A meal with Warren Buffett, the the alleged “Oracle of Omaha”, is now a best kind of marketing campaign for entrepreneurs who win the bid. In 2001, it was practically a steal, at under $20,000. But in 2008, the price, which had been steadily rising, jumped dramatically to over $2 million once the auction was held online on eBay and opened to anyone who could afford it, rather than being held for one night at GLIDE’s live charity event in San Francisco. As the oracle ages and his time on Earth becomes more precious, the price of dining with him keeps rising.

7

This is the 20th year that Buffett has auctioned off such a “power lunch.”Over the years, he has generated about $30 million for the Glide Foundation—a San Francisco non-profit that helps the poor, homeless, and most vulnerable—via these powerful meals. The winning bidder and up to seven friends will get to lunch with Buffett in New York at the high-end steakhouse Smith & Wollensky. —edited from QUARTZ

4

This year, Chinese crypto tycoon Justin Sun win the bid with a record-high price of $4.57 Million (AU$6.59 Million). And he is the fourth Chinese person that is going to meet the oracle in a power lunch. Let’s have a look at the first three Chinese bid winners and how do they do after a meal with the oracle.

Most of Winners Keep Winning, But Not All

  • In 2006, Chinese investor Duan Yongping bought the chance of eating with Buffett at $620,100. 
  • In 2008, Zhao Danyang, general manager of the Pureheart Capital Asia Limited, won the dining bid at $2.11 million. 
  • In 2015, Zhu Ye, who runs gaming company Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co, won the opportunity to have lunch with Buffett after he donated about $2.35 million. 

5

There has always been suspicion about whether spending extortionate amounts of money on solely buying a lunch with Buffett is worth it. However, all the Chinese entrepreneurs who won the famous bid said it was worth the money. —edited from Global Times

Duan Yong Ping is the founder and chairman of privately held BBK Electronics Corp, a 24-year-old company based in the southern coastal city of Dongguan that now runs one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated electronics supply chains behind the production of a range of smartphones for the global market.

1

Duan, who will turn 58 years old next month, is widely regarded as the “godfather” of the Chinese smart-phone industry for developing two brands, Oppo and Vivo, as large global players competing against the likes of Samsung Electronics, Apple, LG Electronics and mainland rival Huawei Technologies.

Duan first made international headlines near the end of June 2006, when he agreed to pay a then-record amount of US$620,100 in a bidding on eBay to have a power lunch at a New York steakhouse with Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway.

“I’ve learned so much from Warren Buffett and his investment philosophy. I want a chance to say thank you,” Duan said.

In July of that year. Apart from his wife, Duan brought six friends to that lunch, including Colin Huang,the founder of Pinduoduo. 

His investment portfolio includes NetEase, Tencent, Pinduoduo, Oppo and Vivo, which are all very successful case studies in China’s IT and Smart phone sectors. Before and after his lunch with Buffett, Duan’s legend continues. —-edited from South China Morning Post

A Chinese businessman named Zhao Danyang paid a record $2.1 million in a charity auction on eBay to win a lunch date with Warren E. Buffett, the so-called Oracle of Omaha.

3

This was a chance to get close to the world’s greatest stock picker, Mr. Zhao says, and to pick his brain about investing, the global financial crisis and philanthropy.

But a day before the lunch, Mr. Zhao told the media he would offer Mr. Buffett a stock tip of his own: a little-known Chinese retailer called WuMart.

“I didn’t want to influence the market,” Mr. Zhao said in a telephone interview Friday. “It was just a tip from a friend.”

But that’s not how the market reacted to it. Even before Mr. Zhao arrived for lunch, shares of WuMart were climbing. By the time he returned to China, the shares were about 25 percent higher and Mr. Zhao’s stock holdings in WuMart (which he insists will some day be China’s Wal-Mart) were worth about $16 million more.

Bloggers in China are now feasting on Mr. Zhao, who runs several investment funds in Hong Kong, pointing out how he cleverly turned what looked like an expensive $2.1 million lunch date into a short-term gain of $14 million.—edited from New York Times

In 2015, Zhu Ye, The chairman of a Chinese company that develops online games paid $2,345,678 for a private lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett, winning a charity auction.

2

Zhu, chairman of Beijing-based Dalian Zeus Entertainment Co, submitted the highest of 76 bids to win the five-day auction on eBay. His bid was well below the $3,456,789 winning bid in 2012, was a record for an eBay charity auction, but will help Glide meet its $16 million annual budget. The first 16 auctions raised about $20.2 million.—edited from Reuters.com

Unfortunately, Zhu’s business slides in 2018 and have to bear a tremendous loss of 7.5 billion RMB. Even for himself is still under investigation by local police officers.

The Chinese Crypto tycoon Justin Sun Paid $4.57 Million

Cryptocurrency tycoon Justin Sun wants to change Warren Buffett’s mind on bitcoin. He is willing to spend 4.57 million USD to try.

6

The 28-year-old CEO of BitTorrent, who bought the popular file sharing platform last year, announced on Twitter that he has scored a charity lunch date with the legendary American investor and crypto critic. His winning bid, which was submitted during a five-day online auction on eBay, smashed the previous 2012 and 2016 records of 3.5 million USD.

Buffett’s despise for bitcoin is well-documented. Ahead of Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, he told reporters that “it is a gambling device… there’s been a lot of frauds connected with it. Bitcoin hasn’t produced anything.”

Sun, however, who launched the blockchain-based operating system TRON in 2017, is up for the challenge.

And he won’t be making his case alone. Sun can invite up to seven people to join him at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in Manhattan, and so far he has extended invites to industry leaders from blockchain based applications such as Ethereum (ETH) and LiteCoin(LTC).

The hashtag “Justin Sun Bids 4.56 million USD for Buffett Lunch”has gained 130 million views on the Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo.

While persuading Buffett of bitcoin’s value in three hours maybe be a tall order, the big bucks are being put to good use. All the money will be used to support the Glide Foundation’s 50-year mission of helping the homeless in San Francisco, home to Sun’s BitTorrent.—edited from Julienna Law, radiichina.com

While people are suspicious about Justin Sun’s motive to dine with the ‘oracle’, the power lunch itself has already been drawing traffic and investors towards the blockchain industry.

If Sun would persuade Buffett to recognize blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, it would be an epic business story to pitch investors; even he could not make that happen, the marketing effect will still take place on his tech businesses and the seven blockchain leaders he brings into the lunch.

Edited by Joreal Qian