Nongfu Spring Founder Retains Title as China’s Richest Man for Fourth Year Running
Dou Shicong
DATE:  Mar 25 2024
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Nongfu Spring Founder Retains Title as China’s Richest Man for Fourth Year Running Nongfu Spring Founder Retains Title as China’s Richest Man for Fourth Year Running

(Yicai) March 25 -- Zhong Shanshan, founder of bottled water giant Nongfu Spring, has held onto his crown as China’s richest person for the fourth straight year, despite his fortune shrinking 9 percent from a year ago, according to the 2024 Hurun Global Rich List.

Zhong was worth CNY450 billion (USD62 billion) as of Jan. 15, ranking 21st in the world, according to the latest list released by the Hurun Research Institute today.

Huang Zheng, founder of e-commerce giant Pinduoduo, ranked 24th in the world with CNY385 billion (USD53.4 billion). His wealth expanded 71 percent in the past year to overtake Pony Ma, chairman of internet behemoth Tencent Holdings, and Zhang Yiming, founder of TikTok operator ByteDance. They ranked in 36th and 40th place respectively with fortunes of CNY250 billion and CNY245 billion.

Artificial intelligence helped propel the wealth of those harnessing its powers. Cai Haoyu, co-founder of gaming company miHoYo, logged the fastest growing wealth in the country last year, more than tripling year on year to CNY67 billion (USD9.2 billion). And the fortune of Chen Tianshi, founder of chipmaker Cambricon Technologies, also more than doubled to CNY16 billion.

For the first time, AI has profoundly impacted the global billionaire landscape, said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of Hurun Research. More than half of the world's new wealth came from AI, with tech giants Meta, Amazon, Alphabet, Oracle and Microsoft all seeing significant growth in their entrepreneurial wealth. Nvidia founder Jensen Huang also entered the global top 30 for the first time.

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of electric car startup Tesla, was the world’s richest man this year, with his wealth swelling 47 percent to CNY1.67 trillion (USD232 billion). Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was close behind with CNY1.33 trillion, a jump of 57 percent year on year. Bernard Arnault, chief executive of French fashion house LVMH, slipped two places to third, with his fortune shrinking 13 percent to CNY1.26 trillion.

There were 167 more billionaires in the world this year than a year ago at 3,279 and their combined wealth expanded 9 percent to CNY108 trillion (USD15 trillion), a sign that the global economy is bouncing back from the pandemic, the report said.

China still has the most billionaires in the world at 814, even though this is 155 less than last year. The number of billionaires in the US soared by 109 people to 800, narrowing the gap with China significantly. India came third with 271, 84 more than last year.

Editor: Kim Taylor

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Keywords:   Hurun Report,Zhong Shanshan,miHoYo,Billionaires