Chunhua “Charles” Huang became a millionaire many years ago, thanks to his former stint as an executive in China’s auto industry. But in 2021, the obscure Arcadia, Calif. resident’s wealth spectacularly skyrocketed when he won the lottery, in a manner of speaking.
That year, Huang’s healthcare startup Innova Medical Group secured highly lucrative contracts to supply the British government with rapid Covid test kits, as part of Boris Johnson’s push to reopen the economy. Per reports, those contracts — funded by British taxpayers — were worth at least £2.8 billion, or nearly $4 billion USD at 2021 exchange rates.
The big score is perhaps all the more remarkable considering Innova is still a brand-new startup, formed at the start of the 2020 pandemic, and Huang has no background in the healthcare industry. But per the Los Angeles Times, the ambitious entrepreneur leveraged his mainland business connections to secure a massive supply of rapid Covid test kits from a Chinese manufacturer long before established pharmaceutical giants could do the same. And when Johnson became desperate for kits, Huang was ready.
Innova’s test kits have faced criticism for their accuracy and overall quality of packaging, according to research by the L.A. Times, and the kits’ performance issues have led the FDA to order U.S. consumers to destroy any Innova antigen tests they may have received. But that hasn’t stopped Britain — Innova’s main client base — from doubling down on the tests, and Innova claims to have delivered 1.5 billion of their kits to consumers worldwide.
Today, Huang’s personal net worth is not public knowledge, but multibillion-dollar Innova is wholly owned by Pasaca Capital, a Pasadena, Calif.-based holding company that the 58-year-old founded in 2016, reputedly with his own money.
And with those British billions, Huang has gone on a spending spree — acquiring two Gulfstream jets, including a customized G650 model worth upwards of $40 million. In the past year alone, the philanthropic investor has also personally donated more than $120 million to various hospitals and universities — including a record-breaking $70 million to his alma mater, Scotland’s Strythdale University.
On the real estate front, Huang has long owned and occupied a $2 million house in Arcadia. But records show he’s now substantially — and unsurprisingly — upgrading his residential circumstances, splashing out $18 million on a wildly opulent compound in Bradbury Estates, a guard-gated community lying a few miles east of Arcadia.
The brand-new estate never even had a chance to officially hit the market before Huang came calling, so photos and details are scant. But the property’s developers were Lynne and Luong Tran, a local married couple who have built and sold several other area mansions. The Bradbury complex is their biggest gamble to date, by far.
The Trans acquired the 2.5-acre lot for $3.8 million back in 2013. The pair subsequently razed a humble ranch house on the premises and spent untold millions assembling the multi-structure estate, which includes a main house measuring at least 12,000 square feet, a detached guesthouse of 2,500 square feet, a similarly-sized pool house, a separate garage building for 10+ cars and some sort of detached office, perhaps a security hut for a live-in bodyguard to monitor the premises. Naturally, there’s also a huge swimming pool and full-size tennis court. The compound’s total living space is unknown, but is at least 18,000 square feet and could easily be 20,000 or more.
In an unusual approach to construction, the estate was completed piecemeal. The property’s guesthouse, pool house and garage building were built circa 2017, but the main house wasn’t built until last year — and finishing touches are still going on the place, a decidedly grandiose take on a neoclassical French chateau. The main house also features an enormous two-story foyer with twin staircases, and the upstairs master suite offers a private balcony with views of the backyard. The Trans have a fondness for exotic cars, and so the property has multiple paved driveways that run the length of the lot, with parking for dozens of vehicles.
While this is the first time Huang has ever owned a Bradbury home, he’s certainly not new to the community. For over a decade, he’s been regularly visiting the Estates, as the enclave is also home to his former boss and longtime associate Benjamin Yeung, an “exiled” Chinese tycoon whom Forbes once ranked as China’s third-richest businessman.
Other Bradbury residents include future baseball Hall-of-Famer Adrian Beltre, who recently completed construction on an even larger estate nearby. And In-N-Out Burger billionaire Lynsi Snyder lived in the community until last year, when she sold her $16 million estate to Vahe Kuzoyan, the tech mogul who co-founded $10 billion startup ServiceTitan.
The estate of Huang’s former boss Benjamin Yeung (below) is just a short jog away, and features a 25,000-square-foot house that comes equipped with two underground garages and space for 15+ cars.
Huang’s current Arcadia residence (below), which he’s owned since 2009, is far more modest than his new Bradbury property.