in 2018.
The manufacturer produces an extensive range of medical equipment for both human and vet use, from patient monitoring and life support systems to in-vitro diagnostics and medical imaging systems. This includes ventilators, which have been highly sought after by hospitals and healthcare providers during the past harrowing months of treating Covid-19 patients, who require ventilators for breathing support.
The company reportedly received orders from 100-odd countries for their medical devices amidst the epidemic, with an order for nearly 10,000 sets of equipment that include ventilators, imaging devices, and patient monitors from Italy alone.
(Related: These Are The Countries With The Most Billionaires In 2020)
This high demand for medical equipment is believed to be the reason behind Li’s meteoric rise. As stock prices for Mindray soared by almost 50 per cent in April this year, Li’s net worth was recorded by Forbes to be US$11.6 billion, a stark increase from his US$8.55 billion net worth in June 2019.
But the billionaire has also been giving back. In a public statement issued through Mindray on April 5, Li said, “In a time when the mission to save lives is more important than ever, we are doing all we can to bring healthcare within reach. To date, we have donated US$4.6 million of devices to hospitals all over the world.”
On March 5, the company also shared that it had donated over US$4.71 million’s worth of medical devices to designated medical institutions for Covid-19 in Hubei Province, one of the hardest-hit regions in China.
Mindray also announced the launch of new portable ultrasound systems ME series on April 29, which would act as a “fast, convenient, non-radioactive, interactive diagnostic tool” to “empower clinicians with more confidence to focus on patient care.”