Gao Jifan is a Chinese billionaire businessman, born on January 1968. He is the founder of Trina Solar, one of the world’s largest solar energy companies, and has a net worth of $3.3 billion, as of 2021, according to Forbes.
Early Life and Education
Gao Jifan was born in Ningxia, China, and grew up in a rural area. His parents were farmers, and he often worked in the fields to help his family. He completed his primary and high school education in Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia, and went on to study at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, where he earned a degree in electrical engineering.
Career and Achievements
After graduation, Gao Jifan worked for a number of state-owned enterprises, including the Ningxia Electric Power Bureau and the China National Machinery & Equipment Import & Export Corporation. In 1997, he founded Trina Solar, which was initially focused on manufacturing solar panels for export. Over the years, the company expanded rapidly and became one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar modules, with over 33 GW of solar modules shipped to customers around the world by the end of 2020.
Under Gao’s leadership, Trina Solar also became the first Chinese company to achieve Tier 1 status in terms of bankability according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Gao developed a reputation for his focus on R&D, and helped to establish a number of joint research centers around the world to conduct research on solar energy technology. In 2011, he was recognized as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
In 2016, Gao Jifan stepped down from his role as CEO of Trina Solar, but remained the chairman of the company’s board. In 2018, he completed a $1.1 billion acquisition of the company, taking it private and delisting it from the New York Stock Exchange.
Gao Jifan is married with one child, and is known for his philanthropy. He has donated significant amounts of money to education, and in 2015 he established the Gao Jifan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholarship at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is also a member of the China Entrepreneur Club, an influential group of Chinese entrepreneurs.
|Net Worth||$3.3 billion|