Fortune: $2.29 billion
Company: ANTA Sports Products
Ding Shizhong, 42, is the youngest person on the list of China's 10 richest billionaire NPC members. He has been in the Congress since 2008.
Ding, a high school dropout, started selling sports shoes when he was 17 and set up his own company in 1991. He joined ANTA in 1994 and is today its executive chairman and CEO and the driving force behind the company's success in China's competitive sports goods market.
In 2008, Ding won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the consumer products category for his achievements in building ANTA into one of China's most recognizable brands.
Banking on China's growing retail sector, the Hong Kong-listed firm operated 7,700 outlets in 2011, opening 229 new stores that year. ANTA has made headlines in the past couple of years for securing sponsorship of star athletes like the American basketball player Kevin Garnett, as well as acquiring rights to the Fila trademark in mainland China.
Despite the company reporting a 12 percent rise in 2011 profits, many analysts hold a negative outlook for sportswear firms in general and expect ANTA to suffer from high retail discounts, inventory clean-up and intense competition this year.
Ding has been a member of the Organizing Committee of All-China Sports Federation since 2009 and deputy chairman of the China Sporting Goods Federation since 2010.