Beijing, Sep 23 :
Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, has become the richest man in China with a fortune of 150 billion yuan ($24.4 billion), according to the “Hurun Rich List 2014” released by the Hurun Research Institute Tuesday.
Ma, 50, took top spot in the annual wealth bible from last year’s number one, Wang Jianlin, founder of property developer Dalian Wanda Group, despite Wang’s wealth growing 7 percent. Wang ranked second on the list this year, with a fortune of 145 billion yuan, Xinhua reported citing the list.
This is the first time that Ma has topped the list, largely thanks to Alibaba’s initial public offering in New York. It is estimated that Ma could rank 25th on the Hurun Global Rich List.
Five of the top 10 richest individuals in China come from the IT industry, illustrating its boom.
Pony Ma of internet giant Tencent is at fifth with a wealth of 108.5 billion yuan, followed by Robin Li, CEO of Baidu.com, with 105 billion yuan. Liu Qiangdong, JD.com’s chief executive officer, stands at ninth with 53 billion yuan, while Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi, is at 10th with a fortune of 45 billion yuan.
A total of 1,271 Chinese entrepreneurs on the list have a personal fortune of at least two billion yuan, compared to 1,017 last year. Almost half of the billionaires on the list amassed their fortunes from the industries of manufacturing and real estate.
The threshold of the top 10 is 45 billion yuan this year, 20 percent higher than in 2013.