This 24-Year-Old, Rihanna's Friend, Just Became An Overnight Billionaire

Eric Tse is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance. After graduation, Tse became a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

This 24-Year-Old, Rihanna's Friend, Just Became An Overnight Billionaire

Eric Tse is listed as a director on at least five other company boards in Hong Kong

Need a fail-proof recipe for instant billionaire? Just take the 24-year-old son of pharmaceutical moguls and add $3.8 billion in shares from the family business, gratis.

Eric Tse, son of Sino Biopharmaceutical executive directors Tse Ping and Cheung Ling Cheng, became one of the wealthiest people in Asia overnight when his parents gave him about a fifth of the company's share capital this week - a stake worth more than $3.8 billion. The move catapulted Tse into China's growing class of ultrarich and onto Forbes' ranking of the 550 wealthiest people on the planet. He is now worth more than President Donald Trump, director Steven Spielberg and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz. The transfer was meant to "refine the management and inheritance of family wealth," the company said in a statement. To that end, Tse also was named an executive director of Sino Biopharmaceutical and added to its executive board committee. He will earn a little less than $500,000 a year plus bonuses.

Born in Seattle and schooled in Beijing and Hong Kong, Tse is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance. After graduation, Tse became a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

He is listed as a director on at least five other company boards in Hong Kong, according to the South China Morning Post, including a firm named for the conglomerate of Thailand's wealthiest family. Tse's billionaire father was once a member of the Chinese People's Political Consulative Conference, China's top political advisory group.

"My parents, seniors and elders genuinely believed in my potential and helped me without expecting any return," Tse said in a Wharton article spotlighting him. "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 may be a newly minted billionaire, but his star-studded Instagram posts show that he's occupied that world for years. He can be seen smiling next to retired NBA player Yao Ming at the Basketball World Cup, wrapping his arm around supermodel Bella Hadid at a Bulgari party in Venice, posing poolside with Princess Charlene of Monaco and snapping a selfie with singer Rihanna in New York. Many of his shots with celebrities are captioned "#casual." Other posts show Tse jetting over the French Alps, swimming with dolphins in the Bahamas and parasailing in Thailand.

Tse's new status comes as China, for the first time, surpassed the United States in claiming the largest share of the world's richest people. A report from Credit Suisse this week said 100 million of Chinese citizens are listed among the top 10 percent of all earners. The U.S. has 99 million people on that ranking, though it still has more millionaires, with about 40 percent of the world's total, according to the report.

The company said Tse is not interested in being recognized on global rich lists.

"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," the company said.



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