Furniture Makers Become Billionaires On Chinese Stock Market
UE Furniture Lounge Chairs.jpg
John Zhang

Photo By Zhejiang UE Furniture Co.

A Chinese couple have taken their furniture making business public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and in the process they've become billionaires.

As reported in Forbes magazine, Entrepreneur Zhang Jiayong (John), chairman of Zhejiang UE Furniture, and his wife Shang Weiwei have become a billionaire couple this week despite the recent stock market chaos in China. They founded their office chair company in 2001.

Zhejiang UE Furniture listed at Shanghai Stock Exchange on Jan. 23, raising $41 million, by issuing 25 million shares at 10.22 yuan. Their 51% stake was worth more than $1 billion at the closing price of $128.18 yuan on July 16.

Zhejiang UE Furniture
UE Furniture lounge seating line

Revenue and net profit of the company in the first quarter of 2015 was 252 million yuan, or $41 million, an increase of 33% from a year earlier.

UE says it reinvests 3% of annual sales in new product research and development, citing innovation as a key reason for its success. The company makes office chairs, massage chairs, functional furniture hardware and sofas. UE touts its eight important principles - "safe, comfortable, unique, easy, environmentally friendly, elegant, economic, efficient" - in an effort to make "Made in China" a higher value. Its chairs are sold throughout China from its base in Anji County, where it has two production facilities that employ 1,500 workers.



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Larry Maloney