China billionaires overtake US
Shanghai, October 15
The number of billionaires in China has overtaken that of the United States for the first time, an annual survey said today, despite slowing growth in the world’s second-largest economy.
Communist-ruled China now has 596 billionaires, up a ‘staggering’ 242 over the last year, Shanghai-based luxury magazine publisher Hurun Report said, surpassing the 537 Americans.
“Despite the slowdown in the economy, China’s richest have defied gravity, recording their best year ever,” Hurun Report Chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said.
Real estate and entertainment magnate Wang Jianlin dethroned founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Jack Ma as the country’s richest person, Hurun’s annual wealth ranking showed.
Wang, who founded conglomerate Wanda, saw his fortune jump more than 50 per cent to $34.4 billion, helped by a surge in the stock price of a listed unit.
Wang took the top spot back from Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, because of a collapse in the internet company’s New York-quoted shares, which were the world’s biggest initial public offering when it listed last year. Ma’s wealth still stands at $22.7 billion.
Beverage tycoon Zong Qinghou of Wahaha remained in third place with just over $21 billion.