Move over, Kylie Jenner, the youngest self-made billionaire, who achieved the feat at 21 after years of cultivating her eponymous cosmetics line. A Chinese pig farmer doesn’t even need years to quadruple his fortune, thanks to the current pork shortage in his country.
Qin Yinglin, the founder of Muyuan FoodStuff Co., grew his net worth to $8.6 billion in 2019 alone, making him the person with the fastest-growing fortune as per the Billionaires Index of Bloomberg. This was a result of the harrowing African swine fever that killed millions of pigs in China, which is considered to be the largest source and consumer of pork.
The epidemic has caused a surge in the prices of pork, which is why Qin’s net worth skyrocketed in such a fast pace. The majority of his multibillions come from his 60-percent stake in the company, whose profit increased by 260 percent in the third quarter of 2019 than the same timeframe in 2018.
The same fate isn’t for all hog raisers as others had to close the business because they weren’t able to reproduce a sufficient number of hogs. As for Muyuan, it soared as the crisis prevailed.
What the company does to prevent the African swine flu, which is highly contagious among animals, is to make sure that the feed is sterilized with heat, that the trucks are cleaned and disinfected, and that farm air is filtered.
Who Is Qin Yinglin?
In 1965, the multibillionaire was born in Henan province. Qin took an animal husbandry degree from the Henan Agricultural University – so as you can see, he really practiced and made a living out of what he studied.
Qin spent three years in a government-run business before putting up his own pig-breeding company in Nanyang. At first, he only had 22 hogs and now, Muyuan kills millions of pigs per year.
Needless to say, the epidemic sweeping across the country should be taken seriously. The losing sides are the consumers and the farmers who couldn’t cope with the demand or have suffered a huge blow when their animals died or were killed due to the disease.
To ease the burden on the mass, the Chinese government released pork from its stockpiles. It had also tried adding technologies – facial recognition and artificial intelligence — to monitor the health of the pigs but it didn’t stop the African swine flu from spreading.
Meanwhile, Qin wasn’t the only one benefitting from this chaos. The chairman of HopeGroup, the largest pork producer in the world, Liu Yonghao also saw his net worth balloon to $11 billion in the past year, or almost twice his previous earnings.