- Evergrande boss and other property moguls slide down the rich list
- Former No. 1 Jack Ma down to No. 5
- TAL Education and Tencent founders curbed by regulation
- Hoshine Silicon CEO biggest mover
Big earners on China’s rich list this year were propelled by bottled water, vaccine development, short video platform TikTok and electric vehicle technology while embattled property moguls and others facing regulatory scrutiny slipped down the rankings.
With a personal wealth of $60.6 billion thanks to a surge in the value of his listed companies, Nongfu Spring (9633.HK) and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise (603392.SS), Zhong Shanshan was No. 1 on the Hurun China Rich List 2021 published on October 26.
ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming, battery maker CATL(300750.SZ) Chairman Zeng Yuqun, Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) Pony Ma, and Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group (9988.HK) and Ant Group (688688.SS), rounded out the top five.
Previously, Ma had topped the rich list for three years running but he dropped places following the suspension of Ant Group’s initial public offering (IPO) and the slapping of a record fine on Alibaba for monopolistic behavior.
China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) founder Hui Ka Yan, who lost around 70% of his net worth was left with around $11.3 billion. He also fell down the list of the country’s 100 wealthiest people amid regulatory scrutiny.
Even as the country’s second-largest property developer reels under more than $300 billion in liabilities, Xu’s personal finances have plummeted.
With the broader property sector facing a funding crunch after a regulatory crackdown on excessive borrowing and land buying, the Hurun Report said that it was the first time that a real estate developer was not in the top ten, since it began compiling the report in 1999.
Wang Wenxue, the founder of China Fortune Land (600340.SS) Wenxue lost his billionaire status altogether, with his net worth plunging by 88% from last year to $930 million.
The highest woman on the list, Yang Huiyan, co-chairwoman and majority shareholder of real estate developer Country Garden (2007.HK) fell five places to 11th.
After China introduced new rules banning for-profit tutoring, Zhang Bangxin, founder of home-tutoring service TAL Education Group (TAL.N), also dropped off the list, losing 94% of his net worth.
As his company’s video games business was rattled by new, stricter limits on gaming time for minors, Tencent’s Ma saw his wealth, which swelled 70% last year, decrease 19% this year.
The report said that in a country of 1.4 billion people, just 2,769 people were worth more than 2 billion yuan ($313 million) each.
The chief executive of solar product firm Hoshine Silicon Industry Co (603260.SS), Luo Liguo was the biggest mover in the top 100 as he multiplied his net worth 6.5 times, vaulting from 220th to 21st spot.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration banned U.S. imports of Hoshine’s materials, citing allegations of forced labor of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in China’s Xinjiang region. China, in response to the action, said it would take “all necessary measures” to protect its’ companies rights and interests.
The Hurun Report said that ByteDance’s Zhang, who owns short-video platform TikTok, tripled his wealth from last year to $52.8 billion and is likely to take the No. 1 spot next year, particularly if persistent rumors about a company listing are realized.
According to Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report’s chairman, Zhang:
“is a likely candidate to become the next Number One in China, especially if he gets to list ByteDance”.