John Tu Net WorthReal Name: John Tu
Date of Birth: 1/1/1940
Place of Birth: Chongqing, China
2017 Net Worth: $4.6 Billion
Profession: Co-Founder of Kingston Technology
John Tu Biography
John Tu was born in China and grew up in Taiwan. His family was poor but Tu’s brilliance at school earned him a government-funded education, first at the University of Lyon in France, then a college in Germany, where he studied electrical engineering at Technische Hochschule Darmstadt. Tu then moved to the United States, settling in California.
Along with his friend David Sun, Tu founded Kingston Technologies. The pair realized that computer companies had made standardized-to-fit surface mount chips, there was a shortage of 1 meg surface mount chips. Tu found that they could substitute slightly larger, older chips with a few modifications. In 1987, this made Kingston the only game in town. Tu says that, in the beginning, there was little technology involved; it was simply a matter of size. Tu became concerned that their design would be copied within a year and they would be out of business, but this didn’t happen. By 1988 sales increased to $12 million. As new computers were born and new manufacturers were created, each computer needed its own memory and they all turned to Kingston. In 1990, Microsoft introduced Windows 3.0 and they turned to Kingston for more memory. This pushed Kingston past the $100 million mark.
In 1996, Tu and his partner sold 80 percent of the company to Softbank for $1.5 billion. Unable to match the success that Tu had had with this company, Softbank sold it back to the pair in 1999 for a mere $450 million. With more than 4,000 employees, Kingston is still one of the largest makers of memory products, including those needed for many smart phones and tablets.
Tu loves to play the drums and has a band called JT and California Dreamin’. He lives in Rolling Hills Estates in California and has a current net worth of $ 4.6 billion.