China’s super-rich saw their wealth tumble by the most in more than two decades this year, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Beijing’s “zero COVID-19” measures and falling mainland and Hong Kong stock markets pummeled fortunes, an annual rich list said yesterday.
The Hurun Rich List, which ranks China’s wealthiest people with a minimum net worth of 5 billion yuan (US$689.3 million), said only 1,305 people made the mark this year, down 11 percent from last year. Their total wealth was $3.5 trillion, down 18 percent.
Meanwhile, the number of people with US$10 billion fell by 29 to 56, and the number of dollar billionaires dropped by 239 to 946 this year, it added.
“This year has seen the biggest fall in the Hurun China Rich List of the last 24 years,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of research firm Hurun Report, which compiles the list and is named after Hoogewerf’s Chinese name, Hu Run (胡潤).
The global economic outlook has this year been heavily affected by the war in Ukraine and slowing economic growth in China that has in turn been exacerbated by the country’s strict COVID-19 policies and a prolonged property slump.
A two-year regulatory crackdown that has hit China’s biggest tech firms such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴) and Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), and concerns that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) will sacrifice growth for ideology in his third term, have also weighed on investor confidence, with Hong Kong and mainland stock markets tumbling in the past few weeks.
Yang Huiyan (楊惠妍), the businesswoman behind Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd (碧桂園控股), which like many other Chinese developers has been battling debt issues, saw her wealth fall by US$15.7 billion, the biggest drop on this year’s list.
Zhong Shanshan (鍾睒睒), whose listed companies are water bottler Nongfu Spring (農夫山泉) and vaccine developer Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co Ltd (北京萬泰生物藥業), took first place on the list for the second year running, with a fortune that grew 17 percent to US$65 billion.
The founder of TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動), Zhang Yiming (張一鳴), took second place, but saw his wealth fall 28 percent to US$35 billion due to a drop in ByteDance’s valuation.
In third place was Zeng Yuqun (曾毓群), chairman of battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (寧德時代新能源).
Tencent founder Pony Ma (馬化騰) posted the second largest drop in wealth of US$14.6 billion amid sliding tech stock prices, to take fifth place on the list. Alibaba founder Jack Ma (馬雲) and his family tumbled four places to be ranked No. 9.
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