|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2009)|
|Type||Privately held company|
|Industry||Nutrition, Health and Diet|
|Founded||Orem, Utah in 1982|
|Products||Herbal food and beverages, nutritional supplements, sports and weight management, skin care, personal care, oral care, home care|
Sunrider Corporation, or Sunrider International, is a privately owned network marketing company headquartered in Torrance, California. with thousands of franchise stores and tens of thousands of distributors internationally. Sunrider manufactures health, beauty, food, and household products at four manufacturing plants: Southern California, China, Singapore, and Taiwan. Sunrider does business in 42 countries, and operates offices in 22 countries.
Sunrider was founded in 1982 in Orem, Utah in the United States by the Taiwan-born herbalist, Dr. Tei-Fu Chen. In the late 1980s, the company moved its headquarters to the Los Angeles area. It has since expanded into an international corporation with about forty offices worldwide.
In 1995 Sunrider International and its owner were charged with orchestrating a massive tax and customs fraud scheme to evade tens of millions of dollars in taxes. Chen and the Sunrider Corporation were indicted by a federal grand jury in a 20-count indictment charging them with conspiracy, tax evasion, filing of false corporate tax returns, and smuggling. In 1997, the Chens entered into a plea bargain with the court on the charges of tax evasion and customs fraud. Tei-Fu Chen served nearly a year in minimum security prison while his wife, Oi-Lin Chen, served six months of home detention. The couple paid over $100 million in back taxes, interest and penalties and an additional $4 million to avoid forfeiting the items they were accused of smuggling and undervaluing.
In 2007 Sunrider purchased the Holiday Inn Asiaworld Taipei and renamed it the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel Taipei, and expressed plans to purchase more hotels in Asia. Sunrider has over 7,000 retail stores in China.
Sunrider is a multi-level marketing company which is primarily known for selling herbal products such as diet pills, teas, and health snacks. As of 2009 the company was reported to have an annual revenue of over $700 million, and 300,000 distributors.
Stephen Barrett has accused the company of making false claims regarding its products' therapeutic effects, and reports legal problems the company has faced from the FDA and state of California regarding false medical claims. In addition, Barret has said that Sunrider distributors do not have the proper qualifications to advise their customers about the products' use. The company has instructed distributors to avoid medical claims, and no longer publicizes any such claims.
In 1992 a jury in Phoenix, Arizona, concluded that Sunrider had violated Arizona's racketeering laws and out of court Sunrider settled for $650,000 to a woman who claimed that Sunrider products have had a negative effect on her health. The company states that no one else had negative effects from the products, and has also stated that the woman's boyfriend admitted several years later to spiking the products with the toxic element thallium to force Sunrider into an out-of-court settlement.
Sunrider owns and operates a hotel chain called Sunworld Dynasty, having acquired several hotels in Asia. In Beijing, the hotels are the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel (on Wangfujing) and the Sunworld Hotel, located next door. In Taipei, Taiwan, the Sunworld Dynasty Hotel is one of the largest hotels in the city.
Manufacturing of Products
Sunrider International researches, develops, and manufactures all of its own products and does not outsource any production. The manufacturing process begins with buying raw herbs, sanitizing/cleansing the herbs, refining and concentrating, and packaging. This process occurs at all of Sunrider's four manufacturing sites throughout in Guangzhou, China; Taiwan; Singapore; and Los Angeles. A fifth manufacturing plant is under construction[when?] in Kunshan, China, in the metropolitan area of Shanghai, China. The Kunshan plant will have nearly 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of manufacturing space. The Los Angeles manufacturing plant was opened in July 2008 and is the largest of its kind in the world, having nearly 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of manufacturing facilities and space in southern Los Angeles.
Sunrider has been continuously engaged in its community - both local and global, through a number of initiatives. Sunrider has made large monetary contributions to the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, the Gang Alternatives Program (GAP) in Los Angeles, the Deseret International Foundation, the Make a Wish Foundation in Korea, and numerous charities and scholarships in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
In 2013, Drs. Chen announced a $2.5 million contribution to the Torrance Memorial Medical Center's new Main Tower project. The hospital's new surgical center will be named after the Chens.
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- Torrance-based Sunrider opens plant in Harbor Gateway
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- The Sunrider Corporation - Company History
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