Eric Tse is a 24-year-old Chinese business executive and son of pharmaceutical moguls who went to sleep on Wednesday night and woke up on Thursday as a billionaire and one of the richest people on Earth.
Tse is the son of Sino Biopharmaceutical executive directors Tse Ping and Cheung Ling Cheng who own around $8.5 billion in Sino Biopharmaceutical shares. Tse’s parents gifted him one-fifth of the company’s share capital, or around $3.8 billion, as a graduation gift.
In addition to the shares, Sino Biopharmaceutical announced in a separate statement that they named Eric Tse an executive director and member of the company’s executive board committee. His compensation is set at $498,000 per year plus discretionary bonuses. In a statement, the company said it made the moves to “refine the management and inheritance of family wealth”.
The gift instantly made Tse one of the richest men in Asia and landed him on Forbes’ ranking of the 550 wealthiest people on the planet. He is worth more than President Donald Trump, director Steven Spielberg and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz.
Eric Tse apparently isn’t interested in recognition for his newfound wealth. “In response to nomination for Billionaire List or wealth ranking organized by media or other organizations, [Tse will endeavor 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,” Sino Biopharmaceutical said in a statement.
Tse was born in Seattle and raised in Beijing and Hong Kong. He’s a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton School of Finance. After graduating he went on to become a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Founded the Annual Penn Wharton China Summit, America’s Largest Student-Organized Summit on China
Eric Tse is a driven young man. While he was at The University of Pennsylvania, he brought together top Chinese leaders including Jun Lei, Shiyi Pan, and Jizhong Zhang, and 1,500 students from more than 85 cities across the country and the globe for the Penn Wharton China Summit.
According to The Wharton School, “The three-day event integrates networking sessions, a career fair, and speaker panels that feature thought leaders from a diverse range of industries in China, including real estate, finance, technology, media and entertainment, art and fashion, and social innovation.”
Tse said he first thought of the conference during his freshman year at The Wharton School. He wanted “Something that I would do better as a freshman than a senior — I wanted to see my initiative through college and leave a legacy behind,” he said. “As an international Chinese student, I thought it was best to serve my immediate community.”
Tse organized the event and worked with hundreds of volunteers to recruit Chinese leaders and manage event logistics. During the inaugural event in 2016, managing the volunteers became a challenge. “For the first day, all the volunteers were there. By the last day, only half were left, but the most committed volunteer became our operation department director for the 2017 summit,” Tse told The Wharton School.
Tse also got support from the Penn Chapter of the Global China Connection (GCC) and the Penn Wharton China Center (PWCC) to recruit attendees and build the speaker list.
“My parents, seniors and elders genuinely believed in my potential and helped me without expecting any return,” Tse said in an interview with The Wharton School, “By the time I was 19, I was thinking about how I could deliver the same positive energy and passion to the people around me.”
Tse also established the China Summit Foundation, a non-governmental organization with 501c3 status that coordinates and shares speakers and resources among schools.
2. He’s the CEO of Liepin America, One of the Largest HR Platforms in China
Eric Tse is the CEO of Liepin America, the North American division of the largest mid-senior level professional & talent online platform in China. He assumed the leadership role at the company immediately after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania when he was 22 years old.
His role at Liepin is a continuation of what he tried to accomplish with the Penn Wharton China Summit, “With PWCS, I created a platform to encourage students to return to China. But at the same time, I haven’t created an actual path to help them,” he told The Wharton School. “With this new role, I can connect international students with career opportunities in China and continue serving the student population back in the States.”
According to Liepin America’s LinkedIn page, the company has a “46 million platform user base, 500K business customers and over 300K headhunters”. They have served over “500,000 customers” and “has branch offices in 16 top cities in China covering broad industries and geography”
3. He Hangs Out With Celebrities Including Yao Ming and Rihanna
Eric Tse’s Instagram is packed with posts showing off his billionaire lifestyle. Tse constantly posts photos from expensive vacations and rubbing shoulders with some of the most famous people in the world.
He’s been photographed hanging with Yao Ming during the basketball world cup, partying with Rihanna in New York, posing with international supermodel Bella Hadid, and laughing with French first lady Carla
Eric Tse switched his star-studded Instagram to “private” after learning of his new billionaire status.
4. He’s a Director on 5 Other Company Boards in Hong Kong
Eric Tse must be one of the busiest 24-year-olds alive. As The Sydney Herald reports, he is a director “on at least five other company boards in Hong Kong, including Charoen Pokphand Skyland Group Ltd, a firm that uses the name of the conglomerate of Thailand’s richest family.”
This is in addition to him being an executive director at Sino and the acting CEO for Liepin America.
5. His Sister Is Also on the Board for Sino Biopharmaceuticals
When it comes to business, the Tse’s like to keep it all in the family. Eric’s older sister Theresa is the chairlady of the Board, an executive director, and the chairman of the executive board committee and the nomination committee at Sino and owns 11% of the company ($1.96 billion).
Like Eric, she graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Economics. Also like Eric, she is a director at multiple other companies including CT Tianqing and Beijing Tide.
Theresa and Eric aren’t the only family members their parents, Mr. Tse Ping and Ms. Cheng Cheung Ling, hired to join the company. According to the Sino website, they also recruited a number of their siblings including “Mr. Tse Hsin, an Executive Director of the Company, Ms. Chia Fai, Miss Tse Wun, and Mr. Tse Hsuan, Johnny, all being senior management of the Company.”
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