Jack Ma Tops Forbes China Rich List for Third Year Amid Recent Controversy

Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., took first place in Forbes China’s annual ranking of richest individuals for the third year in a row.

Ma’s wealth increased by 72% to $65.6 billion, according to the list published on Thursday.

This list used the closing price and the midpoint of the RMB/USD exchange rate on Oct. 26 to calculate the wealth value. This was a week before Ma’s fintech giant Ant Group suspended its listing in Hong Kong and Shanghai on Nov. 3 due to regulatory reasons.

Together with Jack Ma, a total of 10 individual shareholders of Ant Group are included in this year’s list of China’s richest people.

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Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s founder Pony Ma, whose fortune jumped 45% to $55.2 billion, placed second on the list. Founder of bottled water business Nongfu Spring Zhong Shanshan came in third place with $53.9 billion.

“With the development of capital market reforms, and after the global pandemic, China’s economy has recovered the best among major economies,” the article said.

The combined fortunes of the top 400 richest Chinese jumped to $2.11 trillion from last year’s $1.29 trillion. The fortunes of nearly two-thirds of individuals on the list increased in the past year.

The tech sector has greatly driven the growth of fortunes, the article wrote. The net worth of Colin Huang, chairman of e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, jumped to $30.6 billion and is 7th on the list. Richard Liu, chief executive of Pinduoduo’s rival JD.Com, soared to $20.3 billion.

According to the list, China is catching up with the US in wealth creation at an accelerating pace.

The total wealth of the 400 billionaires and billionaire couples who made China’s rich list this year grew by $820 billion from a year ago. By comparison, the total wealth of those on Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans, released in September, grew by only $240 billion.