Wednesday, December 1

Alibaba, Evergrande: China’s Rich List Shows Billion Dollar Crackdown


Alibaba founder Jack Ma was ousted as China’s richest person after a brutal crackdown by Beijing rocked the ranks of the country’s billionaires.

A bottled water mogul toppled Alibaba founder Jack Ma to be named the richest person in China.

Zhong Shanshan, the founder of bottled water giant Nongfu Spring, has surpassed this year Hurun China Rich List with a net worth of $ 60.6 billion, amid major reorganizations as a result of the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown.

“New Energy has had an incredible year, while real estate, home tutoring services, pork production and video games have had a bad year,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, president and principal investigator of Hurun Report. .

Ma, once China’s most prominent businessman, got angry at Beijing just over a year ago for his comments at a business forum criticizing the CCP, prompting a swift and brutal reaction.

It disappeared for months as the CCP shattered its e-commerce empire, erasing billions of dollars from Ma’s net worth.

According to Hurun, Ma lost $ 22.6 billion over the past year, more than a third of his fortune, but he remains the fifth-richest person in the country at $ 39.6 billion.

Ma recently reappeared in Europe on a luxury yacht, reportedly put to work by Beijing to find new opportunities to boost Chinese agriculture using technology.

Another notable drop on the rich list was Xu Jiayin, founder and president of the troubled real estate giant China Evergrande, which fell from fifth to 70th after losing $ 23.3 billion.

Evergrande, the world’s most indebted company with more than $ 300 billion in liabilities, remains on the brink and fears that its collapse will be a “Lehman Brothers moment”, sparking a 2008-style global financial crisis.

Xu, who topped the research firm’s annual ranking in 2017, now has a personal fortune of just $ 11.3 billion, which is firmly in Beijing’s sights.

Bloomberg reported this week that the CCP had ordered Xu to pay Evergrande’s debts with his own cash.

A broader crackdown by the Chinese government on real estate saw mainland China’s real estate moguls drop out of the top 10 for the first time.

Wang Wenxue of developer China Fortune Land saw his net worth drop 88 percent to $ 930 million after Beijing imposed strict new rules on real estate loans earlier this year.

TikTok founder Zhang Yiming tripled his wealth last year and came in second with $ 52.8 billion.

It surpassed Tencent founder Pony Ma, who suffered as a result of Chinese crackdowns on video games aimed at children.

Tencent, which owns the ubiquitous WeChat messaging platform and popular games like League of Legends, is still China’s largest company by market capitalization, but has fallen from nearly $ 1 trillion in February to just under $ 600 billion.

Ma lost about $ 10 billion, almost a fifth of his wealth, falling from second to fourth with $ 49 billion.

Third was “battery king” Zeng Yuqun of CATL, China’s largest battery maker, who tripled his wealth to $ 47.4 billion.

Hurun says the new energy is the big story of the year, representing eight of the 10 fastest rising stars.

Other big winners were electric vehicle manufacturers. Wei Jianjun and Han Xuejuan of Great Wall Motor, Wang Chuanfu of BYD, solar makers Liu Hanyuan of Tongwei and related miners, including Luo Liguo of Hesheng Silicon.

“A boom in new energy entrepreneurs, sparked by carbon reduction targets, as well as a series of new lists of tech-related companies brought this year’s Hurun China Rich List to record highs, adding more than 20 percent, both in terms of the number of individuals and also of total wealth, ”said Hoogewerf.

China added nearly US dollar billionaires a day over the past year, adding 307 to a total of 1,185 billionaires, five times more than a decade ago.

Hurun’s Rich List grew by 520 people and now includes 2,918 people with wealth of two billion yuan ($ 310 million) or more, triple the number a decade ago. Total wealth increased 24 percent to $ 5.3 trillion, six times more than a decade ago.

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