China’s top 20 businessmen-cum-lawmakers are worth a staggering $534 billion

The wealthiest persons in the parliament and its advisory body, all billionaires, have grown richer over the last one year despite the economy performing badly due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Delegates applaud as Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping (centre), arrive for the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2021. (AFP)
Delegates applaud as Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping (centre), arrive for the opening ceremony of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 5, 2021. (AFP)
Published on Mar 05, 2021 01:22 PM IST
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BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Nadim Siraj

The top 20 richest Chinese businessmen delegates at the ongoing annual meeting of the parliament and its advisory body in Beijing are worth $534 billion, a Chinese wealth tracking group has said.

Their personal wealth grew by around 75% last year.

As it turns out, the wealthiest in the Communist party-ruled parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), and its advisory body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – all billionaires -- have grown richer over the last one year despite the economy performing badly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hurun Report, a Shanghai-based wealth tracker, drew up two separate lists of individuals for the NPC and CPPCC, listing 10 each of their richest members. The monitor then combined the two lists to bring out a list of the 10 richest persons.

The top 10 wealthiest NPC and CPPCC delegates are worth $391 billion in total, and their wealth grew at an average of 68% in the last one year.

They have made their wealth from wide-ranging sources, including internet services, agriculture, green energy, property, consumer electronics, media and automobile, the Hurun report said.

Ma Huateng, 50, of Tencent Holdings - owner of WeChat among the company’s massive internet services business - is the richest entrepreneur attending this year’s Two Sessions in Beijing.

A member of the NPC, Ma’s personal wealth is $74bn, and year-on-year, it increased by over 94%, the tracker said.

Also on the list are Xiaomi’s Lei Jun, NetEase’s Ding Lei, Baidu’s Li Yanhong, and Geely automobile’s Li Shufu.

Separately, the top 10 richest NPC delegates are worth $261bn, and they saw their wealth increase at an average of 94% in the last year. The monitor said the top 10 richest CPPCC delegates are worth $273bn, and their wealth grew at an average of 56%.

Combining the two figures puts the worth of the 20 richest entrepreneurs attending the Two Sessions, as the twin summits are called, at a staggering $534bn.

“From the Hurun Global Rich List 2021 released last week, we can see how China’s entrepreneurs are booming. Today, there are officially 1,058 billionaires living in China, up by 259, significantly ahead of the 696 in the US,” Hurun Report’s chairperson and chief researcher Rupert Hoogewerf said.

Beijing is officially the billionaire capital of the world for the sixth year running with 145 billionaires living in the city, while Shanghai overtook New York to second place with 113 billionaires, Hoogewerf said.

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