Jack Ma May Top Wang Jianlin as China’s Richest in 2017, Hurun’s China Rich List Chairman Says



(Yicai Global) Dec. 13 -- Jack Ma will stand a better chance than last year’s winner, Wang Jianlin of becoming China’s richest man, predicted Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of Hurun Report Inc., publisher of the annual China Rich List that tracks changes in the wealth of the richest Chinese.

Hoogewerf explained that the possible change was due to Ant Financial Services Group, the financial services arm of Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA], listing on the stock market next year. Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co., owned by Wang Jianlin, was about to return to the A-share market, news app ThePaper.cn reported.

Half of Ma’s CNY200 billion (USD28.9 billion) personal fortune is tied up in Alibaba and the other half in Ant Financial. Wang is also worth CNY200 billion and his wealth is equally divided into real estate and entertainment businesses, Hoogewerf said.

Ant Financial is valuated at CNY100 billion before the stock market flotation and may rise to CNY300 billion afterwards. So, Ma’s total wealth might reach CNY400 billion (USD57.9 billion), factoring in his shareholdings in Alibaba, Hoogewerf believes.

“If Wanda Commercial Properties returns to the A-share market, Wang may be able to double his real estate assets from CNY100 billion to CNY200 billion, making a total of CNY300 billion, taking into account his wealth in entertainment businesses. By comparison, Jack Ma still stands a better chance of becoming the richest man in China.” said Hoogewerf.

According to the previous Hurun China Rich List, released in October 2016, Wang Jianlin was the richest man in China with family wealth totaling CNY215 billion (USD32.1 billion), while Jack Ma ranked second with CNY205 billion (USD30.6 billion). Tencent’s Pony Ma, was ranked third with a fortune estimated at USD24.6 billion.