In Good Company: Vito Xu, don of Asian outlet malls

While Chinese retail is struggling, Sasseur boss runs a bunch of profitable outlet malls

From grossing his first million yuan in revenue from his shop in 1992, Mr Vito Xu's Singapore-listed Sasseur Reit last week nudged a billion dollars in market capitalisation before easing to $962 million at last Friday's market close.
From grossing his first million yuan in revenue from his shop in 1992, Mr Vito Xu's Sasseur Reit last week nudged a billion dollars in market capitalisation before easing to $962 million at last Friday's market close.PHOTO: SASSEUR

In some ways, Mr Vito Xu's life mirrors the spectacular rise of China and its embrace of the outside world after the late Deng Xiaoping opened the economy to foreign investment four decades ago, setting in motion history's most amazing economic leap by any nation.

There's first the name, Vito, which is a favourite among Italians and draws its roots from the Latin word "vita" (life). Not one you would ordinarily associate with a person born Xu Rongcun and into a humble farming family in Chongqing.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 10, 2019, with the headline 'Vito Xu, don of Asian outlet malls'. Subscribe