Record 400 billionaires from mainland China in Forbes rich list
Wanda chairman Wang Jianlin (US$33bn) retains topspot, followed by Alibaba’s Jack Ma ($28.2bn) and Tencent’s chairman Ma Huateng ($24.5bn)
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, retains No. 1 spot in the latest Forbes list of China’s richest, which this year identifies a record 400 billionaires and billionaire families from the mainland, up from 335 a year ago.
Total wealth held by the 400 on the list members grew 14 per cent to US$947 billion from US$830 billion a year earlier, buoyed in part by brisk gains in e-commerce and by economic growth. This year’s list has 68 new members and 29 returnees.
Wang’s net worth rose 10 per cent to US$33 billion from US$30 billion last year.
The increase in number marks a 19 per cent rise, which compared with last year’s report which showed a 38 per cent rise.
Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, ranked second on the latest Forbes list, with his wealth climbing nearly 30 per cent from US$21.8 billion last year to US$28.2 billion.
His fortune increased thanks to a recovery in Alibaba’s stock price, which rose 23.9 per cent in the past 12 months, according to Forbes. Alibaba owns South China Morning Post.
“The increase in the number of billionaires and billionaire families shows that great business opportunities exist in China as the country’s structural changes continue.” said Russell Flannery, senior editor and compiler of the Forbes China Rich List.
Tencent’s chairman Ma Huateng saw his wealth soar from $17.6 billion last year to $24.5 billion this year, an increase attributed to a roughly 45 per cent rise in Tencent’s Hong Kong-traded shares in the past year.
The top three billionaires are the same as the recently published Hurun China Rich List 2016.
The Forbes list ranked Wang Wei, chairman of the delivery service S.F. Express, as fourth wealthiest person in China worth an $18.5 billion net worth. His net wealth soared from $4 billion last year, after the parent company S.F. Holdings Group, in which he has a 68 per cent stake, received government approval of a stock market listing.
William Ding, leader of game operator NetEase, staged a dramatic rise from No. 10 to No. 5 on the list, passing search leader Baidu’s Robin Li.