Who is the richest person in China? Alibaba's Jack Ma tops new list

 
Catherine Neilan
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Jack Ma: He has leapfrogged over his countrymen and women to become the richest man in China (Source: Getty)
Alibaba founder Jack Ma is now the richest man in China – but he still falls outside the list of the world's 10 richest people.
A report published today puts the 50-year old founder of Alibaba Group Holding in pole position among China's wealthiest for the first time, after the ecommerce giant's record breaking IPO on Friday, which has valued the company at more than $221bn.
Ma, who owns 6 per cent of the company he set up, is now estimated to be worth $25bn (£15.3bn) according to the Hurun Report, leapfrogging the country's previous man Wang Jianlin, chairman of real estate developer Dalian Wanda Group, whose net worth is thought to be $24.2bn.
However, the self-made billionaire is yet to break into the exclusive club of the top 10 richest people in the world, which is headed by Carlos Slim, who is worth $84.8bn according to Forbes. Bill Gates is second with $81.5bn, followed by Warren Buffett at $68.3bn.
In fact, to get into that list, Ma will have to nearly triple his personal wealth: the number 10 spot is taken by L'Oreal heiress and businesswoman Liliane Bettencourt, who is valued at $35.7bn. She used to be the richest woman in the world, but that role is now taken by Wal-Mart heiress Christy Walton, valued at $38.2bn.

Who are the 10 richest people in China?

1. Jack Ma, or Ma Yun as he would be called in Mandarin, is now the richest man in China, worth an estimated $25bn. According to the Hurun Report, he is one of a handful of the country's wealthy entrepreneurs to speak English, and is one of five newcomers to the list to reach the top 10. The Hurun Report also notes his name is the Chinese word for horse, which happens to be the zodiac animal representing the current year.
2. Former People's Liberation Army soldier and member of the Communist Party of China, Wang Jianlin's personal wealth is estimated at $24.2bn. His real estate company owns 85 shopping malls, 51 luxury hotels, 86 cinemas, 75 department stores and 45 karaoke bars. He also owns AMC Theaters, yacht group Sunseekers and a $28m Picasso painting. Wang famously flew in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and John Travolta to launch a “mini Hollywood” in eastern city Qingdao last year.
3. Li Hejun is another of the newly-arrived English speaking billionaires, whose wealth is estimated at $20.8bn, was until Ma's arrival the highest newcomer to China's rich list. He is one of the world's largest producers of thin-film solar panels and equipment and also owns one of the world's largest privately held hydro-power plants.
4. China's richest man in 2012, and second richest in 2013, has dropped to fourth place, according to Hurun report, which estimates his personal wealth at $20.8bn. Zong . Zong Quinghou is the founder, chairman and chief executive of drinks company Hangzhou Wahaha and a delegate to the National People's Congress. Last year he was attacked by a man with a knife after refusing to give him a job. He has also faced questions over his taxes.
5. Another tech name in the top 10, Ma Ma Huateng or Pony Ma, founded internet giant Tencent in the late 1990s and has been named as one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine. He also drops two places to make way for Ma and Li, with a personal worth of $18.1bn.
6. The co-founder of Baidu – China's equivalent of Google - Li Yanhong (or Robin Li to give him his English name) and his wife Ma Dongmin are now in sixth place, with a combined net worth of $17.5bn. Both his parents were factory workers, Li Yanhong (or Robin Li to give him his English name) and his wife Ma Dongmin are now in sixth place, with a combined net worth of $17.5bn. Both his parents were factory workers, but in December last year he was ranked as the richest man in mainland China – though Jack Ma will now have taken that crown.
7. Look up Yan Yan Jiehe online and you arrive at some interesting adjectives. Baddest. Ambitious. Shrewd. Disseminator of humanist philosophy. One interview claims he “has no problem trash-talking Mao, playing hardball with Communist Party-led competitors, or knocking down a few mountains”. Despite – or more probably because of – all this, the China Pacific Construction boss is valued at $14.2bn.
8. Thai-Chinese billionaire Yan Bin founded consumer products, industrial and finance group Yan Bin founded consumer products, industrial and finance group Reignwood in 1984. He is also the rights holder to Red Bull in China, which has no doubt given his personal wealth a pair of wings. He is now worth a cool $10bn.
9. Not to be confused with the British sports retailer, JD.com is another ecommerce giant, which was set up by Liu Qiangdong. Last year he ranked 257th richest in China, with an estimated net worth of just over $1bn – that has surged more than eight times since the company's IPO in May, with Hurun now putting his personal value at $8.8bn.
10. Lei Jun founded Xiaomi Tech, one of China's largest technology companies, in 2010 and has seen his personal wealth nearly double in just a few months after it overtook Samsung with the launch of it latest smartphone.
And in case you're wondering, the richest woman in China is 73-year-old Chen Lihua, chairwoman of Fu Wah International, who went from nothing to $6.7bn thanks to the property company she founded in the early 1990s. She ranks 17th in the country.

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