News  February 2022

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  The Middle Kingdom now has 626 billionaires, up from 388 in 2020, and is only second to the United States, which has 724 billionaires.

  The 2022 list saw 205 newbies added as a result of China’s soaring stock market and recovery from the Covid-19 outbreak.  Another 53 who had slid off the list in prior years made it back this time.

Hong Kong and Macau are not included in China’s count.

 

Top 10 self-made richest people from mainland China:

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Zhong Shanshan

Net Worth:$80.2B

Age: 67

Source of Wealth: beverages, pharmaceuticals

Residence: Hangzhou, China

Citizenship: China

His fortune grew by 3,345% when his bottled-water company, Nongfu Spring, went public in September 2020, giving him the year’s highest percentage gain and became China’s new richest person.

Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, which went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 2020, is also chaired by Zhong.

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Zhang Yiming

Net Worth: $59.4B

Age: 38

Source of Wealth: TikTok

Residence: Beijing, China

Citizenship: China

Education: Bachelor of Engineering, Nankai University

Zhang Yiming is the creator and former CEO and chairman of ByteDance, one of China’s major media content platforms.

In 2020, the privately owned business raised new investment money at a $180 billion value; Zhang maintains a 22 % ownership in ByteDance.

Sequoia Capital China is a shareholder in ByteDance, which is best known for its news app Toutiao and social video platform TikTok.

Zhang was named to the Forbes China 30 Under 30 List in 2013.

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Robin Zeng

Net Worth:$52.9B

Age: 53

Source of Wealth: batteries

Residence: Ningde, China

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Education: Doctorate, Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Physics

Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), headquartered in Ningde, Fujian Province, is one of the world’s major providers of batteries for electric vehicles, was founded and led by Zeng.

CATL, which debuted on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2018, counts BMW, Volkswagen, and Geely among its clients.

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Ma Huateng

Net Worth:$49.1B

Age: 50

Source of Wealth: internet media

Residence: Shenzhen, China

Citizenship: China

Education: Bachelor of Arts/Science, Shenzhen University

Ma launched Tencent in 1998 with four classmates with an instant messaging platform, QQ.

With the public offering of video-sharing app Kuaishou in February 2021, Ma’s web-media conglomerate Tencent, which holds shares in Tesla, Snap and Spotify, scored another victory.

Tencent owns 18% of the Hong Kong-listed company and is best known for its messaging and social media program WeChat.

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Jack Ma

Net Worth:$36.4B

Age: 57

Source of Wealth: e-commerce

Residence: Hangzhou, China

Citizenship: China

Education: Bachelor of Arts/Science, Hangzhou Teacher’s Institute

Jack Ma, a former English teacher, cofounded Alibaba Group, one of the largest e-commerce companies in the world.

In September 2019, Ma stepped down as executive chairman.

On Nov. 3, 2020, Hong Kong and Shanghai regulators delayed a planned initial public offering (IPO) of fintech firm Ant Group, in which Ma is the largest individual stakeholder.

Aside from Alibaba, Ma has an interest in Huayi Brothers, a Chinese media and entertainment conglomerate.

Alibaba’s IPO in New York in 2014 broke the record for the world’s largest public stock offering, raising $25 billion.

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He Xiangjian

Net Worth: $33.4B

Age: 79

Source of Wealth: home appliances

Residence: Foshan, China

Citizenship: China

Midea Group, founded by He Xiangjian, has grown to become one of the world’s largest appliance manufacturers.

In 1968, he organized a group of 23 citizens from Beijiao, Guangdong Province, to establish Midea, a lid manufacturing workshop.

Midea Group, whose stock is traded on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, now has more than 200 subsidiaries, including Kuka, a robotics company based in Germany.

In 2012, he retired from the company’s activities.  His son is a Midea Group and Midea Real Estate Holding director.

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William Lei Ding

Net Worth: $31.8B

Age: 50

Source of Wealth: online games

Residence: Hangzhou, China

Citizenship: China

Education: Bachelor of Arts/Science, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

In 2003, William Ding was China’s richest man and the country’s first internet and gaming millionaire. Netease, is one of the world’s leading online and mobile games companies, led by Ding.

Mojang, a Microsoft company, and Blizzard Entertainment are among Netease’s business partners.

Faced with stiff competition from Chinese rival Tencent in the games market, Netease expanded into movies, online music, and e-commerce.

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Wang Wei 

Net Worth: $30.6B

Age: 51

Source of Wealth: package delivery

Residence: Shenzhen, China

Citizenship: China

S. F. Holding, also known as SF Express, is chaired by Wang Wei. The package delivery service known as the “FedEx of China,” was founded in 1993 in Shunde, Guangdong Province, with Wang owning roughly 60% of the company.

The firm received China’s first drone delivery license in March 2018.

In early 2017, Wang took the package delivery company public via a reverse merger on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

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Wei Jianjun & family

Net Worth: $24.4B

Age: 57

Source of Wealth: automobiles

Residence: Baoding, China

Citizenship: China

Education: Bachelor of Arts/Science, Hebei Province

Great Wall Motor, China’s largest SUV manufacturer, is led by Wei Jianjun.

Wei took over the debt-ridden Great Wall Automobile Industry Company, the predecessor of the current company, when he was only 26 years old in 1990.

Before joining the Great Wall, Wei worked in a carpet factory and a water-pump factory.

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Qin Yinglin & family

Net Worth: $24.4B

Age: 56

Source of Wealth: pig breeding

Residence: Nanyang, China

Citizenship: China

Chairman of China’s Muyuan Foodstuff, Qin Yinglin gained his fortune as China’s largest pig breeder in the world’s largest pork market.

Qin was born in Henan, China’s most populous province, in the county of Neixiang.

He studied animal husbandry at Henan Agricultural University before launching his own company with his wife Qian Ying, who now serves on the Muyuan board of directors.

In 1992, the pair began their business with 22 pigs.

2022 list of top 10 billionaires in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has been traditionally seen as the “gateway” to China and is Asia’s premier financial center because of the British laissez faire approach.  But with Beijing’s increasing encroachment on that city’s governance, it remains to be seen how much longer foreign businesses and the well-heeled will stay there.

For the time being, below are the ten richest people in Hong Kong as of early 2022.  Note seven of the 10 are in real estate! 

 

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Lee Shau Kee

Net Worth: $31.5B

Age: 93

Source of Wealth: real estate

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Born in Hong Kong in 1929. Lee Shau Kee grew up in a poor family.  He could only afford meat or fish twice a month.

Lee studied English to advance financially and also partnered with Kwok Tak-Seng, who became his business partner and father of Hong Kong’s business empire.

He has a majority stake in Henderson Land Development – one of Hong Kong’s biggest property developers with interests in property, hotels, restaurants and internet services.

Lee handed over leadership of the company to two of his sons, Peter and Martin Lee.  He still works as an executive director.

He has donated more than $400m to education.

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Li Ka-shing

Net Worth: $30.1B

Age: 93

Source of Wealth: diversified

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Li Ka-shing was the founder and chairman of Hutchison and CK Asset Holdings for almost two years before his retirement in 2018. He remains a senior advisor to the company’s leadership.

Li was just 21 years old when he started the company that would become Cheung Kong Plastics, and had $6.5 thousand dollars in savings and loans from family.

Li Ka-Shing has donated more than $3.3 billion and the majority of the money has gone to charitable work in China.

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Henry Cheng & family

Net Worth: $22.1B

Age: 75

Source of Wealth: real-estate and jewelry

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Henry Cheng was born in 1946 in Guangdong Province, China, to Cheng Yu-tung, who founded New World Development.

Henry Cheng owns Chow Tai Fook Jewellery, the world’s largest jeweler, and also has a 33% share in New World Development, New World Chain Land, NWS Holdings, New World Department Store China, and Taifook Securities.  As chairman, Cheng holds all of the family’s shares, which he and his three siblings jointly own.  Cheng also owns 2% of Ping An Insurance and 18% of Giordano International.

Cheng is a member of the Eleventh Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference’s Standing Committee.  In 2017, Cheng became a member of a consortium that invested in I-Cable.

 

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Yeung Kin-man & wife Lam Wai-ying

Net Worth: $18.6B

Age: 57

Source of Wealth: manufacturing

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: China

Yeung Kin-Man, through his company Biel Crystal Manufactory, built a fortune producing glass touch screens for mobile phones.

In 1986, the company began creating watch glass, and in 2003, it began producing smartphone cover glass for the Motorola Razr, and eventually, supplier to Apple, LG, Sony, and Samsung.

Yeung and his wife Lam own the business and control the company; but Yeung is credited with the whole fortune as the company’s founder and CEO, with sales of $4.6 billion in 2015.

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Peter Woo

Net Worth: $17.7B

Age: 75

Source of Wealth: real estate

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Education: Columbia Business School

Peter Woo is chairman of Wheelock & Company Limited (owns 61% of company) and The Wharf Holdings Limited, which houses his key real estate, investment, logistics and media enterprises.

He also controls Hong Kong’s two major shopping malls, Times Square and Harbour City. Woo owns Hong Kong’s cable television company as well as a number of high-value office buildings.

In 2011, Woo sold 3.4 million shares in Salvatore Ferragamo, yet he still owns 6% of the company. Longfor Properties, Joyce Boutique, and Sun Hung Kai Properties are among his other investments.

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Lee Man Tat

Net Worth: $17.4B

Age: 91 at time of death in July 2021

Source of Wealth: food products

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Fondly known as “Oyster Sauce King” for his company’s dominance in the condiments market, Lee Man Tat is a third-generation leader of the Lee Kum Kee Group, one of the world’s leading producers of oyster sauce and more than 200 other Chinese sauces and condiments.

The company was founded by Lee’s grandfather in 1888.  In 2017, the company expanded into Europe.  The company also branched into herbal-health products.

He had spent six decades at the company, first helping his father and, in 1972, became chairman, and led a “planned expansion” into the U.S. market.

His children, and even grandchildren, have all joined the company

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Joseph Lau

Net Worth: $13.3B

Age: 70

Source of Wealth: real estate

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Education: University of Windsor, Canada

Joseph Lau and his family reportedly control 78.6% of Chinese Estates Holdings, a prominent Chinese investment holding company with subsidiaries primarily engaged in property investment and development, brokerage, securities investing and money lending.

However, last month, Lau’s family is planning on taking the company private, burnt by losses to the tune of US$190 million incurred from selling its shares in debt-ridden China Evergrande Group.

Lau resigned from his chairman and CEO posts at Chinese Estates in 2014 after a Macau court convicted him of bribery and money laundering. 

He has a vast collection of art (with an estimated value of around $1B, according to Forbes) and wine.

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Kwong Siu-hing

Net Worth: $12.9B

Age: 92

Source of Wealth: real estate

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Kwong Siu-hing, matriarch of Hong Kong’s third richest family and Sun Hung Kai Properties, the biggest property developer in HK. 

SHKP was founded as Sun Hung Kai Enterprises in 1963 by Kwong’s husband Kwok Tak-seng and two partners, one of whom is at the top of this list!  SHKP specializes in premium quality residential projects.  It also has an extensive network of shopping malls and offices, hotels and a sizeable land bank.

Son Raymond is now managing the business.

 

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Lui Che Woo

Net Worth: $11.5B

Age: 92

Source of Wealth: hospitality

Residence: Hong Kong

Citizenship: Hong Kong

Lui Che Woo amassed his fortune through his development company, K. Wah International, before securing one of six coveted Macau casino licenses.

K. Wah Group was created in the 1950s and has now evolved into a multinational conglomerate with 200 -plus companies and more than 20,000 employees throughout Hong Kong, mainland China, Macau, North America, and Southeast Asia over the years.

In May 2011, Lui opened the Galaxy Casino and Hotel in Macau, which has 2,200 rooms, 50 restaurants, 450 gaming tables, an artificial beach, and a wave pool.

Lui is a philanthropist who has donated about 340 million Galaxy shares and 280 million K. Wah shares.

Stanford Hotels Corporation and Stanford Hotels International, which includes the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, are part of Lui’s portfolio.

According to the global anti-poverty organization Oxfam, the world’s 10 wealthiest people doubled their fortunes from US$700 billion to US$1.5 trillion during the pandemic, roughly boosting their fortune by US$15,000 every second of the day, or US$1.3 billion per day!

 

Where is the wealth concentrated?  Forbes reported the cities with the most billionaires in 2022 are as follows:

1.     Beijing: 101 billionaires

2.     New York City: 99 billionaires

3.     Hong Kong: 80 billionaires

4.     Moscow: 79 billionaires

5.     Shenzhen: 68 billionaires

6.     Shanghai: 64 billionaires

7.     London: 63 billionaires

8.     Mumbai: 48 billionaires

9.     San Francisco: 48 billionaires

10.  Hangzhou: 47 billionaires

 

 

 

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