Chinese billionaires are well and truly taking over. Last year, China managed to create 259 billionaires by USD standards despite the ongoing pandemic. 33 of the three comma club’s latest inductees call Beijing home, levelling the capital B count to an even 100 and dethroning New York City (99) to become the world’s newest billionaire capital.
According to CNBC, an influx of IPOs as well as “robust tech growth” were key factors in this economic development. And the sheer numbers are mindblowing beyond China’s overall billionaire count of 880 alone (as per the Hurun Rich List), especially when you learn the Asian superpower didn’t have a single billionaire until 1999.
If we widen the parameters from a billion dollars in USD to domestic currency standards, there are reportedly 2,398 individuals in China with a net worth of over ¥2 billion (US$300 million / AU$400 million). The grand total of their combined wealth comes to over US$4 trillion – that’s more than the gross domestic product of any country outside of the IMF’s top five rankings.
So what do these Chinese billionaires resemble in terms of business profile compared to their American counterparts? If we were to examine the billionaire capitals of Beijing and New York City alone, the former’s richest resident is Zhang Yiming – ranked #39 on the latest Forbes breakdown with a net worth of US$35.6 billion; founder of media content platform and TikTok parent company, ByteDance – while the latter’s richest resident is Michael Bloomberg – ranked #20 with a net worth of US$59 billion; founder of Bloomberg LP, former NYC mayor, and most recently, failed 2020 US presidential candidate.
In terms of the bigger picture, however, China’s richest person is Zhong Shanshan – ranked #13 with a net worth of US$68.9 billion; head honcho of major bottled water company, Nongfu Spring – while the US is led by a man who needs no introduction at this point given his longstanding title as world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos – reigning #1 with US$177 billion;
emperor of the universe king of the multi-faceted enterprise, Amazon.
The 2022 insights should be even more interesting.