By K J M Varma
BEIJING: Jack Ma, the founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, has regained the title of China’s richest man with he and his family having a total wealth of about USD 39 billion, according to the latest version of the Hurun China Rich List 2018.
Ma, 54, who last month made surprise announcement of his retirement as the executive chairman of the USD 420 billion e-commerce giant, has pipped Chinese property mogul Xu Jiayin.
The pioneer of China’s internet industry had named Alibaba’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 46-year-old Daniel Zhang as his successor who would take charge in September next year. Ma will remain Alibaba’s executive chairman during the year-long period to ensure a “smooth and successful” transition.
With 270 billion yuan (USD 39 billion) in wealth, Jack Ma’s family became the richest in China, dethroning Evergrande Chairman Xu Jiayin, whose wealth fell by 40 billion yuan to 250 billion yuan, (about USD 36 billion), the state-run China Daily reported on Wednesday.
Ma Huateng, the founder, chairman and CEO of the Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings is placed at the third place in this year’s list, with 240 billion yuan (USD 34 billion) in wealth.
The richest woman in China, Yang Huiyan, vice-chairwoman of Country Garden, grabbed the fourth place with 150 billion yuan (USD 21 billion) in personal wealth, the report said.
A great disparity of wealth remains between the top three, whose total wealth reached 760 billion yuan (about USD 110 billion) and the others in the top 10 list, having a total wealth of 995 billion yuan (USD 144 billion), it said.
Lei Jun, the founder and CEO of Beijing-based Chinese electronics company Xiaomi is the newcomer in the list, it said.
Lei and chairman of Amer International Group Wang Wenyin and his family, both shared 10th place with the total wealth of 110 billion yuan (USD 15 billion).
E-commerce, fintech and internet service industries showed strong momentum to generate wealth in China as two of the top three persons in the list work in these industries, the report said.
The real estate industry provided wealth for three of the top 10, including Xu, Yang Huiyan and Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin and family.
The age of China’s richest ranged from 32 years to 76 years with Yan Hao, chairman of the board of Pacific Construction Group being the youngest while founder of Midea Group, He Xiangjian, was the oldest person in the list, the report said.