Millionaires & Billionaires

Rags to riches: Delivery man now China’s third-richest billionaire

How Wang Wei went from deliveryman to billionaire

Show me the money! A humble delivery man has now become China's third-richest billionaire.

Wang Wei, chairman of SF Holding — the FedEx of China — has seen his fortune grow to around $27 billion, according to a Forbes estimate. Wang has knocked out Tencent founder Pony Ma for the third spot, but is still a few billion dollars behind China's richest man, property tycoon Wang Jianlin, based on a ranking by the Hurun Report.

China's economy has boomed over the years, and so have the pockets of some savvy individuals. The world's second-largest economy now creates one new billionaire nearly every week, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Logistics firms like SF are also riding China's e-commerce boom, as shopping sites run by Alibaba and have grown in popularity among consumers.

Shares of SF have soared as much as 40 percent after the company completed a backdoor listing last Friday in Shenzhen. Wang, 46, merged his company with one that was already trading — a quicker route to a public debut.

Employees handle packages at an S.F. Express store in Hong Kong, China, on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017.
Anthony Kwan | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Since then, the stock has spiked by the 10 percent daily trading limit every day. But shares pulled back 3 percent today, after official state media reports said the huge rise was a matter of "idle speculation." Still, the company's market cap is hovering around 285 billion yuan ($41 billion).

The Chinese government has been keen to rein in frenzied stock trading — those efforts are seeking to avoid a repeat of the 2015 stock market crash.

Wang started his company in 1993 with about $13,000, sending packages himself along with a handful of other couriers and one delivery van, according to state media reports. Now, SF has 15,000 vehicles and a network that covers 200 countries and regions globally.

Other Chinese delivery firms have also listed recently — YTO Express in Shanghai, and ZTO Express in the U.S.

ZTO's New York IPO was the largest in the U.S. last year.

SF Holding didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

— Barry Huang contributed to this report.

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