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China’s ‘Warren Buffett,’ Zhang Lei, reportedly gains Singapore citizenship

Chinese reports state that Hillhouse Capital’s founder, Zhang Lei, acquired Singaporean citizenship. Additionally, Neil Shen, the Founding Partner of HongShan, is reported to have been granted permanent residency in Singapore before the Covid-19 pandemic.



SINGAPORE: According to reports from Chinese news sources,  Zhang Lei (张磊), the founder of Hillhouse Capital (高瓴资本), a Chinese investment company with assets totalling billions of dollars, is said to have acquired Singaporean citizenship.

FT Chinese, the Chinese business and finance website affiliated with the Financial Times Group, also covered the story of “Zhang Lei from Hillhouse Capital obtaining Singapore citizenship.”

Hillhouse Capital, established in 2005, focuses on various investment sectors, including technology and media, consumer and retail, healthcare, energy, and manufacturing.

It has invested in several Chinese tech giants such as Tencent,, and Meituan.

The 52-year-old Zhang Lei is often referred to as the “Chinese Buffett.”

Recent investment endeavours by Hillhouse Capital reveal substantial international ventures, notably the US$37 billion acquisition of the home appliances division of the Dutch electronics giant Philips.

In contrast, there are rumours of a noticeable reduction in investment scale within China, with speculations about restructuring the Asian operations.

However, Zhang Lei has not provided any response.

Reports indicate that Hillhouse Capital replaced its Chinese official website with an English version, conducted large-scale layoffs in mainland China in 2022, relocated many senior management personnel to Singapore, and leased an entire floor of the Marina Bay Financial Centre.

Hillhouse Capital’s LinkedIn page states that the company is headquartered in Singapore, with over LinkedIn 450 users registered as employees.

Earlier reports mentioned Hillhouse Capital’s rumored competition with Japan’s Mitsui & Co to acquire the traditional Chinese medicine business Yurensheng International, with the estimated transaction amount exceeding US$700 million.

As the helmsman with assets exceeding billions of dollars, Zhang Lei has maintained a low profile, rarely appearing in the media, especially in recent years when his public appearances have been extremely limited.

At the World Henan Entrepreneurs Convention on 21 April last year, where ten entrepreneurs were recognized, Zhang Lei was honoured with the “Outstanding Henan Entrepreneur” award. However, he did not attend the conference on that day.

In recent years, many Chinese investors have been strengthening their presence in Singapore.

According to a report from FT Chinese, Neil Shen, the Founding Partner of HongShan (formerly known as Sequoia Capital China), was granted permanent residency in Singapore prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, as revealed by sources familiar with the situation.

Shen’s decision, attributed to “personal reasons,” preceded the establishment of his firm HongShan’s office in Singapore.

A spokesperson for HongShan clarified to Gutzy that despite Neil holding permanent residency in Singapore for several years, he has predominantly been based in Hong Kong for an extended period, rather than in Singapore.

Tencent’s co-founder Zhang Zhidong and ByteDance’s founder Zhang Yiming have also relocated to Singapore.

Influx of ultra-wealthy families from China to Singapore

Earlier in 2023, There have been indicators that suggest the obvious signs of the the influx of ultra-wealthy families from overseas, particularly from China to Singapore.

Last month, Singapore’s media outlet the Business Times reported that  Zhang Ying, wife of Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma acquired three adjacent shophouses on Duxton Road for a sum between S$45-50 million.

Singapore, a hub for the ultra-rich, has seen other high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) making significant property acquisitions.

In 2021, Zhang Yong, founder of Haidilao, was granted the option to buy a Gallop Road bungalow at S$42 million.

Despite Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denial claims that the city-state is set to attract nearly 3,500 HNWIs with a net worth exceeding US$1 million to become citizens this year, the local economy has since felt the impact of the influx of these HNWIs, such as the rising demand and property values.

According to, these wealthy Chinese buyers even eyeing conservation shophouses in the CBD and Chinatown, driving the transaction to spike above $7,000 psf.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has only accorded approximately 6,500 shophouses in Singapore with conservation status, making this class of property extremely rare.

Shophouses are only granted “conservation status” if they possess distinctive architectural features which are of historical and cultural significance.

In a notable March 2023 article, FT published a headline-grabbing piece titled “Singapore and Hong Kong Compete to Become the Prominent Financial Centers of Asia,” highlighting the rivalry between the two cities to become the leading financial hubs in Asia, aiming to shift the global centre of gravity for hedge funds and wealthy families.

Note: In a previous version, it was mentioned that Neil Shen is the founder of Sequoia Capital, which was incorrect. We have rectified this fact to clarify that Neil is the Founding Partner of HongShan, formerly known as Sequoia Capital China. He is not responsible for founding Sequoia Capital, which is the US venture capital firm.

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Just as Singapore is good for the ultra rich, China is wonderful for the not so rich. Fantastic place for our aging community


Singapore heartily welcomes these high net worth individuals so that our property sector can thrive with this injection of funds.

To them, spending millions here and millions there is like throwing confetti at a wedding.

And why would our G deprive itself of increasing its coffers? Never mind if property prices climb to ridiculous heights.

So, I say “Welcome”

At this rate China might well extend their 9-dash-line claim of the South China Sea to include Singapore 🙂

Background checked?
Linked to xixipi of chyna?

Most of the rich people in chyna are linked to xixipi.

ForeSEE there will be 2 zhang lei in Singapore soon.

It seems, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” unapplicable.
Aren’t there other comparable places like KL, Taipei, Tokyo, Down Under Sydney, Perth. Why not.

Yes, let’s go for skillsfuture course with the skillsfutre credit and see if we will end up like 10% of Mr Zhang.