Chinese billionaire one of top US landowners
Tianqiao Chen owns 200,000 acres in Oregon
A Chinese gaming mogul is among the top landowners in America.
Billionaire Tianqiao Chen is the 82nd-biggest individual landowner in the country, according to a new edition of The Land Report cited by Business Insider, and the second biggest non-American owner.
Chen owns 198,000 acres of timberland in Oregon, which he acquired in 2015 for $85 million, or $430 per acre. He acquired the land from Fidelity National Financial Ventures through the entity Whitefish Cascade Forest Resources and Deschutes Land Trust, which conserves land in the state. Whitefish has since rebranded to Shanda Asset Management.
Chen also owns about 500,000 acres of timberland in Ontario, Canada, which is also being conserved, according to Insider’s reading of Shanda’s website.
The only non-Americans who own more U.S. land than Chen are the members of the Canada-based Irving family, according to Bloomberg. The outlet also reports Chen was a billionaire by age 30, having founded online-gaming company Shanda Interactive Entertainment in 1999. He disappeared from public view amid health problems after taking his company private in 2012.
Chen may own vast swaths of land, but his U.S. holdings pale in comparison to the top of the list, the Emmerson family of Sierra Pacific Industries, which owns 2,411,000 acres across Oregon, California and Washington, and John Malone, who owns over 2 million acres across Wyoming, New Mexico, Florida and Colorado. Ted Turner, founder of CNN, came in third place, with 2 million acres.
Other notable names atop The Land Report include Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams NFL team and the Premier League team Arsenal W.F.C. Kroenke rose to fourth in the rankings, having acquired 72,500 acres for a total of 1.7 million.
Stefan Soloviev, chairman of the Soloviev Group and heir to Sheldon Solow’s real estate empire, ranked as 21st largest landowner in the country, with 535,000 acres, an increase of 127,000 from last year, when he was ranked 26th.
— Harrison Connery