One can only imagine what mao would make of this generation of chinese tycoons—or of the country’s carbonated stock market. The fortunes of China’s 400 richest, all billionaires (or billionaire families), surged to a combined $1.2 trillion as of October, up by 26 percent from a year ago, handily outpacing the 13 percent rise in the Shanghai Composite Index. Seventy-nine made their fortunes in manufacturing, the most of any industry. There are 53 newcomers among the 400 wealthiest. For more, including the full rankings, see www.forbes.com/china-billionaires.
1. HUI KA YAN Net worth: $42.5 billion Image: Bobby Yip / Reuters
The chairman and CEO of real estate developer China Evergrande Group became the country’s wealthiest man—up from No 9 last year—following a stunning 469% rise in his company’s Hong Kong–listed stock, which swelled his fortune by nearly $33 billion. Image: Bobby Yip / Reuters2. MA HUATENG $39 billion
Known as “Pony Ma”, he chairs internet giant Tencent Holdings, developer of the hugely popular WeChat messaging app. A jump in Tencent stock ponied up an additional $14.5 billion to Ma’s fortune over the past year.
3. JACK MA $38.6 billion Image: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Ma’s ecommerce powerhouse, Alibaba, keeps growing as ever more people worldwide shop online. His wealth is following suit, having increased by $10 billion since 2016.
4. WANG JIANLIN $25.2 billion Image: Thomas Peter / Reuters
Last year’s list-topper is one of 92 Chinese billionaires whose wealth dropped. His Dalian Wanda real estate and entertainment group has been selling assets, such as its struggling theme parks and dozens of hotels, to pay down immense debt. VCG / Getty Images5. WANG WEI $22.3 billion
Reportedly a former textile-factory worker, Wang runs SF Express, China’s version of FedEx. He took it public in February via a backdoor listing, having acquired listed firm Maanshan Dingtai Rare Earth.
Image: Getty ImagesNotable Newcomer ZHANG YIMING $4 billion
His startup, Beijing ByteDance Technology, created a popular app called Toutiao (“headlines” in Chinese), which aggregates third-party news and videos and has attracted 120 million subscribers. The company raised $2 billion in August at a valuation of $20 billion.
Notable Newsmaker SUN HONGBIN $10.4 billion Image: Getty Images
Sun is founder and chairman of Sunac China Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed real estate developer whose shares rocketed 632% in the past year. This July, Sunac spent $6.6 billion to buy theme parks from Wang Jianlin’s Wanda group.
(This story appears in the 22 December, 2017 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)