The fortune of the 100 richest Chinese on the Forbes list drops 39%
Zhong Shanshan from Nongfu Spring retains first place
Singapore (10 November 2022) – The collective net worth of business leaders on Forbes’ list of China’s 100 richest people for 2022 fell 39% to $907.1 billion from $1.48 trillion last year, the largest drop in wealth since then. Forbes He began tracking the country’s richest people more than two decades ago. The full list can be found here and www.forbeschina.com. The list can also be found in the November issue of Forbes Asia And the number of November – December of Forbes China.
Of the 100 names on the list, 79 were low, 12 were returnees, four had sporadic fortunes, three were new and only two were richer. Wealth has been dented in part by tech-related strictures, zero-Covid-19 policies, slowing economic growth, political concerns after the Communist Party congress in October, and the yuan’s depreciation of more than 12% against the US dollar last year. Two major gauges have suffered heavy losses: China’s benchmark CSI 300 index has lost more than a quarter of its value since the list was last published, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index has fared worse, dropping nearly 41%.
“Last year has been one of the toughest in China in recent decades, and the overall wealth destruction among the top 100 on our list is significant by any measure,” said Russell Flannery, Forbes Traveling Editor and Editor of China’s 100 Richest List. On the other hand, the list highlights on the staying power of a number of Chinese entrepreneurs in green technology-related fields such as electric vehicles and solar energy, even though their shares in general have been hurt in the past year.”
Zhong Shanshan, president of Nongfu Spring, the largest bottled water supplier in China, ranked first this year. Among the dramatic declines for many, Zhong’s fortune has done relatively well, dropping just 5% to $62.3 billion from $65.9 billion a year ago. Zhong has suffered less than many others because of his smart investment in the Covid-test supplier Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, and from providing the vital commodity for drinking water.
Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, remained at No. 2 on this year’s list with a fortune of $49.5 billion, down $9.9 billion from last year. Robin Zeng, president of CATL, the world’s largest electric car battery maker, held No. 3 with a net worth of $28.9 billion, down 43% from $50.8 billion last year.
Ranked fourth with $23.4 billion, Ma Huateng is the chairman and CEO of Tencent, who has seen his fortune drop by $25.7 billion from $49.1 billion a year ago. Alibaba founder Jack Ma (No. 5) saw his net worth nearly halve to $20.6 billion from $41.5 billion last year.
Wang Quanfu (No. 11, $17.7 billion), president of Warren Buffett-backed automaker BYD, and non-executive director Lu Xiangyang (No. 18, $12.7 billion) got two spots on the list. The company overtook Tesla this year as the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles. Their net worth decreased by $5.8 million and $5.9 million, respectively, compared to last year.
Jin Baofang (No. 23, $10.4 billion), founder, chairman and managing director of JA Solar Technology was among only two of the two listed to see their fortunes rise. And his fortune increased by 16% from $8.95 billion last year, due to a boom in the global market for solar energy products. Gao Jifan (No. 40) of Trina Solar also saw his fortune rise slightly to $7.3 billion from $7.16 billion previously.
Among the three newcomers to this year’s list is Chris Shaw, founder of online fast fashion company Shein. Shaw ranked 25th with a fortune of $10 billion after new fundraising. Another first-time billionaire is Xue Min (No. 64), the controlling shareholder in Shanghai United Imaging Healthcare, a supplier of medical imaging equipment, with an estimated fortune of $5.25 billion. Also new on the list is Zhang Hejun (No. 41, $7.2 billion) of Ningbo Deye Technology.
Those associated with electronics and internet companies did not perform well either. Lei Jun (No. 37), CEO of the world’s No. 3 smartphone brand Xiaomi, has seen his fortune drop by more than half from $17.9 billion to $7.6 billion amid stagnating global demand. Likewise, the fortune of e-commerce giant JD.com Chairman Richard Liu (#32) has fallen to $8.3 billion from $17.6 billion last year.
Real estate developers have also had a difficult year. One of the biggest losers on this year’s list is Country Garden co-chair Yang Huiyan (No. 69), whose fortune fell to $4.91 billion from $27.8 billion a year ago. Notable pullouts from the real estate sector include Kai Hui Bang, president of real estate developer Logan Property Holdings, and Hui Ka Yan, chairman of troubled real estate developer China Evergrande Group.
The minimum net worth needed to make the top 100 companies has fallen to $3.5 billion, compared to $5.74 billion a year ago.
The top 10 richest people in China are:
- Zhong Shanshan 62.3 billion US dollars
- Zhang Yiming 49.5 billion dollars
- Robin Zeng $28.9 billion
- Ma Huateng $23.4 billion
- Jack Ma $20.6 billion
- Wang Wei $19.6 billion
- Hu Xiangjian 18.8 billion dollars
- William Deng $18.7 billion
- Colin Huang $18.6 billion
- Chen Yinglin $18.4 billion
The list of the richest people in mainland China has been compiled using shareholding information and financial information obtained from families, individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases, and other sources. Net worth figures are based on exchange rates and stock prices as of October 28. Private companies are evaluated using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar publicly traded companies. Some of the family’s fortunes were divided. In order to facilitate comparisons between individuals with similar backgrounds, a number of entrepreneurs from mainland China whose nationality is not the People’s Republic of China but whose main source of wealth is the mainland are included.
The full list of the 100 richest people in China can be accessed at www.forbes.com/china and www.forbeschina.com.
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