There are 1,363 individuals with personal wealth of a billion Chinese yuan (US$150 million) in 2010, up from 1,000 in 2009 according to the Hurun Report, a luxury publishing report that ranks the richest people in China each year. The complete Hurun Rich List 2010 will be released in mid-October.
This year, the top 5 richest individuals include four news faces. Here is a snapshot of China’s five richest:
Top Five of Hurun Rich List 2010
|1||12||Zong Qinghou & family||65||Wahaha||Drinks|
|2||6.0||Li Li & family||46||Hepalink||Pharmaceutical|
|3||5.6||Zhang Yin & family||53||Nine Dragons Paper||Recycled paper|
|4||5.4||Liang Wen’gen||54||Sany||Heavy machinery|
|5||5.3||Robin Li Yanhong||42||Baidu||Search engine|
|5||5.3||Yan Bin||56||Ruoy Chai||Drinks,Property,Investments|
1. Zong Qinghou
With a personal fortune of US$12 billion, “Drinks King” Zong has grown Wahaha into China’s dominant beverage business with expected profits of US$1.5 billion this year and 30,000 employees. Zong, together with his wife and daughter, owns 60% of Wahaha and has jumped up to number one from 12th in last year’s list.
2. Li Li & Family
With a personal fortune of US$6 billion when Hepalink went public in May, Li Li moved straight into second place on the list. He and his family, who founded the business in 1998, own a majority stake. This is the first time a pharmaceutical tycoon has made the Top Five. Hepalink makes heparin, a blood thinner purified from pig intestines, used to prevent blood clots.
3. Zhang Yin
With a personal fortune of US$5.6 billion, Zhang remains the richest woman in China and the richest self-made woman in the world. Considered the “Paper Queen”, she saw her wealth grow by almost a billion US dollars as a result of a robust domestic retail market.
4. Liang Wen’gen
With a personal fortune of US$5.4 billion, Liang sells construction equipment to China’s booming urbanization businesses. As a result, he has become wealthier than any property developer. Liang’s wealth rose sharply largely after listing a second subsidiary in Hong Kong and jumped to fourth from 16 on the list. With a 58.2% stake in Sany, the only company from the Hurun Top Five headquartered in China’s poorer Western regions, Liang has overseen Sany’s growth into one of the world’s biggest makers of construction equipment, with sales last year of US$4.5 billion and 46,000 employees.
5. Robin Li Yanhong
With a personal fortune of US$5.3 billion, Li saw his wealth double this year. Thanks to Google’s departure from China, Baidu’s share increased sharply. This year Baidu plans to take on Taobao in the online shopping market.
5. Yan Bin
Tying Robin Li for fifth on the list, Yan Bin made his fortune from the success of Red Bull energy drinks in China, which is expected to reach US$800 million this year. Yan started his business in Thailand and is also known by his Thai name of Chanchai Ruayrungruang. Aside from Red Bull, Yan owns the luxury Reignwood Group, which includes the best-known golf club in Beijing.
Interestingly, 2010 is the first time in 10 years that a property tycoon did not make the Top Five.
“China probably now has the largest number of billionaires anywhere in the world. We already know of 189 US dollar billionaires in China this year, but you can safely say that we have missed at least half again, meaning there are between 400 and 500 USD billionaires,” according to Rupert Hoogewerf, founder of the Hurun Rich List. The average age of those on the list is 51 years old, which is 15 years younger than their rich US or European counterparts. Currently, China’s richest man, Zong Qinghou, with a $12 billion fortune is eclipsed by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, whose $53.5 billion fortune beat out Bill Gates this year as the richest man in the world.
photo credit: rahims