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Chinese top list of billionaires with total net worth US$2.5t

March 01,2018

   
   

The number of Chinese billionaires pulling away from the United States is growing every year with as many as 819 billionaires from China, compared with 571 from the US, the Hurun Rich List showed yesterday.

A total of 2,694 billionaires from 69 countries and regions are included in the list — up 437 from a year ago. Among them, 567 are new entrants, with 210 from China.

Their total wealth increased 31 percent to US$10.5 trillion, the report said, adding that the wealth was still concentrated in the hands of few people. The combined net worth of the Chinese billionaires was US$2.5trillion.

“A boom in China, a weak dollar and a 26 percent hike in the Nasdaq have led to a surge in dollar billionaires across the world,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun’s chairman and chief researcher of the report.

Global economic growth recorded the fastest pace since 2011, adding 3 percent last year, and a significant acceleration compared with 2.4 percent the previous year.

China and the US made up over half of the billionaires in the world. Beijing is now the undisputed billionaire capital of the world, adding 37 to 131 billionaires.

Two years ago, China and the US were neck-and-neck with 534 and 535 billionaires, respectively, with China going through an amazing period of entrepreneurship.

There are 85 billionaires aged 40 or under, seven people more than last year, among them 47 are self-made while 38 inherited their wealth.

China also leads the world in terms of self-made billionaires and is home to 80 percent of the world’s self-made female billionaires.

Tencent Chairman Ma Huateng is the highest ranking Chinese billionaire, rising eight positions to 15th on this year’s list. His wealth more than doubled after Tencent’s share prices soared last year.

Billionaires’ wealth from TMT (technology, media and telecom), real estate, manufacturing and investment account for 44 percent of the cumulative wealth. Real estate has generated the most number of billionaires (164), followed by manufacturing (159) and TMT (105).

 

Best of businesswomen

 

Sun Yafang, chairwoman of tech giant Huawei, topped Forbes China’s list of 100 outstanding businesswomen whose firms have created a total market capitalization of more than 7 trillion yuan (US$1.1 trillion).

Sun replaced Dong Mingzhu, president of Gree Electric Appliances, who was No. 1 last year but dropped to third this year. Sun was credited for building Huawei into an industry leader.

Li Qingping, chairwoman of China CITIC Bank, was close behind in second place. Li, who has been a banker for more than 30 years, has transformed and improved CITIC Bank, Forbes said.

Song Guangju, chairwoman of Poly Real Estate Group, moved up one place to fourth this year, while last year’s third-placed Lucy Peng, chief executive of Ant Financial, dropped to fifth this year.

Wang Jianjun, president of Shanghai Media Group, was 30th, and Belinda Wong, chief executive officer of Starbucks China, was 34th.

For the first time, Forbes listed 25 most promising Chinese businesswomen in this year’s list. They include Qu Fang, co-founder of cross-border online shopping site Xiaohongshu, Mi Wenjuan, founder of online English education startup VIPKID, and Zhu Haiqin, founder of restaurant chain Mystic South-Yunnan Ethnic Cuisine.