According to an annual rich list, this year, the fortunes of China’s super-rich saw their biggest decline in the last two decades amid the war between Russia and Ukraine, “zero-covid” measures and falling stock markets, writes CNN.
The Hurun List, which ranks China’s richest people with a minimum net worth of five billion yuan ($692 million), said only 1,305 people reached that level this year, down 11 percent from last year.
Their total wealth was $3.5 trillion, down 18%.
The year 2022 saw the biggest drop in China’s annual rich list
Meanwhile, the number of people with ten billion dollars fell by 29 to 56, and the number of dollar billionaires fell by 239 to 946 this year, it added.
“This year saw the biggest decline in the Hurun China Rich List in 24 years,” said Rupert Hoogewerf, president and chief researcher of research firm Hurun Report, which compiles the ranking.
The global economic outlook has been hit hard this year by the war in Ukraine and slowing economic growth in China, which in turn has been exacerbated by ultra-tight Covid policies and a real estate crash.
A two-year regulatory crackdown that has hit China’s biggest tech names such as Alibaba Group and Tencent and concerns that leader Xi Jinping will sacrifice growth for ideology in his third term have weighed, also on investor confidence, and stock markets in Hong Kong and mainland China have tumbled in recent weeks.
Some of China’s richest businessmen have seen their fortunes plummet
Yang Huiyan, the businesswoman behind Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd, which, like many other Chinese developers, has struggled with debt problems, saw her fortune drop by $15.7 billion, the higher from the 2022 list.
Zhong Shanshan, whose listed companies include water bottler Nongfu Spring and vaccine developer Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, topped the list for the second consecutive year, with wealth rising 17 percent to 65 billions of dollars.
ByteDance founder TikTok owner Zhang Yiming came in second, but saw his fortune drop 28% to $35 billion due to ByteDance’s fall in valuation. Zeng Yuqun, chairman of battery giant CATL, came in third.
Tencent founder Pony Ma saw the second-biggest drop in wealth at $14.6 billion amid falling tech share prices, ranking fifth on the list. Alibaba founder Jack Ma and his family dropped four places to No. 9.