JA Solar shines in the face of growing demand for solar products

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This story appears in the November 2022 issue of Forbes Asia. Subscribe to Forbes Asia

This story is part of Forbes’ coverage of China’s Richest 2022. See the full list here.

The global market for solar energy products grew by double digits in 2021, reaching $161.2 billion, according to India-based Custom Market Insights. This boom propelled Jin BaofangFounder, President and CEO of JA solar technologyat No. 23 with $10.4 billion in wealth.

The solar panel maker posted an 89% increase in sales for the first nine months of 2022 to 49.3 billion yuan ($6.8 billion) from a year earlier, while net profit more than doubled to 3.3 billion yuan. Rising input prices have pushed up the cost of producing the panels, but JA Solar is compensating for this by producing its own solar batteries and silicon chips. It now supplies up to 80% of its annual panel capacity, which is expected to reach 50 gigawatts by the end of the year, about a quarter of China’s panel production capacity in 2021.

Overseas markets contributed two-thirds of sales in 2021. JA Solar has manufacturing sites in Malaysia and Vietnam and in February announced a 1.2 billion yuan investment to expand production in Vietnam. The company is also involved in the design, construction and operation of solar farms.

JA Solar went public on the Nasdaq in 2007, but Jin took the company private again in 2018 following a lackluster stock performance. The company joined the Shenzhen Stock Exchange the following year via a backdoor listing.

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