China leads Hurun Global Rich List 2023 with 969 billionaires: report
Published: Mar 23, 2023 04:35 PM
A worker in a Nongfu Spring facility in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province in February 2020 Photo: cnsphoto

A worker in a Nongfu Spring facility in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province in February 2020 Photo: cnsphoto

Despite losing 164 billionaires, China is still the global capital for billionaires with 969 ahead of the US, according to the latest rich list released by the Hurun Research Institute on Thursday.

Zhong Shanshan, founder of bottled water company Nongfu Spring, retains his position as China's richest person with $69 billion, which is down four percent. 

Pony Ma Huateng of Chinese tech giant Tencent rose to the second place, despite losing $13 billion. 

Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, the Chinese internet behemoth behind popular video-sharing app TikTok, dropped one place to third place.

Colin Huang Zheng was this year's biggest climber on the list among Chinese billionaires, according to the ranking, adding $12billion to catapult him into the top five position, banking on Pinduoduo's expansion into multiple countries with its e-commerce platform Temu, which made its debut last month at the Super Bowl.

China is the world's biggest source of known billionaires, with 40 percent more than the US. China's number of billionaires overtook the US in 2016.

"It's easy to see why the US and China are so important economically. Between them they have over half of the billionaires in the world. Start-up ecosystems require role models. The world's capitals for billionaires are Beijing and New York. Singapore has seen a surge of interest from Chinese billionaires, while Dubai has seen a surge of interest from Indian billionaires," said Rupert Hoogewerf, Hurun Report's chairman and chief researcher. 

Globally, there are 3,112 billionaires standing on the latest list, down from 3,381 seen last year. Their total wealth dropped by 10 percent compared with last year.

"Interest rate hikes, the appreciation of the US dollar, the popping of a COVID-driven tech bubble and the continued impact of the Russia-Ukraine war have all combined to hurt stock markets. The Hurun Global Rich List tells the story of the global economy through the stories of the world's richest individuals. Who's up and who's down highlights the trends in the economy," Hoogewerf said.

In terms of industries that generate billionaires, it's been a bad year for big tech, electric cars and semiconductors. It has been a good year for billionaires in fertilizer, oil & gas and iron, as well as those able to capitalize on the surge in demand for soft drinks, confectionary, casinos, hotels, sports clubs and luxury.

Global Times