Forbes Lists China’s Wealthiest People

Every year American business magazine Forbes compiles lists in a range of categories, including who the World’s most rich and powerful people are. Among these recently released compilations is the 2013 list of the Top 400 Richest People in China. The data has revealed that the top 400 richest people in the country includes 168 billionaires, an increase over last year’s total of 113, which had dropped from the 2011 count of 146. There were quite a number of newcomers to the Top 400 list, and analysts have made some interesting observations regarding the changing trends in sources of wealth.

With a personal fortune totaling $14.1 billion, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, real estate Wang Jianlin is in the #1 spot, boosted by the recovery in China’s real estate market. The extent of Wang’s wealth still does not break the record of $16.2 billion set by Yan Huiyan in 2007, when as the holder of her real estate developer father’s fortune she topped the list. This year, Yan Huiyan’s fortune is listed at $7.2 billion and she is ranked as China’s richest woman.

As China is home to the largest number of mobile phone and internet users in the world, it is not surprising that some of the biggest increases in fortune come from these sectors. The wealth of the top three internet service providers gives some indication of the vastness of China’s market. Robin Li, CEO of Baidu earned the #3 spot, with Ma Huateng, CEO of Tencent, and Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group coming in at #5 and #7 respectively.

Another economic sector experiencing tremendous growth is the auto industry and chairman of Great Wall Motor, Wei Jianjun, ranked #6 on the list. The much-publicized pollution problem in China is highlighted by the fact that the chairman of Beijing SDL Technology, Ao Xiaoqiang, has made his debut on the Top 400 list as a result of his company supplying environmental monitoring equipment to pollution-producing industries. Also highlighting the growing awareness to use alternative non-polluting energy source, renewable energy entrepreneur Li Hejun of Hanergy Holding was the highest-ranking newcomer on the list.