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S'pore's Second Richest Man: How Li Xiting's Net Worth Grew To S$24.3B Amid COVID-19

[Update: 20 August 2020]

According to 2020 Forbes Singapore Rich List, China-born billionaire Li Xiting, is the second richest in Singapore.

He has a net worth of US $17.8 billion (S$24.3 billion).

China-born hotpot billionaire Zhang Yong and his wife, co-founders of Haidilao, are the richest in Singapore.

The Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the economies of countries all over the world and caused a global recession.

Great economic losses and unemployment is what typically comes to mind when people think of the pandemic.

However, while industries like tourism and aviation have taken the hardest hit, others like e-commerce and healthcare have seen greater demand than ever.

It’s no surprise then if entrepreneurs in these sectors have enjoyed a booming business since the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year. One such entrepreneur is Singaporean Li Xiting, co-founder and CEO of Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics.

Adding A Billion To His Net Worth Each Month Since 2020

Earlier this year on April 3, Bloomberg Billionaires Index reported that the 69 year-old had added US$3.5 billion (S$4.8 billion) to his net worth this year, averaging about a billion a month.

This was even more than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, who added US$3.4 billion (S$4.67 billion) to his net worth.

Currently, Xiting is the 80th richest individual in the world, with a total net worth of US$17.5 billion (S$24 billion).

This also makes him the richest Singaporean, with Nippon Paint founder Goh Cheng Liang coming in second with a net worth of US$15.3 billion (S$21 billion).

According to Bloomberg, Xiting has a bachelors degree in physics from the University of Science and Technology of China. He also worked as a researcher in various institutes in China and France.

After spending four years working at a medical equipment company in Shenzhen, he founded medical technology firm Mindray in 1991, alongside co-founders Xu Hang and Cheng Minghe

Making A Fortune From Ventilators

Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics produces ventilators, making li xiting the richest man in singapore
Ventilation unit / Image Credit: The Manufacturer

Xiting can attribute his growth in fortune to a boom in demand for medical equipment, particularly ventilators, as nations worldwide grapple with the coronavirus.

Due to the pandemic, ventilators have become a rare commodity globally, with countries scrambling to get their hands on the device.

Furthermore, unlike other medical equipment such as masks which can be mass-made in factories, producing ventilators is highly technical and specialised.

Ventilators are devices that help patients to breathe, and are critical in treating Covid-19 patients whose lungs have been damaged by the respiratory disease.

Shenzhen Mindray Bio-Medical Electronics is a global provider of medical devices and solutions, including ventilators. According to the company’s website, its products and services can be found in healthcare facilities in over “190 countries and regions”.

Its other products include health monitoring systems, defibrillators, anaesthesia machines and infusion systems.

In a media statement, a spokesperson of the healthcare company said it received orders for medical devices from over a hundred countries, and demand for its products rose sharply in March.

It is unclear how much a ventilator produced by Mindray costs, and how many ventilators the company has sold this year.

Companies in industries from automotive to engineering have also stepped in to help ramp up the ventilator supply.

Firms like Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Ford and Tesla are amongst those who have repurposed their manufacturing processes at the peak of the pandemic to aid medical efforts.

For now, ventilators continue to be an essential piece of equipment in lifesaving during the pandemic. Though, it seems unlikely that the ventilator boom will persist for long after Covid-19 blows over.

Featured Image Credit: ImagineChina via Bloomberg

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