Home International ’s super rich got $1.5 trillion richer during pandemic: report

China’s super rich got $1.5 trillion richer during pandemic: report

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China’s super wealthy have earned a record $1.5 trillion in 2020, more than the past five years combined, as and gaming boomed during pandemic lockdowns, an annual rich list said Tuesday.

An extra 257 people also joined the billionaires club in the world’s number-two economy by August, following two years of shrinking membership, according to the closely watched Hurun Report.

The country now has a total of 878 billionaires. The US had 626 people in the top bracket at the start of the year, according to Hurun in its February global list.

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The report found that there were around 2,000 individuals with a net worth of more than 2 billion yuan ($300 million) in August, giving them a combined net worth of $4 trillion.

Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce titan Alibaba, once again topped the list after his surged a whopping 45 percent to $58.8 billion as firms saw a surge in owing to people being shut indoors for months during strict lockdowns to contain the .

He was followed by Pony Ma ($57.4 billion), boss of gaming giant and owner Tencent who made an extra 50 percent despite concerns about his firm’s US outlook after was threatened with bans there over national security fears.

First-time list member Zhong Shanshan, 66, best-known for his bottled water brand Nongfu, parachuted into third spot with $53.7 billion after a in September, the report found.

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– ‘Never seen this much wealth’ –
“The has never seen this much wealth created in just one year,� Hurun Report chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said in a statement.

This year’s list China was “moving away from traditional sectors like manufacturing and real estate, towards the new economy�, he added.

Wang Xing, founder of delivery Meituan, quadrupled his wealth and jumped 52 places to 13th in the list with $25 billion, while Richard Liu, the founder of online shopping platform JD.com doubled his pile to $23.5 billion.

Healthcare entrepreneurs also moved up the list on the back of the pandemic, with Jiang Rensheng, founder of -maker Zhifei, tripling his value to $19.9 billion.

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China shut down major cities around the country in late January and February to contain the that first emerged in Wuhan, causing an unprecedented economic contraction in the first quarter.

With appearing to be under control, the country is on track to become the only major economy to expand this year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

On Monday data showed the economy expanded 4.9 percent in the third quarter but away from the glittering figures many ordinary workers and fresh graduates are struggling to find jobs.

The urban jobless rate inched down to 5.4 percent in September, although analysts have warned of higher unemployment than officially reported this year.

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© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

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