- According to The Land Report, Tianqiao Chen is America’s 82nd largest landowner.
- He owns 198,000 acres of timberland near the Deschutes National Forest in Central Oregon.
- The Chinese billionaire co-founded online-gaming company Shanda Interactive Entertainment in 1999.
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Chinese billionaire Tianqiao Chen is America’s 82nd largest individual landowner, according to the latest edition of The Land Report.
According to the ranking, Chen owns 198,000 acres of timberland in central Oregon through his investment group – Shanda Asset Management.
A 2018 grant application said the company owns at least 196,000 acres of land, parts of which border the Deschutes National Forest near the city of Bend.
The Land Report said Chen acquired the land in 2015 for $85 million, or $430 per acre. Business Insider could not independently verify this information.
According to both The Land Report and the Deschutes Land Trust, the chain purchased the land from Fidelity National Financial Ventures through the investment vehicle Whitefish Cascade Forest Resources, which conducts conservation work in central Oregon.
The Land Report, citing Oregon tax records, said the land is currently owned by Shanda Asset Management. Deschutes Land Trust said Whitefish Cascade was previously rebranded as Shanda Asset Management.
The grant application included a map of Shanda Asset Management’s land. It says the land is “extremely popular” with hunters, hikers, mushroom pickers and mountain bikers and that species present on the land include deer, elk, bear and turkey.
Land The chain also owns about 500,000 acres of timberland in Ontario, Canada, the land report said. Shanda Asset Management said on its website that it had “acquired 700,000 acres of timberland primarily in Oregon and Ontario to diversify its holdings and to protect and manage natural resources.”
The Chens are behind only the Canadian Irving family as the largest individual owner of US land by a non-US citizen, Bloomberg reports.
Tianqiao Chen was a billionaire at the age of 30
According to Bloomberg, Chen left his job at a securities firm in 1999 to co-found the online gaming company Shanda Interactive Entertainment with his wife, Chrissy, and his younger brother.
Chen listed the company on Nasdaq in 2004 before taking it private again in 2012. Bloomberg reported that Chen became a billionaire at the age of 30, but later largely disappeared from the public eye due to health problems. The news organization reported Wednesday that Chen is still a billionaire.
Shanda Asset Management is a branch of Shanda Group, an investment firm. As well as land in Oregon and Ontario, Shanda Asset Management owns real estate in China.