The 10 Richest Chinese Billionaires In 2021

08-Apr-2021 Intellasia | Forbes | 5:02 AM Print This Post

In a record setting year, China leads the pack in billionaire bounce backs on Forbes’ 35th annual World’s Billionaires list. The Middle Kingdom is now home to 626 billionaires up from 388 last year and is again only second to the US, which has 724 billionaires. China’s blistering stock market and quick recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic led to 205 newcomers, while another 53 who had dropped off the list in previous years made the cut this go-around. China’s count does not include Hong Kong and Macao, which Forbes lists separately.

Not only does China have more billionaires than ever, its richest have bigger fortunes. The 626 Chinese billionaires’ collective net worth of $2.5 trillion is more than double last year’s total, when the Chinese moguls on the list were worth $1.2 trillion. The average net worth of a billionaire from the eastern nation is $4 billion a 33 percent jump from last year. Together the top ten are worth $447 billion, nearly double the $224 billion they had a year ago. Chinese billionaires now account for nearly a fifth of the total wealth of the list, which has 2,755 billionaires with a collective net worth of $13.1 trillion.

The biggest winner, in both dollar and percentage terms, is bottled water magnate Zhong Shanshan, who is up $66.9 billion in the past year after he took Nongfu Spring public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Zhong, who reportedly dropped out of school at age 12 and once worked as a construction worker and erectile dysfunction pill salesman, founded the beverage firm in 1996. He still owns 84 percent of the firm.

Some top 10 mainstays have had a tumultuous year but still ended up richer. Jack Ma, who cofounded e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, has seen his company come under increasing scrutiny by the Chinese Communist Party, as the government seeks to crack down on big tech. His fintech giant Ant Group, which was planning a record-setting dual listing in Shanghai and Hong Kong, also saw its IPO pulled by regulators just days ahead of its November 5 debut. But with lockdowns driving a surge in online shopping, Ma is still $9.6 billion richer than last year, though he fell from being China’s richest person to No. 4.

Social media maven Zhang Yiming also had to navigate some turbulent political waters. His short video app sensation TikTok was ordered to sell its US operations by former president Donald Trump, though the new Biden administration has reportedly put those plans on ice. In December, TikTok parent company Bytedance raised another $2 billion at a $180 billion valuation, boosting Zhang’s net worth by $19.4 billion.

Here are the top 10 richest people in China; net worths are as of March 5, 2021.

#1 | Zhong Shanshan

NET WORTH: $68.9 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: BEVERAGES

RESIDENCE: HANGZHOU

The September 2020 IPO of his bottled-water firm, Nongfu Spring, drove up his fortune by 3,345%, making him the year’s biggest percentage gainer and China’s new richest person. Zhong also chairs Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, which went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 2020.

#2 | Ma Huateng

NET WORTH: $65.8 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: INTERNET MEDIA

RESIDENCE: SHENZHEN

His web-media giant, Tencent, which owns stakes in Tesla, Snap and Spotify, notched another win with the February public offering of video-sharing app Kuaishou. Tencent, which is best known for its messaging and social media app WeChat, owns 18 percent of the Hong Kong listed firm.

#3 | Colin Zheng Huang

NET WORTH: $55.3 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: E-COMMERCE

RESIDENCE: SHANGHAI

The founder of online discounter Pinduoduo stepped down as its chair in March to pursue research in food and life sciences; he gave up his CEO role last July. In 2020, Pinduoduo surpassed Alibaba as China’s most popular e-commerce company with 788.4 million users, just five years after Huang launched the firm. The latter’s annual revenue ($72 billion) still dwarfs Pinduoduo’s ($9.1 billion).

#4 | Jack Ma

NET WORTH: $48.4 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: E-COMMERCE

RESIDENCE: HANGZHOU

The Alibaba cofounder has been lying low since the dual listing of his fintech giant, Ant Group, was halted by Chinese regulators in November. His e-commerce empire is also under pressure; Chinese regulators launched an anti-monopoly investigation into the company in December.

#5 | Wang Wei

NET WORTH: $39 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: PACKAGE DELIVERY

RESIDENCE: SHENZHEN

Revenue of his S.F. Express the “FedEx of China” rose 37 percent in 2020 as e-commerce boomed during China’s Covid-19 lockdowns. Wang founded the company in 1993 and took it public on the Shenzhen Stock exchange 24 years later through a reverse merger; he still owns nearly 60 percent of the stock.

#6 | He Xiangjian

NET WORTH: $37.7 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: HOME APPLIANCES

RESIDENCE: FOSHAN

The cofounder of electric-appliance maker Midea Group reportedly escaped a kidnapping attempt last June, when several men tried to break into his home using explosives. His son allegedly got out of the house and swam across a river to alert the authorities. He, who stepped down as Midea’s chair in 2012, still owns a controlling stake with his family.

#7 | Zhang Yiming

NET WORTH: $35.6 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: TIKTOK

RESIDENCE: BEIJING

Zhang founded ByteDance, creator of popular short-video app TikTok, in a four-bedroom apartment in 2012. The company first hit it big with news aggregator app Toutiao in China, before taking the world by storm with TikTok. A December funding round valued the unicorn at $180 billion.

#8 | Qin Yinglin & family

NET WORTH: $33.5 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: PIG BREEDINGC

RESIDENCE: NANYANG

Qin founded China’s top hog producer, Muyuan Foodstuff Co., in 1992 with wife Qian Ying and just 22 pigs. The group now has 140,000 employees and produced over 18 million pigs in 2020. Qin is chair, while Qian, who is also a billionaire, sits on the board.

#9 | William Lei Ding

NET WORTH: $33 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: ONLINE GAMES

RESIDENCE: HANGZHOU

Revenue at his Nasdaq-listed NetEase rose 24 percent in 2020 as pandemic lockdowns drove demand for its online-gaming and remote-learning products. The company’s pipeline of games include “Harry Potter: Magic Awakened,” “The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War” and “Pokemon Quest.”

#10 | Yang Huiyan & family

NET WORTH: $29.6 BILLION

SOURCE OF WEALTH: REAL ESTATE

RESIDENCE: FOSHAN

The heiress is the largest shareholder of real estate developer Country Garden Holdings. Her stake was transferred to her from her father Yeung Kwok Keung, who founded the company and still serves as the chair. The younger Yang chairs US-listed education firm Bright Scholar Education Holdings.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jenniferwang/2021/04/06/the-10-richest-chinese billionaires-in-2021/?sh=111945f75ca2

 

Category: China

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