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Tony Jiantong Xia (Chinese: 夏建统; pinyin: Xià Jiàntǒng; born 26 October 1976) is a billionaire Chinese businessman. He is the chairman, CEO and owner of Recon Group.

Tony Xia
Xia Jiantong[1]

26 October 1976 (1976-10-26) (age 42)[2]
Quzhou, China
ResidenceBeijing, China
Alma materHarvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
OccupationEntrepreneur, investor
Years active1999–present
Net worthIncrease £1 billion (2018)[3]

Early life and educationEdit

Xia was born in Quzhou, Zhejiang.[1][4] He began school at the age of four, with his parents telling the school he was six for legal reasons.[2] At the age of 14, he left home to attend university in Beijing.[1][5] He was amongst the first 25 of 1,000 selected to study abroad at Harvard (where he studied landscape design), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a five-month exchange to study at Trinity College, Oxford in 1998–99.[1][2][6]


In March 1999, Xia founded design company XWHO in Boston, co-owned by his then-girlfriend and one of his lecturers. The company relocated to Hangzhou, China where Xia started a planning company called Teamax, which he sold for £430 million.[2]

Recon GroupEdit

Xia took over Chinese company Recon Group in 2004.[1] The company is based in Beijing and Hangzhou and is the umbrella organisation for Xia's companies which operate in IT, health and agriculture, new energy and smart transportation, engineering and design, financial services, and sports, leisure, and tourism.[2][7] Xia added he planned to invest in or buy football clubs in India, Spain, the USA, and Australia to create a new 'sports sector' within his portfolio.[8]

In February 2017 Recon Group subsidiary Recon Holding agreed to purchase a 51% stake in Millennium Films, a Hollywood film studio specialising in action films including The Expendables series. Previous majority stakeholder and founder Avi Lerner will remain as Chief Executive Officer with Xia becoming chairman.[9] This deal was later announced to be off in August 2017 due to the Chinese government clamping down on overseas business investments.[10]

Aston Villa F.C.Edit

On 18 May 2016, it was announced that Recon Group had agreed to buy Aston Villa for a reported £60 million from American businessman Randy Lerner, with the club becoming part of Recon Group's Sports, Leisure and Tourism division. On 14 June 2016, the sale was completed for a reported £76 million after being approved by the Football League. Upon completion of the sale, Xia became chairman of the club.[11][12]

Xia sold his majority stake in the club to NSWE in July 2018 and became a minority stakeholder and co-chairman. [13]

On 9 August 2019, documents from Companies House revealed that Recon Group's minority share ownership had been bought out, and Dr. Tony Xia no longer had any stake in the club. [14]

Personal lifeEdit

Xia has a home in Beijing. He has a wife, Sally, and one child.[15] He became an Aston Villa fan after watching them at Villa Park during his time as a student at Oxford University.[1] Xia played football at college as a striker.[1][7]

Xia describes himself as a self-made millionaire.[1] He describes his net wealth as "rather more" than a dollar billionaire, valuing some of his businesses the same as or more than Teamax which he sold for £430 million: "I own quite a lot of private businesses and I think I can sell some of them for the same amount or more."[2] In 2018, his estimated wealth was £1bn.[3]

Xia uses the English name Tony Xia.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Phillips, Tom (19 May 2016). "Tony Xia hopes revamp will turn Aston Villa into one of world's top three clubs". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Harris, Nick. "Saviour or dreamer? Sportsmail talks to Aston Villa's Tony Xia". Mail Online. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Strachan, Ian (25 January 2018). "Rich List 2018: No.7= - Dr Tony Xia". birminghampost. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. ^ "联合睿康全资收购英超"降班马" 实控人夏建统再施财技". Netsease. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Steve Hollis: Tony Xia takeover will prove "transformational" for Aston Villa". Express & Star. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Aston Villa takeover: Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia agrees £60m deal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b Wollaston, Steve (18 May 2016). "Who is Dr Tony Xia?". birminghammail. Retrieved 19 May 2016.
  8. ^ Harris, Nick. "New Villa owner Tony Xia plans to make club 'the biggest in the world'". Mail Online. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
  9. ^ "China's Recon Buys 51% of Avi Lerner's Millennium Films for $100 Million". Variety. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Chinese Firm Abandons $100M Acquisition of Avi Lerner's Millennium Films". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Introducing Tony Xia | Latest News | Aston Villa". Archived from the original on 19 May 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ "Club statement: Sale confirmed | Latest News | Aston Villa". Archived from the original on 15 June 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Aston Villa: Wes Edens & Nassef Sawiris to make 'significant investment' in club". BBC Sport. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  14. ^ Maher, Matt (9 August 2019). "Tony Xia leaves Aston Villa with former owner's remaining shareholding wiped out". Express & Star.
  15. ^ Kendrick, Mat (22 May 2016). "What Tony Xia's latest interview tells us about the Aston Villa owner". birminghammail. Retrieved 23 May 2016.