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China’s Super-Rich See Wealth Plunge as Economy Slows

The Hurun Rich list, which ranks China’s wealthiest citizens, said the number of dollar billionaires dropped by 239 to 946 this year.

Zhong Shanshan, chairman of Nongfu Spring, is China's richest man, according to the Hurun Rich List.
Zhong Shanshan, chairman of Nongfu Spring, is China's richest man. He is seen here speaking at a media briefing in Beijing. File photo: Reuters.


China’s richest people saw their assets fall by the most in over two decades this year, an annual rich list said on Tuesday.

The Hurun Rich list, which ranks China’s super-rich, said the number of citizens with assets valued at $10 billion fell by 29 to 56, while the number of dollar billionaires dropped by 239 to 946 this year.

Meanwhile, the number of people with a minimum net worth of 5 billion yuan ($692 million) dropped to 1,305 this year, down 11% from last year. Their total wealth was $3.5 trillion, down 18%.

“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.

The global economic outlook has this year been heavily impacted by the war in Ukraine and slowing economic growth in China that has in turn been exacerbated by the country’s ultra-strict Covid policies and prolonged property slump.

These factors have caused mainland and Hong Kong stock markets to plunge and greatly reduced investors’ fortunes, it said.



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A two-year regulatory crackdown that hit China’s biggest tech names, such as Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings, and concerns that President Xi Jinping will sacrifice growth for ideology in his third term, have also weighed on investor confidence, causing markets in Hong Kong and on the mainland to tumble further in recent weeks.

Yang Huiyan, the businesswoman behind Country Garden Holdings, which like many other Chinese developers has been battling debt issues, saw her wealth fall by $15.7 billion, the biggest drop on the 2022 list.

Zhong Shanshan, whose listed companies are water bottler Nongfu Spring and vaccine developer Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, took first place on the list for the second year running, with a fortune that grew 17% to $65 billion.

The founder of TikTok owner ByteDance, Zhang Yiming, took second place, but saw his wealth fall 28% to $35 billion due to a drop in ByteDance’s valuation.

In third place was Zeng Yuqun, chairman of battery giant CATL.

Tencent founder Pony Ma posted the second largest drop in wealth of $14.6 billion amid sliding tech stock prices, to take fifth place on the list.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma and his family tumbled four places to be ranked No-9.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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