In partnership with
  • Busting Uber myths

    The ehailing firm is constantly trying, succeeding - and sometimes failing, says Ian Mann.

  • Trapped in a democracy

    The very people elected to bring benefits to all are undermining SA, says Solly Moeng.

  • Marikana spectre

    Five years after the bloody massacre calls for justice are growing louder, says Terry Bell.


Beverage tycoon is China's richest man

Oct 12 2012 09:58

Shanghai - Beverage tycoon Zong Qinghou regained his position as China's richest man this year, Forbes magazine said Friday, but the global economic slump took its toll on other billionaires.

Zong, who heads soft-drink producer Wahaha, has a fortune of $10 bn, according to the magazine's annual ranking of China's 400 richest, helping him win back the position he lost last year as his wealth rose by $3.5bn.

A similar list released last month by the China-based Hurun Report also crowned Zong as China richest, but put his wealth at $12.6bn.

Last year's number one, construction equipment magnate Liang Wengen, fell to sixth place with his wealth sliding 37% from last year to $5.9bn as his Sany company was hit by a slowdown in China's economy.

Forbes said the number of China's billionaires fell to 113 this year from 146 in 2011, while the wealth of the country's top 100 richest people declined seven percent to $220bn.

In comparison, the United States has at least 400 billionaires, according to a list released by Forbes last month.

"This year we encountered a long period of economic difficulty that's rarely been seen in the past decade," editor of Forbes China, Zhou Jiangong, told a news conference.

"This is a year which saw wealth created by Chinese entrepreneurs shrinking," he said.

Wu Yajun, who runs property giant Longfor, is the country's richest woman, with a fortune of $6.2bn, up 5% from last year.

She is also one of five property magnates in the top 10, despite government controls on the sector aimed at curbing speculation.

In a country that has the largest online population in the world, it is perhaps not surprising that two internet billionaires made the top ten.

Robin Li, co-founder of China's top search engine Baidu, held on to second place despite a slide in his company's stock price, with wealth of $8.1bn, down 12%

And Ma Huateng, the owner of Tencent, which operates popular instant messaging and microblog services, took fourth spot with $6.4bn, gaining 49% from last year.

Wang Jianlin, of property developer Wanda, is at number three with $8bn, roughly doubling his fortune from last year.

"Some lost ground, while others in the same sector made gains. Suffice to say that this year's list reflects the uncertainty that can arise from China's moderating economic expansion," said Zhou of Forbes.

China's economy recorded annual growth of 7.6% in the second quarter this year, its worst performance in three years. The government will next week announce third-quarter performance.

The world's second-largest economy has been rocked by Europe's debt crisis and the weak US recovery, prompting Beijing to cut interest rates and ramp up infrastructure spending to spur growth.

* Follow Fin24 on Twitter and Facebook

wealthy  |  billionaires



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're Talking About...

Savings Month

It's never too late to start saving. Visit our special issue and add your voice.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The proposal to nationalise SARB will

Previous results · Suggest a vote