CATL founder passes Alibaba's Jack Ma for first time in wealth amid China’s focus on core technologies
Published: Jul 08, 2021 08:18 PM
A view of CATL headquarters in Ningde, East China's Fujian Province Photo: VCG

A view of CATL headquarters in Ningde, East China's Fujian Province Photo: VCG

Robin Zeng Yuqun, founder and chairman of leading Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd (CATL), has passed Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun for the first time to become the 25th wealthiest person worldwide, according to Forbes on Thursday. 

Also on Thursday, shares in Zeng-led CATL closed up 3.07 percent to an all-time high of 559.16 yuan ($86.33).  

The news demonstrated the dawn of an era in China when core technology attracts more capital and produces more billionaires, analysts noted.

Zeng was estimated to worth $49.6 billion, ranking No.3 in China after Nongfu Spring founder Zhong Shanshan and Tencent Holdings CEO Ponny Ma Huateng, while passing Jack Ma for the first time, according to Forbes' Real-Time Billionaire Index released on Thursday.

The shake-up in the ranks of billionaires reflects the fast development of core technologies in China, analysts said. 

"China has done a lot of basic research and built up a lot of advanced technologies since the start of the reform and opening-up in 1978," Dong Shaopeng, a senior research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Dong said that the US' crackdown on Chinese technology companies is also accelerating the development of core technologies in China,

According to this year's government work report, China will stick to an innovation-driven development strategy and accelerate the building of a modern industrial system during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period.

China will make innovation a core part of the country's modernization drive, and will be committed to independent innovation in science and technology, it said.

With the coming of the 5G era, more high-tech companies are expected to be born in such sectors as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing, Dong said, noting that the country's huge innovation dividend will support its economic development in the new era.

Global Times