Wang Chuanfu (above), the founder of Chinese battery manufacturer and automaker BYD is reportedly the richest man in all of China. Already a wealthy man, Bloomberg reports that Chuanfu has jumped a startling 102 places to land himself atop Hurun Rich List, an annual wealth index chronicling the country's richest people.
How did this happen? Chuanfu made nice with "The Oracle of Omaha" Warren Buffett, and the investor has paid him back – handsomely. The iconic businessman's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took a 10% stake in BYD this year, and the stock feeding frenzy that resulted pushed Chuanfu's personal wealth from a piffling $880 million up to a get-Robin-Leach-on-the-horn $5.1 billion. Buffett himself pocketed a billion from the relationship in short order, too.
Of course, Bloomberg notes that it also helps that BYD's F3 sedan has become China's best-selling automobile this year, and presumably the demand for high-capacity rechargable batteries for everything from phones and laptops to hybrid autos isn't going anything but up.
Either way, we wouldn't be surprised to learn that Chuanfu plans on repaying Buffett's favor come holiday season by sending him the mother of all fruit baskets.
[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Bill Pugliano/Getty]