China’s Richest Man No More as Jack Ma Loses to Real Estate Owner

Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, is no longer China's richest man.

The founder of one of China's big three IT companies lost the 'title' to a man whose net worth shot up to $36.7 billion. Evergrande Group's Xu Jiayin emerged as the victor with an estimated fortune of $42.5 billion. In contrast, Jack Ma has a net worth of $35.4 billion. Rounding that out is Tencent owner 'Pony' Ma Huateng at $35.5 billion, according to NDTV.

The rankings were released by Forbes, who labeled it as a "real-time ranking" of the world's billionaires. In it, the three are found in the list as follows-Xu Jiayin climbed up to number 20, while Jack Ma followed him at a spot below at 21 with Ma Huateng the following suit at number 24.

Evergrande has managed to increase its year-on-year values to help Xu Jiayin climb all the way to the top. In 2018, Xu's wealth was on the decline. The stocks suddenly rose up in value over the course of the month, enough to help his campaign on China's 'richest' list.

Perhaps, it can be seen as a passing of the torch, as news in September surfaced that Jack Ma planned to step down from the company he created. He, instead, will be busying himself pursuing philanthropy in education, NY Times reported.

The former English teacher will leave the helm of the company that he built from the ground up in 1999. It was an answer to the need for an alternative way of doing business. E-commerce, at the time, was just beginning to take off, and Chinese people were still content with paying for goods in the traditional way. With this undertaking, Jack Ma managed to build his entire $40 billion net worth, paving the way for him being crowned China's richest man.

This comes as China's government is enacting more controls over an Internet industry that has since taken flight and is soaring high. President Xi Jinping is being credited with helping the Internet reach its potential in China, and with this popularity, China is seeking tighter controls to protect those who use the Internet for business from financial harm.

Despite the silver lining of businessmen replacing each other on China's all-time richest list, the fact remains that the industry is still being closely monitored. The US' trade tariff and punitive policies are still in effect, but the rise of Xu Jiayin remains a bright light.

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