According to the latest figures from Forbes, China has 539 billionaires, 149 less than there were last year. These 539 billionaires have a combined net worth of $1.96 trillion which accounts for about 15% of the total wealth of the 2,668 billionaires in the world.
Zhong Shanshan retains the title of China’s richest man with Tik Tok’s owner coming in second with a fortune of $50 billion. Jack Ma who was the country’s wealthiest person in 2020 has fallen to 9th place this year. So, who are the 15 richest people in China in 2022?
1. Zhong Shanshan
|Net worth||$65.7 billion|
|Source of wealth||Beverages, pharmaceuticals|
Shanshan is the richest man in China. He’s the owner of the beverage company Nongfu Spring as well as Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, a pharmaceutical company. Nongfu Spring is the largest producer of bottled water in China and one of the leading producers of bottled tea and juice in the country.
The billionaire dropped out of elementary school during the Cultural Revolution in China. He worked as a newspaper reporter, beverage sales agent, and construction worker before starting his own business in 1996. Shanshan became China’s wealthiest man in 2021 after taking both of his companies public in 2020.
2. Zhang Yiming
|Net worth||$50 billion|
|Source of wealth||ByteDance, Tik Tok|
Zhang is the founder of ByteDance, the company that developed and owns Tik Tok. ByteDance also owns Toutiao, a news sharing app, and a Chinese version of Tik Tok known as Douyin. The billionaire serves as the chairman of the company and stepped down as CEO in November 2021.
Last year ByteDance had $58 billion in revenue. Zhang owns a 22% stake in the company, which was valued at $180 billion in 2020. The billionaire, who had a net worth of $16.2 billion in 2020 has seen his wealth increase significantly over the last two years.
3. Ma Huateng
|Net worth||$37.2 billion|
|Source of wealth||Internet media|
Also known as Pony Ma, Ma Huateng is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Tencent, one of the largest gaming, internet, and technology companies in the world. The company owns WeChat, China’s biggest mobile instant messaging service. Tencent is the world’s largest game publisher through its subsidiary, Tencent Games. The company also runs a music streaming service, Tencent Music which focuses mainly on the Chinese market.
In November 2017 the billionaire was ranked the world’s 9th richest person by Forbes and became the first Chinese individual to appear on Forbes’ top 10 wealthiest list.
4. He Xiangjian
|Net worth||$28.3 billion|
|Source of wealth||Home appliances|
The billionaire owns Midea, one of the biggest makers of appliances and robots in the world. The company produces all kinds of appliances including lighting, kitchen, cooking, heating, as well as air conditioning appliances.
Midea has more than 200 subsidiaries with a presence in over 200 countries and $40.5 billion in revenue. The company also manufactures automotive parts through its Welling division. Some of its other subsidiaries include KUKA and Eureka. Midea has more than 135,000 employees.
5. William Lei Ding
|Net worth||$25.2 billion|
|Source of wealth||Online games|
With a fortune of about $25.2 billion, Lei Ding is one of the 15 richest people in China. The billionaire is the founder and CEO of NetEase, one of the largest developers of online and mobile games in the world. The company also develops and operates email services, e-commerce platforms, and advertising services. NetEase also operates pig farms and music streaming service NetEase Music. Lei Ding was China’s wealthiest man in 2003. NetEase was the biggest provider of free email services in China with close to a billion users in 2017.
6. Wang Wei
|Net worth||$24.3 billion|
|Source of wealth||Package delivery|
Wang is the founder and chairman of SF Express, an international logistics and delivery services company based in Shenzhen. The billionaire founded the company in 1993 with just six employees providing services between Guangdong Province and Hong Kong. According to Chinaimportal, SF Express is the second-largest courier in China with more than 69 cargo planes. Wang took the company public in 2017 and owns about 60% of the shares.
7. Qin Yinglin
|Net worth||$24.3 billion|
|Source of wealth||Pig breeding|
He’s the world’s richest farmer and one of the 15 richest people in China. Qin Yinglin is the founder, chairman, and president of the pig farming company Muyuan Foodstuff which he started back in 1992 with just 22 pigs. China is the world’s biggest pork market. The billionaire who holds a degree in animal husbandry quit his job at Nanyang Food Company to start his own pig breeding business. By 2019, Muyuan Foodstuff slaughtered five million pigs every year. Qin owns about 40% of the pig breeding company.
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8. Li Shufu
|Net worth||$23.7 billion|
|Source of wealth||automobiles|
Li Shufu is the chairman of Geely Automobile Holdings, China’s largest private automaker which he founded in 1986. The company is the seventh-largest automobile manufacturer in China with sales of 1.328 million units and revenues of $47.2 billion last year.
In 2010, Geely acquired Swedish automaker Volvo from Ford Motor Company for $1.8 billion. The billionaire is the second-largest individual shareholder of Mercedes-Benz Group AG with a 9.69% stake. He also has stakes in the sportscar maker Lotus and flying car start-up Terrafugia.
9. Jack Ma
|Net worth||$22.8 billion|
|Source of wealth||e-commerce|
Jack Ma is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, one of the world’s largest e-commerce and technology companies. Ma also cofounded Yunfeng Capital, a private equity firm based in Shanghai. In 2015 he launched the Alibaba Hong Kong Young Entrepreneurs Foundation which supports entrepreneurs in Hong Kong and helps them grow their businesses.
Alibaba Group is one of the world’s most valuable companies. Last year, the Group had revenue of $109 billion. In 2014, Alibaba had the largest IPO in world history after raising $25 billion on the New York Stock Exchange.
10. Huang Shilin
|Net worth||$20.3 billion|
|Source of wealth||automotive|
Huang Shilin is one of the 15 richest people in China with a net worth of about $20.3 billion. He’s the vice-chairman of Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), one of the biggest battery suppliers for electric vehicles in the world.
The billionaire, who holds a bachelor of Technology from Hefei University of Technology holds a 12% stake in the battery manufacturer. CATL has a market share of about 32.6% and is also involved in the production of battery management systems as well as energy storage systems.
Also read: Countries with the most billionaires
11. Pang Kang
|Net worth||$19.6 billion|
|Source of wealth||Soy sauce|
Pang Kang is the chairman of one of China’s largest makers of soy sauce, Foshan Haitian Flavoring & Food. He’s the 82nd wealthiest person in the world and one of the richest people in China. The billionaire had a fortune of $11.5 billion in 2020 which increased to $26.4 billion in 2021. Last year he was ranked the world’s 57th richest person. Haitian went public in 2014 on the Shanghai Stock Exchange raising $5.8 billion from the sale of 74.85 million shares.
12. Wang Chuanfu
|Net worth||$19.6 billion|
|Source of wealth||Batteries, automobiles|
He’s the founder, chairman, and CEO of BYD (“Build Your Dreams”) Company. The company has two major subsidiaries, BYD Auto and BYD Electronic. BYD Auto is the fourth-largest maker of battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
FinDreams Battery is the company’s division that makes electric vehicle batteries and is the 4th largest producer in the world with a market share of about 8.5%. The billionaire owns about 15.7% of BYD Company. He grew up in one of the poorest provinces in China and lost his parents when he was a teenager. He was raised by his older siblings.
13. Yang Huiyan
|Net worth||$18.7 billion|
|Source of wealth||Real estate|
Yang Huiyan is the richest woman in China, Cyprus, and Asia. Yang owns a majority stake (55%) in Country Garden Holdings a real estate company based in Guangdong, China. According to Yahoo Finance, the firm has a market cap of about $160 billion. The billionaire inherited her stake in the company from her father Yang Guoqiang in 2007. According to Bloomberg, Country Garden is the largest property developer in China by contracted sales.
14. Fan Hongwei
|Net worth||$18.2 billion|
|Source of wealth||Petrochemicals|
She’s the second richest woman in China. Fan is the CEO and chairperson of Hengli Petrochemical and the vice-chairperson of its holding company Hengli Group. The former accountant borrowed a $4.5 million loan to acquire Wujiang Chemical Fibre Textile Factory in 1994 which was on the verge of collapsing.
Together with her husband, they turned the company which had only 27 employees to one of China’s biggest fiber producers. Hengli Group is involved in the production of chemical fibres, polyster as well as real estate dealings. Fan holds a 45% stake in Hengli Petrochemical.
15. Jiang Rensheng
|Net worth||$17.7 billion|
|Source of wealth||Vaccines|
Jiang Rensheng is a former primary school teacher who chairs vaccine maker Zhifei Biological Products Co. commonly known as Zhifei. The company’s share price rose by about 80% during the Covid-19 pandemic which in turn increased the billionaire’s net worth. Zhifei went public in 2010 at the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Jiang Rensheng is the 91st world’s wealthiest person and one of the richest people in China.