Life

The Incredible Life Journey of Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong From Poverty in South Africa to Becoming a Billionaire Philanthropist and Innovator

  In 2016, when Musk was still tinkering with SpaceX’s Falcon 9, a little-known Chinese had already ranked 81st on the world’s richest list with a net worth of 11.9 billion yuan, surpassing Musk and Murdo. Gram and other celebrities were left behind…
  In 2017, he acquired 6 hospitals in California, USA; in 2018, he spent US$500 million to acquire the Los Angeles Times. When the media tried to understand this Chinese man’s experience of getting rich, they couldn’t even figure out his name – some said his name was Chen Songxiong, while others said his name was Huang Xinxiang.
  It is precisely such a mysterious and low-key Chinese who worked hard all the way from South Africa to Canada and then to the United States, creating an impressive legend.
  Bold Decision
  On July 29, 1952, in the remote Port Elizabeth, South Africa, a Chinese couple welcomed their sixth child, Patrick Soon-Shiong.
  During the identity registration, the family was not aware of the local cultural custom of placing surnames as suffixes, and mistakenly filled in Soon-Shiong as their surname. Later, the whole family simply accepted the mistake and collectively changed their surname to Soon-Shiong.
  During World War II, Huang Xinxiang’s father, Huang Zhaojun, fled from Guangdong to Africa alone to make a living in order to escape the turmoil. There, he met Xiong Qingyun, a local Chinese, got married, started a family, and gave birth to ten children one after another.
  Huang Zhaojun relies on the traditional Chinese medicine skills passed down from his ancestors to support his family with difficulty.
  Huang Xinxiang has been helping out in his father’s small clinic since he was a child, and he gradually came up with the idea of ​​studying medicine.
  At the age of 16, he was successfully admitted to the University of the Witwatersrand, a century-old prestigious school in South Africa.
  At the age of 23, he obtained a doctorate in medicine with outstanding results ranking fourth in the entire class (189 graduates in the entire class that year).
  Subsequently, he got his wish and entered the well-known white hospital in South Africa – Johannesburg General Hospital – for surgical internship. This was rare at the time, and the media later confirmed that he was the first Chinese-American to enter the hospital as an intern.
  You know, South Africa’s apartheid policy had not yet been abolished at that time, Mandela was still in prison, and it was commonplace for non-white ethnic groups to be treated differently.
  Huang Xinxiang entered an internship position with an ambitious medical dream, but what awaited him was cold shoulder and rejection: the workload was greater than that of his white colleagues, but his salary was only half of that of his white colleagues, and many patients refused to see him.
  The first patient Huang Xinxiang received was a white South African. At first, the patient was extremely resistant to treatment because of Huang Xinxiang’s skin color. However, after Huang Xinxiang cured his sinusitis, the white man began to actively recommend to his friends: “You must find that Chinese to treat you.” In
  1977, Huang Xinxiang ended his internship and joined hands with his girlfriend Michelle Chen Entering the marriage hall.
  At that time, he began to hesitate: whether to stay. Racial discrimination, limited scientific research conditions, and fierce competition for resources all made this young man feel helpless.
  It happened that his wife was also interested in Hollywood and wanted to try the acting field, so Huang Xinxiang made a bold decision: to leave South Africa and try his luck in North America.
  Unexpectedly, this move really started a high-speed advancement mode in his life, which was exciting and exciting.
  Peak of Life
  After leaving South Africa, the couple did not go straight to the United States, but went to Canada first.
  Huang Xinxiang studied for a master’s degree in medicine at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and found a job as a surgeon with his impressive resume.
  The new living environment has brought more opportunities, and also made Huang Xinxiang encounter new doubts: Are you, a new doctor, capable?
  To this end, he even made a bet with an old professor: He could remove two grapefruit-sized tumors from the patient’s body without breaking the tumor.
  The bet is a beautiful wooden table in the old professor’s house.
  As a result, he not only won the table, but also impressed his hospital colleagues.
  In 1980, Huang Xinxiang received another promotion springboard with his outstanding scientific research ability-the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine offered him an olive branch.
  After going to the United States, he began to pay attention to the field of diabetes and boldly attempted pancreatic cell transplantation, which attracted considerable attention in the medical community.
  At the same time, his wife Michelle Chen also fulfilled her wish to become an actor in Hollywood and actively pursued her dream.
  In 1983, at the age of 31, Huang Xinxiang became a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. In 1986, Huang Xinxiang presided over the world’s first capsule islet transplantation, which caused a sensation in the academic world. Later, he became more and more courageous. After countless experiments, he boldly used this technology on humans in 1993. A diabetic patient successfully cured diabetes after receiving a pancreatic cell transplant.
  This move not only made Huang Xinxiang famous, but also attracted criticism from the academic community. Because the patient he cured was forced to resume insulin injections a few months after the cell transplant. Many scientists criticized him for “exaggerating the efficacy” and “frauding”.
  In the face of doubts, Huang Xinxiang showed extraordinary optimism: “When others deny my ability, that is the most exciting moment in my life.”
  With this “excitement” that refused to admit defeat, Huang Xinxiang soon Shift attention to the development of anti-cancer drugs.
  In the late 1990s, he founded a biotechnology company and devoted himself to the laboratory to study nanoformulations of the anti-cancer drug paclitaxel.
  At that time, Taxol was still the most popular anti-cancer drug, but it had severe side effects and low effectiveness. Huang Xinxiang wants to develop a better alternative drug than Taxol. This idea, which seems incredible to others, was developed under Huang Xinxiang’s persistence for ten years!
  In 2005, an anti-cancer drug called Abraxane was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), becoming the world’s first approved solvent-free taxane chemotherapy drug.
  Once this drug came out, sales were booming. It can not only treat breast cancer, but is also actively undergoing clinical trials for other cancers such as lung cancer and liver cancer.
  What’s even more amazing is that as of 2016, in addition to holding the patent for paclitaxel nanopreparations, Huang Xinxiang also holds more than 90 other U.S. patents and 138 international patents.
  How many doctors with such wisdom and courage are there in the world today?
  The success in medical research did not stop Huang Xinxiang’s exploration. He also has another eye-catching label – entrepreneur.
  In 2010, Huang Xinxiang made a fortune by selling 80% of his shares in Aboris Biotech for US$2.9 billion.
  As early as 2008, before the financial crisis, he sold another pharmaceutical company in his hands, American Pharmaceutical Partners, for a high price of US$5.6 billion.
  Two successful capital operations have caused Huang Xinxiang’s net worth to skyrocket. In 2010, he became the richest Chinese-American in the United States and the richest doctor in the world.
  However, this is not the “peak of life” that Huang Xinxiang understands, and his “big move” is still to come.
  Earning huge wealth may be a way to prove oneself, but for Huang Xinxiang, it is by no means the ultimate goal in life.
  In 2011, he established a parent company, Nantwork, when he could have settled down and enjoyed his life with hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a group company with multiple subsidiaries, and its business covers many aspects of the pharmaceutical industry.
  Currently, there are two subsidiaries that have attracted the most attention: one is called NantKwest, which specializes in cancer cell immunotherapy; the other is called NantHealth, which focuses on precision gene therapy. The two companies were listed in 2015 and 2016 respectively, and their development prospects are very promising.
  Today, Huang Xinxiang, who is over 70 years old, is still enthusiastically working on the medical path of tumor immunity, big data genetic analysis, new drug research and development, etc., trying to build a more complete medical system and optimize medical services.
  Perhaps it was this original intention for medicine that made him willing to make another choice – to support charity medical care.
  As early as 2009, Huang Xinxiang and his wife decided to jointly establish the “Chen Xinxiang Family Foundation”. At that time, the media did not study the name carefully and mistakenly thought that his surname was “Chen”, so they spread rumors and called him Chen Songxiong.
  Huang Xinxiang didn’t seem to mind this and never made a public correction. In interviews with the media, he talked more about service and equality.
  “Our pledge is that, through the Family Foundation, we will progressively improve and eradicate inequalities in the healthcare system, building a new healthcare system that first ensures people are healthy and secondly ensures that everyone gets the best when they need it Medical services. Our children and I will dedicate time and resources to strive to achieve this goal.”
  Since the establishment of the family foundation, Huang Xinxiang and his wife have donated billions of dollars to related charities and even invested an additional $400 million to lay out the network. , designed to connect all cancer clinics in the United States.
  During the epidemic, Huang Xinxiang spent US$135 million to acquire the bankrupt St. Vincent Medical Center to treat patients with new coronary pneumonia.
  Not only that, he also promised that after his death, he would donate at least half of his property to society.
  The Brave Man of Life
  Although Huang Xinxiang’s cheating operations after going to the United States fulfilled his wonderful American dream of getting rich suddenly, he usually acts very low-key. Even if he is on the rich list, he has not attracted much media attention. Until one day, he showed up at a Lakers game and had an intimate conversation with Kobe… Only then did the gossip media finally realize: Who is this Chinese man with white hair?
  After checking it out, I couldn’t believe that this seemingly ordinary man was actually a shareholder of the Lakers! No wonder Kobe would take the initiative to talk to him.
  As early as 2010, Huang Xinxiang bought 4.5% of the Lakers’ shares from “Magic” Johnson.
  ”In my eyes, they played the most exciting and best basketball. The first time I watched their game, I became a Lakers fan.”
  Other fans like Kobe, and most of them can only stay in front of the TV. While everyone watched, Huang Xinxiang became Kobe’s boss and became Kobe’s boss. He could also invite Lakers players to play together. Money really makes people happy.
  However, Huang Xinxiang is obviously not just a nouveau riche who only wants his own happiness. In his heart, there is a broader American dream.
  In June 2016, an acquisition news shocked the American media like thunder: Chinese tycoon Huang Xinxiang officially acquired the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune for a transaction price of up to US$500 million.
  Why would a rich man in the biomedical industry want to engage in media across industries?
  With the rapid development of the Internet era, the traditional newspaper industry has encountered great challenges, and the veteran “Los Angeles Times” has not escaped the nightmare of layoffs and losses. By 2017, the newspaper had less than 400 editorial staff. Compared with the 13,000 people working at its peak in 1999, the number was really huge.
  Huang Xinxiang bought it after many twists and turns. What was he trying to do?
  It turned out that it was his experience in South Africa during his youth that aroused Huang Xinxiang’s desire to protect print media. Coming from a humble background, he began working as a student in his teens, and one of his jobs was delivering newspapers. “I still remember the sound and smell of the printing press as the first batch of sheets rolled off the conveyor belt. I would take up to 800 copies of the newspaper from the ink-stained newspapermen, hand them to my distributor, and then They delivered newspapers to local businesses and residences.”
  The newspaper not only helped him raise money for tuition, but also showed him the value of objective media reporting.
  In South Africa at that time, ethnic Chinese were treated differently. Fairness was hard to come by, and they had nowhere to speak out.
  In this acquisition of the crisis-ridden Los Angeles Times, Huang Xinxiang is interested in the voice of the Chinese community. The Chinese community needs newspapers and periodicals with credibility and media with conscience – to eliminate false statements that confuse right and wrong and restore the truth of the news.
  As Huang Xinxiang wrote in a letter to readers: “For me, this is the climax of the dream of immigrating to the United States.”
  From South Africa to Canada and then to the United States, this Chinese with an unknown name has used unremitting efforts and extraordinary His persistence has strongly opened up the dazzling life of Shuangwen’s male protagonist. Some people once criticized him for being partial to the United States – with the blood of Chinese descendants, why do he only do charity in the United States?
  Looking at the situation of the Chinese ethnic group, it is not easy to take root overseas, flourish, and convey the positive influence of the ethnic group.
  Within the four seas, the descendants of Yan and Huang can live wonderfully and confidently in their own way. Isn’t this a positive response to the roots of China?

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