Hurun has released its list of China’s richest people and Jack Ma has beat out Wang Jianlin for the top spot.
With the world’s largest ever IPO, Alibaba raised US$25 billion, and its CEO, Jack Ma Yun, has seen his net worth skyrocket. With his fortune made up almost entirely of his 6 percent stake in Alibaba, with its stock rising 38 percent on the first day of trading, and a 46 percent stake in Alipay, Jack Ma now has an estimated fortune of $25 billion, up five times from last year. Only one other Alibaba share holder made the list, Simon Xie Shihuang with a worth of $1.6 billion.
Ma beat out last year’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, whose worth increased 7 percent to $24.2 billion as the head of the Dalian Wanda Group. Jianlin’s company had a busy year, buying up real estate in Australia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Madrid. Wanda Group’s domestic real estate business grew by 30 percent to $31 billion. The company expects to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange, which could value the business as high as $50 billion. Jianlin also set up a joint venture with two other billionaires on the list, Pony Ma of Tencent and Robin Li of Baidu, to create an e-commerce business that will blend online-to-offline shopping and entertainment.
Overall, there are 354 dollar billionaires this year, up from 39 last year. Ten years ago there were only 3. Out of those that made the list, 819 saw their wealth grow and there were 343 new faces. Last year, only 672 saw their wealth grow and there were only 115 new people on the list.
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in China, as 26 of those listed are under forty and self-made. Thirty-one-year-old Chen Ou of Jumei, worth $1.5 billion, and 34-year-old Zhang Bangxin of TAL Education, worth $1.05 billion, are both dollar billionaires.
“The entrepreneurial spirit that has caught China seems not to be abetting, with 8 self-made individuals born in the eighties making the list. Any country would be proud of that,” said Hurun chief researcher and chairman Rupert Hoogewerf.
Though real estate and manufacturing are the primary source of wealth for almost half of the list, IT saw the biggest boom this year with 5 of the top 10 in IT. Entertainment, investment, automotive, renewable energy, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries also had a good year, whereas steel and shipping were down.
Those on the list have a huge influence in China that surpasses their wealth. Seven of the top 10 are among the most popular on Chinese social media. Real estate mogul Pan Shiyi has been crowned the “social media king” with 27 million followers, which beat out international star Jet Li.
As for where China’s rich call home, Beijing was the most popular with 180 of those listed living there, 40 more than last year, followed by Shenzhen and Shanghai.
Here is the top 10:
image credit: world economic forum, hurun report