China’s former badminton boss, Li Yongbo, to venture into durian business

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Li Yongbo enjoys the Musang King durian. (photo: Nanyang)
Li Yongbo enjoys the Musang King durian. (photo: Nanyang)

Kuala Lumpur: People were wondering what was the former Chinese badminton head coach Li Yongbo doing in Malaysia as he has been spotted playing badminton with some young Malaysian players while hanging out with friends in Kuala Lumpur last week. Well, the mystery has finally been solved.

In fact, he was in Malaysia to exclusively explore the durian plantation – specifically ‘Musang King’ and its distribution business to China.

Li Yongbo takes picture with his durian trees. (photo: Nanyang)
Li Yongbo takes picture with his durian trees. (photo: Nanyang)

The 56-year-old Li who was visiting his friend’s durian farm in the state of Kelantan, said that he was amazed by the set up in the durian farm.

“The durian farm has closed circuit camera, it is obviously a very systematic and well-organized farm,” said Li.

Li Yongbo enjoys the Musang King durian. (photo: Nanyang)
Li Yongbo enjoys the Musang King durian. (photo: Nanyang)

It was reported that Li has invested total of 1440 durian trees than span across 33 acres of lands in that area.

Li Yongbo takes picture with his friend infront of the "Li Yongbo Lot". (photo: Nanyang)
Li Yongbo takes picture with his friend infront of the “Li Yongbo Lot”. (photo: Nanyang)

The Musang King durian is nearly twice as expensive as other durians in the Malaysian market. Converted to Chinese currency, the price of Musang King durians is around 100 yuan (USD$14.41) per kg (in Malaysia).

Since Musang King durians commonly weigh around 2.5 kg, buying one on the Malaysian market will cost upward of 200 yuan (USD $29).

At present, Chinese consumers are unable to buy whole imported durians, they can only purchase refrigerated pieces of durian. The Musang King is a unique regional product of Malaysia and since these durians are allowed to ripen and fall off the tree naturally, it is nearly impossible to transport them over long distance.

Therefore, Chinese consumers would have to pay up to 300 Yuan (USD $43) per kg for the Musang King durian. Given the huge profit potential of the durian market in China, no wonder the former “Badminton King” is now considering switching career as the “Musang King”.

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