China's billionaires rise to 130 despite global crisis
Car battery tycoon Wang Chuanfu topped a new list of China's 1,000 richest people released on Tuesday, which has 130 dollar billionaires in an emphatic declaration of the Asian giant's economic arrival.business Updated: Oct 13, 2009 12:17 IST
Car battery tycoon Wang Chuanfu topped a new list of China's 1,000 richest people released on Tuesday, which has 130 dollar billionaires in an emphatic declaration of the Asian giant's economic arrival.
Most of the super-wealthy on the Hurun Rich List, unlike Wang, made their fortunes in the property and stock markets -- the focus of Beijing's massive government stimulus efforts over the past year.
"China's wealth is growing at breakneck speed," Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of the Shanghai-based Hurun Report which publishes the annual list, told a press conference.
"You can double the real number of billionaires in China to 260. There are still a large number of billionaires off the radar screens, managing to build up substantial wealth away from the public spotlight from property, the stock market and investments."
Wang, the founder of rechargeable battery and electric car maker BYD, leapt 102 places to top the rich list after his fortune increased more than five-fold to 5.1 billion dollars, said Hoogewerf.
The rich list gained 180 new members -- despite the entry criteria for the latest list rising by 50 percent to 150 million dollars.
Seven people moved into the top 10, in the biggest shake-up since the report started publishing the rich list in 1999.
Last year's richest man, Huang Guangyu, who made his fortune building up the nation's largest electrical appliance chain Gome, slipped to the 17th spot after he was detained late last year on suspicion of market manipulation.
Du Shuanghua, last year's second-richest person, plunged 39 places to 41 as he battled a state-owned company for control of Shandong-based private steel manufacturer Rizhao Steel.
"Since our 2004 list, we have seen a ten-fold increase in the number of individuals with personal wealth of at least 150 million dollars," said Hoogewerf.
"In 2004, we could only find 100 individuals with 150 million, whereas this year, we managed to find 1,000 individuals with 150 million."