Forrest Li, the man behind tech company Sea Ltd, is a notable name in Singapore particularly after the tech tycoon was named the richest man in locally in 2021.
However, he has now had about 80 per cent of his wealth wiped out in a market crash that swiped more than US$1 trillion from the net worths of the world’s 500 richest people this year.
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In a series of unfortunate events over the last few months, Sea has seen a global tech sell-off and poor earnings; it was also forced to shut down its main e-commerce operation in India. These events tanked the company’s American depository receipts by more than 80 per cent from a high in October.
While Li is still worth a whopping US$4.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he has lost out on his place in the top 500 wealthiest people on the planet.
During the pandemic, many tech giants, including Sea, benefitted as most people turned towards online shopping and gaming. However, the tide seems to be changing and this blow is a stark reminder that quick wealth creation from the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be very vulnerable.
Additionally, higher interest rates and tensions surrounding the war in Ukraine continue to badger growth stocks.
As a result, Li is not the only tech entrepreneur to have been hit hard by the market selloff. Eric Yuan, the chief executive officer of Zoom Video Communications, lost US$4.4 billion of wealth this year. Additionally, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the world’s second-richest person, is down in wealth by almost US$58 billion.
That said, on May 17, Sea beat quarterly revenue estimates and sent its shares up over five per cent in premarket trade. This sparks some hope for the battered company though only time will tell how the future of the company holds up.