2,918 Chinese entrepreneurs have net worth of over 2 billion yuan: Hurun
Published: Oct 27, 2021 02:18 PM
Zhong Shanshan, founder of Nongfu Spring  Photo: CFP

Zhong Shanshan, founder of Nongfu Spring Photo: CFP

A total of 2,918 Chinese entrepreneurs who have a net worth exceeding 2 billion yuan ($312.75 million) are listed in the Hurun China Rich List 2021, and 520 of them belong to newcomers. Zhong Shanshan, 67, founder of beverage company Nongfu Spring, topped the list with a net worth of 390 billion yuan.

The new-energy sector came under the spotlight in 2021 amid the country's multiple efforts targeting peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, with eight of 10 fastest risers related to the sector. Zeng Yuqun, 53, chairman of CATL, an electric car battery provider, tripled his wealth to move to No.3 with 320 billion yuan. 

Jack Ma, last year's richest person, dropped four places to fifth with 255 billion yuan, after Ant's listing was suspended and Alibaba was fined a record of 18.2 billion yuan for monopolistic practices.

The net worth of TikTok founder Zhang Yiming increased three times against last year's figure and surpassed Ma Huateng, also known as Pony Ma, founder of Chinese tech giant Tencent and Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba. Zhang took second place with 340 billion yuan of personal wealth. 

For the first time, real estate did not have a single entrepreneur listed in the top 10. Due to property giant China Evergrande's debt crisis, its founder Xu Jiayin, also known as Hui Ka Yan, who topped the list in 2017, fell to 70th from fifth last year, and he was also the entrepreneur with largest drop in the 2021 list with 73 billion yuan of personal wealth. 

In the personal tutoring sector, which is under a regulatory scrutiny by the authorities, the net worth of US-listed education company TAL Education Group's founder Zhang Bangxin witnessed the largest decrease at minus 94 percent. The net worth of Yu Minhong, founder of New Oriental, shrunk from 26 billion yuan to 7.5 billion yuan. 

"We can see which industries and business models are on the up and which are on the way down. New energy has had an amazing year, while real estate, home tutoring services, pork production and video gaming have had a bad year," Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report chairman and chief researcher, said in the release. 

Global Times