News

Published: Thursday, 27 June 2013
Mike Fulton

According to the South China Morning Post Charles Zhang recently spent ‘tens of millions’ for the sales and distribution rights for Sunseeker International in China. Zhang, the founder and chairman of Sohu.com, one of China’s top internet portals, has a PhD degree in experimental physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

A statement on Sunseeker's website states that Zhang became a ‘shareholder of strategic significance’ in July last year. Sources said Zhang's decision to control all official distribution channels in China deepened his ties with the company. Apparently Zhang bought the distribution rights at about the same time Dalian Wanda decided to acquire the company. 

Internet Guru Acquired Sunseeker Distribution Rights In China 1

"In the future, Wang Jianlin will make the yachts and Charles Zhang will sell them around China," said another source. "This market has huge potential because the super-rich always want to try something new and luxury cars like Rolls-Royces and Bentleys don't feel new to them any more." 

A report by the Fung Business Intelligence Centre said that high-wealth consumers are becoming more discerning with a rising level of sophistication. "Many of them prefer low-key but unique luxury products to reflect their individual tastes," said the report. 

Zhang, who bought his first Sunseeker in 2011, is hoping to see yachting take hold among China’s newly wealthy. "I want to fish, make breakfast or just listen to some music on my yacht,” Zhang told a Chinese boating magazine in 2011. 

The number of high-net-worth individuals, with at least US$1 million in assets, in China grew 14.3 per cent last year to 643,000. That is more than five times the number in Hong Kong, according to a recent report by the Royal Bank of Canada.