Liu Yiqian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Liu Yiqian
Born1963 (age 59–60)[1]
Shanghai, China
Known forChairman of Sunline Group
SpouseWang Wei
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese

Liu Yiqian (Chinese: 刘益谦; pinyin: Liú Yìqiān, pronounced [ljǒʊ îtɕʰjɛ́n], born 1963) is a Chinese billionaire investor and art collector. An autodidact who formerly worked as a taxi driver, he has built his fortune since the mid-1980s by investing in stock trading, real estate[2] and pharmaceuticals.[1]


Born in 1963 into a working-class family in Shanghai, Liu Yiqian dropped out of school at the age of 14, in order to help his mother to sell handbags on the street. Then he became a taxi driver in Shanghai for two years in the mid-1980s, before making his fortune in the 1990s as part of the new rich who emerged after China's reform and opening up policy. He bought shares, paying around 160 yuan ($30) a share, of a Chinese company which became one of the first to list on the stock exchange as China began developing its capital markets. As a consequence, in just two years, the share price jumped to over 10,000 yuan. Liu increased his fortune by touring the major cities to buy up shares in state-owned enterprises from their market economy unaware employees before these enterprises listed.[3][4]

He met his wife Wang Wei as he was a taxi driver in Shanghai, after Liu saw a photograph of Wang at a mutual friend's place. They have three daughters and one son.


Liu is chairman of Sunline Group, a Shanghai-based investment company[5] As of 2010, the value of his real estate properties have increased to 10 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion) over the past 19 years.[6]

In 2004, Liu established the companies Tianping Auto Insurance and Guohua Life Insurance. In April 2013, Tianping formed a joint venture with AXA.[7]

According to Forbes, as of July 2015, Liu has a net worth of US$1.37 billion. He ranked as the 163rd wealthiest individual in China and 1,533rd wealthiest in the world.[5]

Art collecting[edit]

In April 2014, Liu paid HK$281.24 million (US$36.3 million) for a 500-year-old Ming dynasty doucai chicken cup.[8][9]

In March 2015, he paid HK$348 million (US$45 million) for a 600-year-old embroidered silk thangka (tapestry) that was commissioned by the Yongle Emperor of the Ming dynasty.[10] It was a record high price for a Chinese work of art sold by an international auction house.[11][12] Later that month, he bought an antique Tibetan bronze yogi sitting in the lotus position at an auction at Sotheby's in New York.[11]

In April 2015, he paid US$14.7 million for a Guan ware vase from the Southern Song dynasty.[13]

In November 2015, he bought Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani's Nu couché (1917–18), a widely known painting of a reclining nude woman, for US$170.4 million, the second-highest price for an artwork at auction, in a volatile sale at Christie's in New York.[14] He paid for the painting with his American Express Centurion card.[15]

Long Museum[edit]

Liu and his wife Wang Wei founded the Long Museum, with two locations in Shanghai.[16] In 2016, a third location was opened in Chongqing and a Wuhan branch is scheduled for 2018.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Liu Yiqian". Forbes. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  2. ^ NRC Handelsblad, Oscar Garschagen on Chinese museums and collectors of art. Page C4 10 juli 2014
  3. ^ read interview of Wang Wei:
  4. ^ resd
  5. ^ a b "Liu Yiqian". Forbes (in Japanese). 1 January 1970. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Top 10 figures influencing the stock market". China Daily. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  7. ^ Xu Donghuan (22 April 2014). "'Uncultured' multi-billionaire is China's biggest fine-art collector | South China Morning Post".
  8. ^ Kun, Zhang (25 July 2014). "Collector pays $36 million for tea cupLife Style". China Daily. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  9. ^ "'Uncultured' multi-billionaire is China's biggest fine-art collector | Times of News from China". 22 April 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  10. ^ Qin, Amy (26 November 2014). "Chinese Artwork Brings Auction Record of $45 Million". The New York Times.
  11. ^ a b Frederik Balfour (16 April 2015). "The Expensive Antics of China's Gaudiest Billionaire – Bloomberg Business". Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Chinese Billionaire Liu Yiqian Adds $45 million Thangka To His Art Collection". 26 November 2014. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  13. ^ Napolitano, Dean (7 April 2015). "Southern Song Dynasty-Era Vase Sells for $14.7 Million at Sotheby's Auction". WSJ. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  14. ^ Connor, Neil (10 November 2015). "Meet the Chinese billionaire behind the record Amedeo Modigliani purchase". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Billionaire buys $170M painting with credit card". 23 November 2015.
  16. ^ Long Museum website: About Long Museum
  17. ^ Jiayang, Fan (7 November 2016). "THE EMPEROR'S NEW MUSEUM". The New Yorker. Retrieved 7 November 2016.