Chanchai Ruayrungruang, 58, was born in the coastal province Shandong as Yan Bin and emigrated with his family in the 1980s to Thailand. He soon went into business there and returned to China in 1990 as a multifaceted businessman to operate a travel agency, develop real estate and trade in computers. In 1995, he brought the energy drink Red Bull from Thailand to China.
Three years later, he started building the Wonderland Amusement Park, a copycat of Disneyland near Beijing, but eventually abandoned it, leaving the land around decaying castles for local farmers to reclaim. In 2000, he built China’s largest golf resort, the Pine Valley Resort in Beijing, which caters to a certain crowd: in 2009 the course was awarded the “Multimillionaires’ Most Favorite Golf Course in Beijing.”