Cher Wang (王雪紅), chairwoman of smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電), has replaced Foxconn Technology Group (富士康) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) as Taiwan’s richest person on Forbes magazine’s billionaire list this year.
Forbes ranked Wang and her husband, Chen Wen-chi (陳文琦), president and chief executive of chip provider VIA Technologies Inc (威盛電子), as Taiwan’s wealthiest couple, with a net worth of US$6.8 billion. The couple, rated the nation’s 11th-richest last year, ranked 143rd worldwide on Forbes’ billionaire list released on Wednesday.
Fubon Group (富邦集團) founder Tsai Wan-tsai (蔡萬才) and family ranked No. 2 in Taiwan, with a combined fortune of US$6.3 billion. The Tsai family ranked 156th on the global list.
Gou, who topped the Taiwan list last year, fell to third place this year, with a net worth of US$5.7 billion and a world ranking of 179th.
Want Want Group (旺旺集團) chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) was fourth in Taiwan, with a fortune of US$5.2 billion and a global ranking of 196th.
Rounding out the top 10 list were Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團) vice chairman Wang Yung-tsai (王永在) in fifth place; Quanta Group (廣達集團) chairman Barry Lam (林百里) in sixth; Lin Yu-lin (林堉璘), founder of the Hong Tai Group (宏泰集團), in seventh; Lin Rung-san (林榮三), property and media tycoon and founder of the Liberty Times and its sister paper the Taipei Times at eighth; Cheng Shin Rubber Co (正新輪胎) founder Luo Jye (羅結) and family following in ninth; and Tsai Chen-yu (蔡鎮宇), former vice chairman of Cathay Financial Holdings Co (國泰金控), in 10th place.
Worldwide, Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim Helu remained the world’s richest person with a net worth of US$74 billion thanks to his telecoms empire. Already the top dog last year, he increased his fortune by US$20.5 billion.
In a now familiar second place was Microsoft founder Bill Gates with US$56 billion. The relatively lower ranking reflected his enormous philanthropic give-aways over the year, Forbes said.
Next up was US investment guru Warren Buffett and Frenchman Bernard Arnault from the luxury goods group LVMH with US$50 billion and US$41 billion respectively.
Worldwide, the number of billionaires hit a record 1,210, up from 1,011 last year, Forbes said.