Duan Yongping’s investment empire and his BBK Group(Oppo, Vivo, One Plus, J&T Express, Realme)

Duan Yongping

Introduce to Duan Yongping

Worth knowing

Duan Yongping is worthy of your recognition. I have wanted to write this article for a long time. His success story is worth studying because:

  • He is a Chinese.
  • He is extremely successful in business operations, people management, and investment.
  • He is still young and “low-key and active”

Well-known figures in the Chinese community

Almost no Taiwanese have heard of Duan Yongping, but it is not an exaggeration to say that he is a household name in Chinese circles outside Taiwan, especially in the business and investment circles.

Legendary life

He is Jiangxi Taihe, born in Nanchang in March 1961. In 1977, China officially resumed the college entrance examination. Duan Yongping, who was only 16 years old, was admitted to the Radio Department of Zhejiang University, and later entered the Economics Department of Renmin University of China, where he studied Master’s degree in econometrics. After graduating from the Radio Department of Zhejiang University in 1982, he was assigned to the Beijing Electronic Tube Factory. Graduated from the graduate class of Economics Department of Renmin University of China in July 1988.

He is famous for the creation of two well-known brands, “Little Overlord” and “Bugao”. In 1988, the young Duan Yongping was keenly aware of the opportunities of reform and opening up, so he decisively went south to Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province, and persuaded the then Yihua Group to hand over to him the mess of an annual loss of 2 million yuan – Rihua Electronics Factory. Assumed the position of factory director. In 1991, Duan Yongping turned the tide and launched the popular Xiaobawang game console.

In 1995, Duan Yongping established Bubu Gaoqianli Electronics in Dongguan. That year, Duan Yongping was 34 years old. In 1999, Bubugao’s three major categories: audio and video products (VCD, DVD, home theater), communication products (cordless phones, ordinary phones) and learning machines (learning game consoles, repeaters), have all reached the first place in the market. One or the top three positions. Later, he split BBK into three, with Huang Yiji in charge of the educational electronics business (later taken over by Jin Zhijiang), Chen Mingyong in charge of the audiovisual electronics business, and Shen Wei in charge of the communications technology business.

Duan Yongping retired at the age of 40. As a high-ranking director, he only focused on raising children, investing, doing charity, and playing golf. He returned to China once or twice a year and didn’t even make a few phone calls, which was unique. He quit his role as an industrialist and became an investor, making huge profits by investing in NetEase, UHAL, GE, etc. He was called “Duan Buffett”.

China’s hidden billionaires

In 2003, the more than 2 million US dollars Duan Yongping invested in NetEase stock has turned into more than 100 million US dollars. This year, he also entered the 83rd place on the “Hurun Rich List”. In fact, based on actual wealth, Duan Yongping might have been eligible to enter the Rich List in 2001 and 2002. Hurun also wanted to include him, but Duan Yongping wanted to keep a low profile and said Hurun’s information was inaccurate.

Since Bubugao is not a listed company and the company never releases financial information to the outside world, Hurun has no choice but to list Duan Yongping at No. 101, which actually shows that he is the first person to be an “invisible rich man”. For Duan Yongping, being included in the rich list has become a burden for him, making it impossible for him to keep a low profile. So from then on, he tried not to buy more than 5% of stocks to avoid public filings.

Love beauty but not country

Liu Xin, his girlfriend at the time, put forward a condition for Duan Yongping’s pursuit. As long as Duan Yongping dared to give up everything in China and follow her in the United States, she would be willing to donate her life to him. The modern version of people who love beauty but not country has emerged. In order to fulfill the promise he made when pursuing his wife, Duan Yongping gave up his huge business empire in 2001 and resolutely immigrated to the United States in order to reunite with his wife in the United States.

Duan Yongping’s investment empire


Duan Yongping established an investment company called H&H International Investment in order to make investments. This is one of the few ways that outsiders can learn about his shareholdings.

Total assets

As of December 31, 2023, Duan Yongping held a total of 104.3 billion yuan in U.S. stocks (equivalent to 14.448 billion U.S. dollars), and his total net worth was at least 183.7 billion yuan (equivalent to 25.52 billion U.S. dollars); according to the 2023 New Fortune 500 Rich List , his wealth surpasses Alibaba’s Jack Ma, who ranks sixth.

Buffett lunch

Duan Yongping bought Buffett’s lunch for US$620,000 in 2006, becoming the first Chinese to do so. Colin Huang was among the people who took it there.

Duan Yongping once said: “Actually, I didn’t regard this lunch as a business. I just wanted to show off to his old man and tell the world that his things are indeed valuable.” Many people say that Duan Yongping is a hype. In fact, the reasons are very simple. Simple, Duan Yongping said that he learned a lot from Buffett, and took the photo of the dinner simply to thank him in person.

Apple, NetEase, Moutai

In 2012, Apple’s market value was approximately US$300 billion. Duan Yongping led a group of OPPO and vivo employees to buy Apple stocks heavily. Now Apple’s market value has already exceeded US$3 trillion. While learning Apple’s design and user experience, let Apple make money for itself.

In 2014, the market value of Moutai was about 100 billion yuan, and Duan Yongping bought heavily. Now the market value of Moutai has exceeded 2 trillion yuan. The reason why Duan Yongping bought it is also very simple, because he believes that as China’s economy continues to develop, the quality of life of Chinese people will continue to improve, and more and more people will drink Moutai. Moreover, Moutai’s quality and corporate culture are both good, so it should be able to go a long way.

In 2000, he studied NetEase’s financial statements and hired a lawyer to assess the risk of delisting. In 2001, Duan Yongping bought approximately 1.52 million shares at a price of US$0.8, and later increased his holdings to 2.05 million shares. Once became the second largest shareholder of NetEase. “After doing my homework, I basically spent all the money I had available to buy NetEase stocks.” Two years later, NetEase’s stock price soared to US$70, and Duan Yongping received a return on investment of nearly 100 times.

He once said that he is not so sensitive to the buying prices of Moutai and Apple, and basically buys them when he has money.

Main stock holdings

His well-known holdings include: Apple (ticker: AAPL), Kweichow Moutai (Mainland stock code: 600519), NetEase (ticker: NTES), and Tencent (ticker: TCEHY). Just looking at these stocks, you can imagine how visionary he is.

List of his holdings

The following are Duan Yongping’s disclosed shareholdings (Figures as a percentage of the portfolio are for the fourth quarter of 2023):

Company nameTicker or trading codePercent of portfolioFirst acquired year*Note
Kweichow MoutaiChinese stock code: 6005192003He revealed that Kweichow Moutaiwas bought for about 180 RMB, own more than 10M shares
AppleAAPL80%2011Duan Yongping said that most of his overseas assets are still related to Apple.
Apple is also the company that makes the most money from his investment (not counting the industry)
Berkshire HathawayBRK.B12%
Occidental PetroleumOXY0.2%
Bank of AmericaBAC0.1%
NeteaseNTES2001During the economic crisis in 2000, Duan Yongping bought 2 million US dollars of NetEase stock at a price of 0.8 US dollars, which surged 100 times in less than 3 years.
TencentTCEHY2018When the Chinese gaming industry was at a trough in 2018, Yongping bought Tencent at bargain prices. Tencent is also one of the stocks that Duan Yongping pays the most attention to in the secondary market, in addition to Apple and Moutai.
New Oriental Education & TechEDU2021
U-Haul Holding CoUHAL2001*
General ElectricGE2001*
PinduoduoPDDAngel investor
OppoOPPOco-founderLess than 10% share
VivoVivoco-founderLess than 20% share
Reminder: Above The information is obtained from Internet searches, and absolute accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

China’s Buffett

Please take a look at the following investment ideas first:

  • Where does the risk come from in a single year? That’s called an opportunity!
  • If you buy a good company, then when the recession comes, the good company will highlight its advantages. As we all know, good companies always prove themselves to be good companies in crises.
  • At this time, when the stock price falls, it may be a good opportunity to buy high-quality assets.
  • If you buy a junk company, you should stop the loss quickly at this time. If it doesn’t fall today, it will fall tomorrow. Sooner or later.

Are these words seem familiar? It’s very similar to the “value investing” advocated by Buffett. Yes, the person who said this is the famous but low-key “Buffett disciple” Duan Yongping, known as “China’s most famous value investor” and “China’s Buffett”.

Investment style

In line with Buffett’s value investment philosophy, Duan Yongping’s investment philosophy is very simple. He once shared that he only has three investment criteria:

  • Business model
  • Company culture
  • Reasonable price

In summary, his investment principles can be summarized as follows:

  • Long-term investment
  • Concentrated investment and large position
  • If you don’t understand, don’t touch it
  • Buffett style

Active in investment forums

Duan Yongping has also been active in investment forums for a long time under the pseudonym “The road is invisible but I have style (in Chinese:「大道無形我有型」 )”. His longest appearance is on Snowball, China’s largest and most famous online investment forum. He not only puts forward his unique investment insights, but also enjoys talking to retail netizens. Exchange investment ideas.

Duan Yongping’s disciples

In my previous pot “How does Pinduoduo make money, why it surpass Alibaba and become No. valuable listed Chinese companies in US?“, it is mentioned that Duan Yongping has four formal disciples (the first four in the table below), but generally speaking, most people include the following people as his disciples.

Tony ChenOPPOOPPO’s co-founder
Wei ShenVivoVivo’s co-founder
Zhijiang JinBBKBBK’s CEO
Colin HuangPinduoduoPinduoduo’s co-founder
Jet LeeJ&T ExpressJ&T Express’s co-founder
Pete LauOne PlusOne Plus’s co-founder
Sky LiRealmeRealme’s co-founder

BBK Group

Relevant famous companies

Duan Yongping’s business empire is worth mentioning. The following are famous companies related to him:

CompanyTickerMain business
OPPO UnlistedSmartphone
Vivo UnlistedSmartphone
One PlusUnlistedSmartphone
Little OverlordShut downGaming device
J&T Express (極兔)To be IPOLogistics
PinduoduoUS ticker: PDDe-commerce

Company commonalities

Companies related to Duan Yongping generally have the following characteristics:

  • Not listed.
  • The hosts are very low-key and focus on the company’s operations. Just like Colin Huang’s “duty (aka do what you are supposed to do)”
  • Close cooperation among groups and growing together.

Business and Investment Quotes

Dare to be the behind of the world

Duan Yongping proposed “dare to be behind of the world”. Instead of being a pioneer, it is better to slow down, identify the direction and opportunities, find long slopes and thick snow, and then start. Because as long as the direction is correct, even if the method used is a little clumsy, it will only go slower and will not go the wrong way.

Do the right thing and keep your duty

Doing the “right thing” is the “duty (aka do what you are supposed to do)” of an entrepreneur. “My duty is to do something!”

In Duan Yongping’s view, too many companies fail because they are not “responsible” enough. When they see an opportunity, they attack on all sides and seek perfection. If they make too many mistakes, the company will be in danger.

Duan Yongping believes that the core lies in “not making a list”, that is, only if you know what is wrong, you will naturally know what is right. This is what Charlie Munger said: If I knew where I was going to die, I would never go there.

Don’t fight an unprepared battle

When you want to enter a new industry and make new investments, you must not enter rashly. You must first determine whether there are huge profits and opportunities in this industry, and then examine your own capabilities and the strength of your competitors to see if you can defeat your opponents.

Duan Yongping said in an internal meeting that Microsoft has always “dare to be the queen of the world”. Whether it is Windows or Word, he always strikes first. When he saw the huge profits in this market, he mobilized heavy troops to enter it and then made it. Industry first.

Don’t pursue mediocre opportunities

Charlie Munger said: “I am not where I am today by chasing mediocre opportunities.” Buffett once told Duan Yongping that there are only 20 opportunities worth taking action in a person’s life, so you must wait patiently and look for really good opportunities. It is said that Duan Yongping has invested in no more than six important companies so far. For those companies that he understands well and thinks are good, he will hold heavy positions for the long term as soon as he invests.

Be honest to yourself

We must create a situation that is beneficial to ourselves and try not to make or make as few mistakes as possible. All we can do is make ourselves invincible. As for whether the enemy can be defeated, it depends on whether the enemy will reveal flaws. This is something we cannot decide.

How can you make yourself invincible? The first is to make fewer mistakes, or no mistakes. Of course, no one can go through life without making mistakes. Therefore, a more practical approach is to face it honestly no matter how big a mistake you make, stop your losses immediately, and don’t lie to yourself that you still have a chance. China Europe Business School has surveyed CEOs from Fortune 500 companies. They all have different personalities, but one thing they have in common is “honesty.”

Don’t do things you’re not good at

On the other hand, if you must do something, understand it first. There is a fundamental difference between people who have only seen pigs running away and people who have eaten pork.

He believes that the circle of competence is not about drawing a circle on the ground with a golden cudgel and saying to stay in it and not go out because there are monsters outside. The circle of competence is: be honest with yourself, know what you know, and don’t know what you don’t know.

When the U.S. stock market crashed, he once coveted the unreasonably low prices of major U.S. listed banks and studied hard. Just before he was about to make a move, he realized that he really didn’t understand the banking business and always felt that he was buying and holding banks. Stocks are not sure in the long run, so I reluctantly give up.

Later, even Buffett entered the market to pick up bargains. In less than two years, the stock prices of these large bank stocks had almost returned to their pre-crash prices, proving that Duan Yongping did have a vision; but he himself later expressed that he was not satisfied with not buying banks at that time. I have no regrets.

Never take out a loan

This sentence is what Buffett said, it is difficult for you to make a difference at an annual interest rate of 18%. Whether it is consumption or investment, interest will only make you poorer and poorer. Duan Yongping also said that his companies basically do not lend money, even if banks grant high credit lines, they will not waver.

Do things right

Duan Yongping believes that if you want to succeed, it is not enough to just “do the right thing”, but you also need the ability to “do things right.”
So how can we “get things right”? Duan Yongping believes that if you want to “get things right” you must maintain a “normal mind” and not blindly seek speed, but pursue stable and safe iterations, improve bit by bit, and ultimately move towards victory.

The earlier you start investing, the better. Don’t think about making big money right away. Remember Buffett’s words: “Get rich slowly.”

Be principled

Duan Yongping once said: “There should be no compromise on matters of principle. This is not a matter of cost.” He also said: “Persisting in doing the right things is achieved by not doing the wrong things.” Duan Yongping once publicly stated: “We have three types of Don’t make money: don’t make illegal money, don’t make money that goes against morality, don’t make money that exceeds your ability.”

The most important reason why Buffett is “Buffett” is that he can insist on doing the right things, that is, not doing things that are wrong in principle. For example: He will not do anything he thinks he doesn’t understand. The most important thing I learned from Buffett is this.

Famous speech

The following is a transcript of Duan Yongping’s communication with students at Stanford University in October 2018:

 credit: Chinatimes.com

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