China's Wealth Now Shifting From Manufacturing Moguls To Tech Entrepreneurs

China's Richest
The Alibaba group logo in Paris, France (Photo: Reuters / Charles Platiau)

The recently published list of China's richest individuals has now shown a dramatic shift in wealth in the country. The shift has been seen as a reflection of China's evolving economy, as it transitions from being the world's factory to a tech and pharmaceutical powerhouse.

The Hurun Report's richest people in China, which was published on Thursday, revealed a shift in the country's wealth to the hands of tech entrepreneurs and pharmaceutical moguls. It also surprisingly revealed some pig farm owners breaking into the list of the country's ultra-rich.

Manufacturing and construction tycoons, who in the past were on the top of the list, had dropped in rank and were overtaken by heads of companies involved in different digital industries. Hurun Report chairman, Rupert Hoogewerf, commented on the list and stated that China's wealth is now shifting to individuals who were able to adapt to its evolving digital economy.

China's richest man, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, still topped the list with an estimated net worth of around $39 billion. Right behind him is Tencent founder Pony Ma, who took second place with an estimated net worth of $37 billion.

Chinese tech entrepreneurs who made the list this year include Pindoudou founder Colin Huang Zheng. He officially became the first self-made businessman born in the 1980s to enter the top 10. The success of Zheng's e-commerce business has managed to boost his personal wealth to $19 billion this year.

Other young tech entrepreneurs that made the list year include Bytedance founder Zhang Yiming. The success of the company's apps, such as its video-sharing platform TikTok, helped grow the 36-year-old's wealth to $13.5 billion, earning him a spot in the top 20.

Pharmaceutical moguls entered the top ten spots this year, some of which were the biggest movers on the list. Sun Piaoyang and Zhong Huijuan moved 15 spots and landed in fifth place this year after the couple doubled their wealth to $25 billion. The couple managed to significantly increase their net worth after their company, Hansoh, went public in Hong Kong. Hansoh primarily develops drugs that treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

This year's list also saw some fresh entries into the top spots, with a number of positions taken over by the owners of China's largest pork producers. The owners of Muyuan, China's second-largest pork producer, both earned a spot on the top of the list this year. Muyuan's Qin Yinglin and Qian Ying managed to triple their wealth this year to $14 billion.

Meanwhile, the owners of the popular hot pot chain Haidilao, Zhang Yong and Shu Ping, both earned a spot on the top of the list with a combined wealth of $17 billion.

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