Hui diversified Evergrande, diving into soccer, bottled water, and an amusement park.
Hui’s ambitions didn’t stop at real estate. He acquired a soccer team from Guangzhou in 2010, and hired World Cup-winning managers Marcello Lippi and Luiz Felipe Scolari.
The team, called Guangzhou Evergrande FC, has won the Asian Football Confederation’s Champions League twice — in 2013 and 2015 — and has gotten first place in the Chinese Super League eight times in the last decade. It was also the first Asian club to be listed for an IPO in China in 2015, but has recently been hit with losses and plans to delist itself, reported Bloomberg. Earlier this year, it also attempted to distance itself from Evergrande by removing the company’s name from its name.
Evergrande has also made forays into the bottled water market, and owns a 49% stake in Evergrande Spring, which sells water in 500,000 locations around China, according to its 2020 annual report.
Among its other investments, including stakes in tourism, healthcare, and finance, it’s building an amusement park that Hui said in Evergrande’s report combines “physical amusement and online entertainment.” Called Evergrande Fairyland, it’s meant to cater to kids under 15.