This story appears in the November 2022 issue of Forbes Asia. Subscribe to Forbes Asia
This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of China’s Richest 2022. See the full list here.
The global market for solar energy products saw double-digit growth in 2021, surging to $161.2 billion, according to India-based Custom Market Insights. That boom has propelled Jin Baofang, founder, chairman and managing director of JA Solar Technology, to No. 23 with $10.4 billion in wealth.
The maker of solar panels notched a 89% jump in sales for the first nine months of 2022 to 49.3 billion yuan ($6.8 billion) from a year earlier, while net profit grew over twofold to 3.3 billion yuan. Higher input prices have driven up the cost of producing panels, but JA Solar offsets this by producing its own solar batteries and silicon chips. It now supplies up to 80% of its annual panel capacity, which is pegged to rise to 50 gigawatts by year’s end—equivalent to roughly a quarter of China’s panel-production capacity in 2021.
Overseas markets contributed two-thirds of sales in 2021. JA Solar has manufacturing sites in Malaysia and Vietnam, and in February it announced a 1.2 billion yuan investment to expand production in Vietnam. The company is also involved in the design, construction and operation of solar farms.
JA Solar went public on the Nasdaq in 2007, but Jin took the company private again in 2018 following a lackluster share performance. The company joined the Shenzhen Stock Exchange the following year through a backdoor listing.