More than 200 billionaires were created in China last year as booming stock markets and a flood of new listings offset the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global tally released yesterday showed.
The size of China’s exclusive billionaire’s club has almost doubled in the past five years as the world’s No. 2 economy continued to outpace most others, while it was one of the few to expand last year.
The Hurun Global Rich List showed 259 people breaking into the billion-dollar bracket — more than the rest of the world combined — taking China’s total to 1,058, the first country to break the 1,000 mark.
In comparison, second-best performer, the US, had 70 new billionaires, taking its total to 696.
Leading the Chinese pack was Zhong Shanshan (鍾睒睒) of bottled water giant Nongfu Spring Co (農夫山泉), who entered the list for the first time with an US$85 billion fortune, putting him No. 1 in Asia and into Hurun’s global top 10.
Zhong, a former construction worker, made his cash following a US$1.1 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong last year.
Three individuals globally added more than US$50 billion in a single year, the survey found: Tesla Inc’s Elon Musk, Amazon.com Inc’s Jeff Bezos and Colin Huang (黃崢) of e-commerce firm Pinduoduo Inc (拼多多).
Overall, China leads the world’s wealth creation, adding 490 new billionaires in the past five years compared with the 160 added in the US, Hurun’s report said.
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