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Billionaire lives on $20 a day

August 11, 2011

Zong Qinghou, whose empire includes 200 subsidiaries in soft drinks, clothing and food, lives on the equivalent of $20 a day and claims smoking and drinking tea as his only hobbies, according to the BBC. The 67-year-old entrepreneur runs his businesses with his wife and daughter and personally signs off on every spending decision. “My only exercise is doing market research… my only hobbies are smoking and drinking tea,” he said.

Qinghou, who Forbes estimates is worth just under $6 billion, is China’s richest man, according to the magazine. His company has grown from a small shop selling vitamin drinks to a massive conglomerate in just two decades. The product that propelled him to billionaire status was Wahaha Oral Liquid for Children. That success prompted the government to ask him to take over a failing canning business that he quickly turned around despite skepticism from his workers.

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