Fortune: $3.32 billion
Company: Yurun Group
Zhu Yicai is chairman of one of the largest meat suppliers in mainland China. He is also among six Chinese billionaires who are less than 50 years old on the top 10 list of the country's richest lawmakers.
Zhu founded the Nanjing-based business with his wife, Wu Xueqin, in 1993 and went on to acquire several state-owned meat processing plants. The group now has more than 200 subsidiaries in over 30 provinces. Despite expanding quickly in a short period of time, the company took a big hit in June 2011 when its Hong Kong listed shares saw their biggest drop ever of 20 percent on rumors that it was the next target of widely followed whistleblower Muddy Waters on accounting irregularities.
Then in September 2011, the company confirmed media reports that one of its hogs had tested positive for clenbuterol, an illegal additive in pig feed that helps keep the meat lean. Ongoing safety worries, coupled with rising labor and pork costs saw the company post a 34 percent decline in 2011 net profit.
Zhu has been a two-time deputy in the NPC, serving since 2003. Despite safety worries over his own products, Zhu has submitted several proposals to the government to create legislation that would ensure agricultural product safety and quality. In 2011, he called for strengthening the safety management processes for food products within five years.