China and US dominate ranks of self-made billionaire young guns
China and the US are home to 80 per cent of the world’s self-made billionaires under the age of 40, according to the latest report by wealth-tracking research group Hurun Report.
The list includes 47 individuals, with Facebook chief officer Mark Zuckerberg, 33, ranking first with US$58 billion, followed by company co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin and former colleague Sean Parker.
In China, the top spot belongs to the man behind drone maker DJI, Frank Wang or Wang Tao in Chinese, with an estimated fortune of US$4 billion, placing him ninth.
Wang turned his Hong Kong dorm room start-up into one of the world’s largest sellers of consumer drones and now supplies 70 per cent of the market.
All told, the United States is home to 20 of the individuals, followed by China’s 18.
US-based firms that have created more than one billionaire on the list include Uber, Snapchat and Airbnb.
Rupert Hoogewerf, the chairman of Shanghai-based Hurun Report, said the rankings should serve as an international wake-up call. The domination by the US and Chinese entrepreneurs “should be pretty scary for the rest of the world”, Hoogewerf said.
The list also gave insight into the rapid speed at which massive wealth is created in the new economy.
Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy crossed the billionaire threshold just three years after founding the social media company in 2011. In China, Cheng Wei, one of the founders of ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, similarly took three years to become a billionaire.
In terms of geography, San Francisco is home to 12 of the 47 names, followed by eight in Beijing and three in Shanghai.
Wang is the sole Chinese entrepreneur to make the top 10. DJI, valued at US$10 billion, dominates the North American market for consumer drones priced between US$500 and US$4,000, according to a report from technology news website Recode.
The 14th spot is occupied by Wang Qicheng and Wu Yan, a couple from Hangzhou, the capital of the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, who founded information technology and entertainment company Hakim. The report estimated Wang, 37, and Wu, 36, shared a net wealth of US$3.1 billion.