24-year-old becomes a billionaire overnight
Eric Tse, who recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Finance, was gifted about $3.88 billion in his family company’s shares on Tuesday.
Tse’s parents are both executive directors of Sino Biopharmaceutical Limited, and on Tuesday they gave him a fifth of the company’s total issued shares “as a gift at nil consideration,” according to a company statement.
Tse, who is from Hong Kong, is the latest member of Asia’s booming billionaire club – but apparently wants no part in the wealth rankings. The company statement said “he will endeavour not to participate in such rankings in his own name, and would recommend participating in such nominations in the name of the Tse Ping family.”
The statement suggests he wants to keep a low profile – yet as documented on Instagram, he’s been rubbing elbows with the rich and famous long before the share transfers. In 2017, he posed with renowned models Bella Hadid and Lily Aldridge at a Bulgari party in Venice. Just a few months later, he posted a photo with singer and Fenty Beauty owner Rihanna in New York, captioning it, “Party with my idol.”
His Instagram posts tell the story of a globetrotting life – snowboarding in Japan, parasailing in Thailand, swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas.
He’s also posted photos with some of the most prominent athletes in China, like Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Sun Yang and basketball icon Yao Ming.
He has met political leaders and members of royalty like Princess Charlene of Monaco and former French first lady Carla Bruni – but more striking are the close ties he seems to have with mainland Chinese politicians.
That’s not surprising, as his father Tse Ping was previously a committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the country’s top political advisory body.
On October 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the younger Tse attended Beijing celebrations open only to invited guests and dignitaries.
The company statement on Tuesday said Tse’s parents had transferred the shares to him “to refine the management and inheritance of family wealth.” The document was signed by the company’s chairwoman, Theresa Tse – Eric’s sister.
Shares aside, Tse also gained a new position – executive director of the company’s executive board committee. According to the company statement, before being given this role, he previously served as CEO at the North America arm of recruitment company Liepin.
CNN has reached out to Tse for comment.
Tse is part of a new wave of wealth in China. A “rich list” released earlier this month showed that although Chinese wealth is concentrated in the hands of tech entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical moguls – like those in Tse’s family – are making ground. Pharmaceutical moguls make up 8% of China’s rich list, double that of 10 years ago.
China’s young rich also sparked last year’s viral “flaunt your wealth” challenge, which later spread worldwide. The challenge involved people photographing themselves pretending to fall out of luxury cars or trip, spreading their expensive belongings in front of them as if they’ve just casually fallen out of their pockets.
According to a new report released Monday, there are also more Chinese than Americans in the richest 10% of people in the world – a first.