China has never had so many billionaires, despite the pandemic that shakes the global economy, and now the Asian country surpasses its closest rivals, including the United States, according to a ranking published this Tuesday (2).
The news that China was the first country to be affected, at the end of 2019, by the new coronavirus, which paralyzed its economy, but was also the first to recover and start growing again, is now highlighted by Portal R7, informing that despite the unprecedented containment measures that sank economic activity in early 2020, last year China saw its number of billionaires in dollars rise, according to the Hurun cabinet's annual ranking.
The Asian giant added 253 new billionaires and largely dominates the world ranking, with a total of 992 super-rich (including Hong Kong), according to the R7 news.
The size of China's billionaire club has almost doubled in the past five years, in a context of growth in the stock markets and a flood of new IPOs.
In numbers, the United States is the second country with the most billionaires (696). The American power added 70 new billionaires.
The three biggest fortunes, however, remain in American and French hands: $ 197 billion for Tesla founder Elon Musk, ahead of Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Frenchman Bernard Arnault (LVMH).
India is the third country in the world with the highest number of billionaires (177).
Water at the heart of the world's richest man business
China's richest man is bottled water entrepreneur Zhong Shanshan, who a year earlier was not even among the 100 richest people. His fortune is valued at $ 85 billion after his company, Nongfu Spring, went public last year.
Released by the R7 portal, it should be noted that for the first time in the history of the Hurun ranking, one of the biggest fortunes in China is no longer linked to the real estate market, a sector on which the country's growth has been based for a long time.
The executives of Tencent (internet and video game) and ByteDance (owner of the video app TikTok) are in second and third place, respectively.
Jack Ma of Alibaba, who for a long time occupied the first step on the podium, fell to fourth position, with an estimated fortune of 55 billion dollars.
The former darling of Chinese businesspeople is under pressure from regulators, who are watching Alibaba and Ant Group on issues antitrust.
Overall, China leads the way in world wealth creation, according to the Hurun report, adding 490 new billionaires in the past five years, compared with the 160 added by the United States.
New IPOs and expanding stock markets cause greater increase in wealth
Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf noted that last year, despite the pandemic chaos affecting the world economy, saw the biggest increase in wealth of the decade due to new IPOs and expanding stock markets.
"Asia has, for the first time in perhaps hundreds of years, more billionaires than the rest of the world combined," added Hoogewerf.
The report also signaled a change in Hong Kong, reports R7, pointing out that the city's businesspeople are now being "downgraded" by their colleagues on the continent – only three Hong Kong tycoons are among China's top 50.
Six of the ten largest cities in the world with the highest concentration of billionaires are now in China, with Beijing topping the list for the sixth consecutive year.
China, the country of origin of the Covid-19 pandemic and which had part of its economic activity suspended in the first quarter of the year 2020, must have escaped the recession, and its economic situation will not have been affected.