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A self picture of Eric Tse with Rihanna. Photo: Instagram @erictse0816

Sino Biopharmaceutical founders’ son, who parties and takes selfies with Rihanna, gets US$3.8 billion gift in the drugmaker’s shares

  • The founder of Sino Biopharmaceutical and his wife have granted 2.7 billion shares of their company, equivalent to US$3.8 billion, to their son Eric Tse as a gift
  • The grant makes Tse, 24, one of the wealthiest individuals in Asia
Sino Biopharmaceutical’s billionaire founder and his wife are transferring about one-fifth of the company’s share capital, or around US$3.8 billion, to their son – as a gift.

The grant of 2.7 billion shares, detailed in a Hong Kong exchange filing late Tuesday, makes Eric Tse one of Asia’s richest individuals overnight. (There’s no tax on gifts or inherited wealth in the former British colony.) But the 24-year-old son of Tse Ping and Cheng Cheung Ling says he’ll try to keep a low profile.

According to the statement, Eric has “indicated that in response to nomination for Billionaire List or wealth ranking organised by media or other organisations, he will endeavour 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.”

Besides his parents, that includes older sister Theresa. The total value of Sino Biopharmaceutical’s shares held by the four is around US$8.5 billion, Bloomberg calculations show.

In a separate statement Wednesday evening, Sino Biopharmaceutical named Eric Tse an executive director and member of the company’s executive board committee, effective the same day. His compensation is set at HK$3.9 million (US$498,000) per year, plus discretionary bonuses.

Sino Biopharmaceutical didn’t respond to requests for comment about the gifted shares. Eric also didn’t immediately respond to messages left for him.

The share transfer is the latest in the tsunami of Asian wealth that’s being passed down to the next generation. In 2018, four Chinese tycoons tipped more than US$17 billion into family trusts, while many of Hong Kong’s biggest developers are going through succession planning.

After graduating with a finance degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Eric went on to become a Schwarzman Scholar at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, according to an article on Wharton’s website.

The piece also says Eric was born in Seattle, attended primary school in Beijing and secondary school in Hong Kong. He established the China Summit Foundation, a charitable organisation that supports education and cultural initiatives, it adds.

A picture of Eric Tse and the model Bella Hadid. Photo: Instagram @erictse0816
The scion is also active on Instagram, where he shares shots of himself parasailing and partying with Rihanna. Other selfie mates include model Bella Hadid, basketball star Yao Ming and Princess Charlene of Monaco. His most recent post is from Beijing, where he attended the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

He appears as a director on at least five other company boards in Hong Kong, including Charoen Pokphand Skyland Group, a firm that uses the name of the conglomerate of Thailand’s richest family.

Tse Ping, who’s been a national committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the nation’s top political advisory body, will remain as president of Sino Biopharmaceutical after the share transfer. Its purpose is to refine the management and inheritance of the family’s wealth, according to the statement.

Eric’s shares will be held via holding companies Thousand Eagles and British Virgin Islands-based Remarkable Industries.