Along with some non-surprises—Jack Ma (worth $39 billion) topped the list for the second time in four years thanks to a new round of investment in Alibaba’s Ant Financial— there were a few new revelations.
For instance, blockchain entrepreneurs made the list for the first time ever. And there were 14 of them no less, led by Zhan Ketuan (ranked 95th) and Wu Jihan of crypto mining giant Bitmain. Wu, age 32, was also among the wealthiest self-made businessmen in his age bracket. Three other Bitmain employees were also on the list, albeit in the 700-1300 range.
The founders of crypto exchanges Binance and OKCoin made the top 400, ranking 230rd and 354th, respectively. Bitfund founder Li Xiaolai and Huobi CEO Li Lin also tied at the 556th spot on the list.
Besides blockchain businessmen, another new addition was Huang “Colin” Zheng, founder and CEO of e-commerce darling Pinduoduo, who ranked 13th on the list. Meanwhile, Meituan-Dianping CEO Wang Xing moved up an impressive 39 spots to 58th place. Both companies made splashes with highly successful IPOs earlier this year, in the US and Hong Kong, respectively—although Meituan-Dianping’s debut came after the August 15 cutoff date for the Hurun Rich list calculations.
In the top 10, last year’s richest man and Evergrande founder Xu Jiayin was ranked second, followed by Tencent’s Pony Ma. Xiaomi founder Lei Jun broke the top 10 list for the first time, snagging the 9th spot.
In other somewhat positive news, the proportion of women on this year’s Hurun China Rich list hit its highest point yet, but still made up only 28.7% of the 1,893 individuals.
The total number of people listed dropped 11% from last year, reflecting an apparent economic slowdown and ongoing trade war with the US. However, the number of individuals worth RMB 2 billion has grown close to 90% over last year. It also vastly outnumbers the figure from 20 years ago, according to the Hurun Institute, when only eight individuals made the cut.
Hurun’s Rich List also provided some other interesting statistics:
- Sixty percent of the list made their wealth from the ‘Big Four’ industries of manufacturing, real estate, investments and IT (in this order).
- Political appointments among China’s richest people fell down with only 7.5% (142 individuals) serving as delegates to either the NPC or CPPCC, China’s two main political bodies.
- 12 individuals on the list were in trouble with the authorities, with 9 under investigation.
- Individuals born in the Year of the Rabbit continued to lead the way for the seventh consecutive year, followed by those born in the Year of the Dragon. Rats held up the bottom.
- 7% of the individuals on the list were surnamed Wang.