A China family known as the country’s “poker kings” has joined the ranks of the world’s billionaire clans.
The fortune of the family of Yao Wenchen, founder of playing card supplier Shanghai Yaoji Technology, rose above $1 billion for the first time earlier this month. Yaoji’s shares closed at 37.71 yuan at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange yesterday, up by their daily 10% upper trading limit, and have gained nearly 360% in the past year. The family’s 54% stake, was worth $1.1 billion yesterday, after discounting for collateralized shares. Yaoji closed at a record high of 38.40 yuan on Jan. 15.
Yao’s family includes elder son Yao Shuobin, Yaoji’s chairman and general manager. Younger son Yao Shuoyu is vice chairman and vice general manager; wife Qiu Jinlan and daughter Yao Xiaoli also hold shares but have no position in the listed company.
Yaoji, which went public in 2011, supplies traditional playing cards and develops mobile games.
Yao set up Yaoji Playing Card’s predecessor business Yuchen Industry in Shanghai in 1994. He worked in an auto-part plant early in his career,
Yaoji’s sales in the first nine months of 2019 rose by 130% to 1.22 billion yuan, or $178 million. Net profit climbed by 244% to 260 million yuan, or $38 million.
China is home to the world’s second-largest number of billionaires after the United States.