Bill Gates has now officially been dethroned as the second richest person in the world by luxury goods entrepreneur Bernard Arnault. The chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton SE, or LVMH, overtook the Microsoft founder on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index this week.
As of this week, the only people from China to be included in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index's top 30 are Alibaba founder Jack Ma in 21st place with a net worth of $41.4 billion, Tencent founder Ma Huateng, or Pony Ma, in 24th place with $37.2 billion, Evergrande Group chairman Hui Ka Yan in 29th place with $32 billion, and CK Hutchison Holdings advisor Li Ka-Shing in 30th place with $30.7 billion.
Jack Ma still retained his title as the richest man in Asia. However, Pony Ma is still in the fight to overtake Jack Ma for the title this year.
Both Jack Ma and Pony Ma have overtaken each other over the past few years as the richest person in China in both Bloomberg and Forbes' lists. Pony Ma's company, which owns the popular multi-purpose app WeChat, continues to rake in billions of dollars each year from its 1.1 billion monthly active users.
Arnault made headlines last month after he joined Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Gates in the highly-exclusive $100 billion club. The French business magnate's wealth has continued to rise over the past week, hitting more than $108 billion.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Arnault surpassed Gates whose net worth currently stands at $107 billion.
Gates has held the position as the world's second-richest person for the past seven years. Bezos sits comfortably at the top spot with a net worth of around $125 billion.
Apart from Bloomberg, Forbes' own billionaire's list also places Arnault as the second richest person in the world, with a slightly lower net worth of $105.1 billion as of this week. Gates' net worth according to Forbes sites at around $103.7 billion.
It has to be noted that Gates would easily have retained his title as the world's richest man were it not for his extremely generous charitable donations. Gates and his wife Melinda are estimated to have donated more than $35 billion through their various foundations.
The head of the largest luxury goods company in the world is relatively new to the top spot in the billionaire's index. Arnault joined the ranks of Bezos and Gates when his company hit a record $414.74 per share last month. The increase in his company's share prices boosted the businessman's net worth by a whopping $39 billion. Arnault is currently the richest person in Europe with a net worth equivalent to around 3 percent of France's entire economy.
LVHM has a stellar year in 2018, with profits and revenues reaching record numbers. The company's success was mostly due to the increasing demand for its luxury products.
This includes its popular Moët and Hennessy spirits, Charles & Keith and Givenchy fashion lines, Bvlgari and Hublot watches, and Loewe and Acqua di Parma Perfumes. Arnault currently owns a 50 percent stake in LVMH, while also owning a 97 percent stake in Christian Dior. Arnault also has other large investment, including stakes in large web companies such as the popular video streaming service Netflix.
LVMH has been quite busy in its global marketing efforts to further promote its products. In May, the company partnered with the popular American singer Rihanna to launch a new fashion brand called Fenty.