Hurun Research Institute on Oct. 20 released the Hurun China Rich List 2020, revealing the ranking of the richest Chinese individuals this year.
Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, for the third year topped the list. Despite donating over $10 billion, he still ranked first among all entrepreneurs with Ant Group’s massive dual-IPO next month.
The second on the list is tech giant Tencent’s founder Pony Ma, with his wealth rising 50% to $57.4 billion this year, thanks to the company’s expanding gaming empire as well as the growing operation of super app WeChat.
Zhong Shanshan, the founder of bottled water brand Nongfu Spring, ranks third on this year’s list with $53.7 billion. Zhong was crowned the richest man in China for only an hour back in September this year on the day of his blockbuster IPO.
Thriving industries in China including fintech, 5G, electric vehicles, healthcare and e-commerce created a large cohort of billionaires while 64% of those on the list were still from traditional sectors.
Despite the pandemic’s impact on the global economy, this year witnessed the biggest wealth increase in the 22 years of the Hurun China Rich List.
Covid-19 generated success in video conference and home tutoring platforms. Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan Zheng made it into the top 30 with $16.2 billion while Cheng Xiangdong, the founder of home tutoring platform Genshuixue, became the fastest riser on the 2020 list with his wealth increasing eight-fold.
“Stock markets boom and a flurry of new listings have minted five new billionaires in China a week for the past year. The world has never seen this much wealth created in just one year,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, the chairman and chief researcher of Hurun Report.