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A Chinese Billionaire Just Spent More Than $250 Million on Lavish Mansions Spanning Half the Globe

Three months ago, Asia-based real estate blog Mingtiandi reported on the sale of one of Hong Kong’s most extravagant homes, a nearly 12,000-square-foot hilltop mansion in the ultra-prestigious Peak neighborhood. The house, a limestone-faced and liberally embellished two-story structure with unobstructed views of the city skyline and Victoria Harbour, sold for HK$838 million, or roughly $107 million USD.

The sale was notable not just because it ranks as one of Hong Kong’s biggest real estate deals over the past couple of years, but because it’s one of the few ultra-luxury Hong Kong homes that have sold to a Mainland Chinese buyer in recent years, amid an ongoing Hong Kong housing slump and a sluggish mainland economy. Per property records, the house was acquired by an entity controlled by a Shenzhen-based woman named Gu Fang.

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Xu Hang House Hong Kong
The palatial mansion sold for a discounted $107 million in early 2024, a rare bright spot in Hong Kong’s sluggish real estate market.

People familiar with the properties now tell Robb Report that the same woman, Gu, is also directly linked to the purchase of three of the most expensive U.S. homes that have sold in the past 18 months, two of them being high-profile estates with Hollywood celebrity ties. In October 2022, a mystery buyer paid $55 million for the Newport Coast mansion of reality TV personalities Dr. Terry and Heather Dubrow. Four months later, a mystery buyer dropped another $55 million on the wildly extravagant Beverly Hills mansion of actor Mark Wahlberg.

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Although the new owner’s name was not revealed at that time, it was widely reported that both the Dubrows’ home and Wahlberg’s estate were acquired by the same buyer, an anonymous Mainland Chinese billionaire now believed to be directly associated with Gu.

Xu Hang House Newport Coast
In late 2022, Heather Dubrow’s 20,000-square-foot Newport Coast mansion sold for $55 million to an LLC linked to Gu Fang.

Gu, believed to be in her 50s, is the longtime wife of Xu Hang, one of China’s richest men and the co-founder of Mindray Medical, China’s largest medical device manufacturer.

It’s perhaps not such a surprise that Xu and Gu would be on the hunt for ultra-luxury homes, despite China’s broader economic slowdown. The Covid-19 pandemic proved extraordinarily lucrative for Mindray; in 2020, the net worth of company cofounder Li Xiting—Singapore’s richest man—was reported to be increasing by a mind-bending $1 billion per month due to high worldwide demand for ventilators. As for Xu, Forbes says his personal net worth has likewise ballooned over the past few years, from $1.8 billion in 2018 to a peak of $19.5 billion in 2021. The Bloomberg Billionaire Index pegs his current wealth at $12.1 billion, making him Shenzhen’s richest man, while Forbes notes he is the world’s fourth-wealthiest man in the healthcare industry.

Xu Hang House Beverly Hills
Located in the Beverly Park gated community, Mark Wahlberg’s house sold in early 2023 for $55 million to an LLC linked to Gu Fang.

As it turns out, the Beverly Hills, Newport Coast and Hong Kong mansions are not the only extravagant homes in Xu’s portfolio. In early 2023, billionaire real estate developer Stephen Ross sold his mansion-sized penthouse at the Time Warner Center in New York City for $40 million, a major discount off the unit’s original $75 million ask. The buyer, records show, was yet another LLC with links to Xu and Gu.

The Columbus Monument by Gaetano Russo and erected at 1892 to commemorate of the 400th anniversary of Columbus' landing in the America  the middle of Columbus Circle with the Time Warner Center in the background.
A lavish penthouse at Manhattan’s Time Warner Center sold in early 2023 for $40 million to an LLC linked to Gu Fang.

Putting all four purchases together reveals Xu has spent $257 million—in cash—on luxury real estate since late 2022, though it’s also worth noting that the tycoon has scored major discounts on at least three of his four new properties. The Hong Kong manor, sold for $107 million, had been originally offered at a lofty $166 million. Similarly, the Wahlberg house and Manhattan penthouse were also acquired at substantial discounts—the Wahlberg property at a 37% discount off its $87.5 million list and the N.Y.C. place at 47% below the original ask.

In all, Xu shaved off a combined $126 million from the asking prices of those three homes alone. The fourth property, the Dubrow estate, was never officially listed on the open market, though it had reportedly been marketed as a pocket listing with an asking price of more than $60 million.

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