The clothier was started in 1968, when Susie and Doug Tompkins sold clothes out of the back of a station wagon in San Francisco. Esprit Far East Group began operating in the 1970s when the couple met Ying.
Ying came from humble beginnings. His began his career in the earlier years as an ordinary laborer in the Manufacturing garment factory, and making his way up to receiving clients such as Esprit. Eventually, by association, Esprit hired Ying as its sole sourcing agent in 1970, being one of the first of their kind to manufacture clothing at that level efficiency and productivity. Esprit Far East Group began operating in the 1970s when its founders Susie and Douglas Tompkins began Business with Ying.
In 1986, Ying married Flora Cheong-Leen, a ballerina turned Entrepreneur, and together have one child Claudine Ying](born 1987). They were divorced shortly afterwards. In 1995, Ying married Brigitte Lin, former Actress, and they have two children together: Ying Oi Lum (born 1996) and Ying Yin Oi (born 2001).
During Ying's tenure, Esprit's sales surged 30-fold to HK$23.3 billion in the year ended June 2006 from HK$769.7 million in 1993, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Ying helped oversee Esprit's global expansion and a sales surge during a 13-year tenure as chairman that ended in 2006.
In the mid 2000s, Esprit Holdings Limited generated worldwide sales of around EUR 3.25 billion (as of 30 June 2008). Esprit operates in more than 770 Retail stores worldwide and distributes products to more than 15,150 wholesale locations around the globe. Esprit has more than 1.1 million square meters of Retail space in 40 countries.
On the Forbes 2016 list of the world's billionaires, he was ranked #722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.