Jack Ma, the founder of online store giant Alibaba, has officially lost his title of the richest man in China. The entrepreneur who has recently been at odds with Chinese regulators has dropped to fourth place on the annual Hurun Global Rich List.
The list is headed by Zhong Shanshan, the man behind water and beverage maker Nongfu Spring. He was already known to have overtaken Ma in terms of power last year.
In recent years, Ma, who has topped the list, previously disagreed with Chinese government regulations, which cost him, dear. The IPO of its payment service provider Ant Group, worth nearly $ 35 billion, was unexpectedly cancelled. It would have been the largest IPO ever.
Ma had also disappeared from the radar for some time after being critical of the Chinese financial watchdog. His wealth and his family grew by 22 percent to 360 billion yuan or more than 46 billion euros. He said at the beginning of this year that he wanted to spend more time on philanthropy. He did this in a 50-second video, with which he made a statement for the first time in ages.
The new leader, Zhong, has a net worth of 550 billion yuan on the latest list. The increase in his wealth is mainly due to the higher valuation of Nongfu Spring’s shares. The rising stock price of medicine maker Beijing Wantai Pharmacy, which he also controls, also boosted Zhong’s assets.
Jack Ma was also outpaced on the rich list by tech giant Tencent’s Pony Ma, worth 480 billion yuan, and Collin Huang, behind e-commerce company Pinduoduo. The latter saw its assets increased by 283 percent to 450 billion yuan last year. The top five was completed by Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok owner ByteDance, which is on the books for nearly 350 billion yuan.