Copyright 2016,

India And China: Comparing Power Elites

A tale of two countries

Twenty-six, or just about a third, of the world’s most powerful people are billionaires. Most of these individuals hail from the US, where capitalism and democracy combine to make entrepreneurs as powerful as politicians. Eight power people hail from mainland China and India, two of the biggest and most dynamic economies in the world, both of which are predicted to overtake the US in aggregate GDP in coming decades. But reflecting the overwhelming role of the state in those two nations, particularly in China, only three of these power people are billionaires: Robin Li, head of Chinese internet search firm Baidu, and oil magnate Mukesh Ambani and steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, both Indians. This will likely change in coming years as China’s and India’s richest citizens increase their fortunes and extend their influence across the 2.6 billion people who call these countries their home. Here’s a look at how the very richest Chinese and Indians stack up.