Robert Tong

President, Sanyao International | United States

For remaking American neighborhoods in China’s image.

Chinese nouveaux riches, eager to sidestep an uncertain Chinese real estate market and place their children in American schools, want a slice of Americana to call their own — and Robert Tong knows how to remake L.A.’s high-end residential blocks to fit their aesthetic. The founder of Sanyao International designs multimillion-dollar homes tailored for Chinese clients, including marble-lined entryways, home theaters, and extra bedrooms for live-in relatives. For a more tangible manifestation of how China’s changing immigration patterns are reshaping American landscapes, look no further: Tong, and other designers catering to Chinese tastes, has built so many of these multimillion-dollar homes in Arcadia, California, that some now call it the “Chinese Beverly Hills.”