Leading global research platform Hurun Research Institute released its Hurun China Rich List 2022 on November 8. According to the report, Zhong Shanshan, the founder of bottled water and beverage giant Nongfu Spring, increased his wealth by 17% compared with last year to become the richest individual in China for the second time with $65 billion, setting a record for the country’s richest man in more than 20 years. Meanwhile, Zhang Yiming, the founder of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, ranked second, and RobinZeng, the chairman of battery giant CATL, ranked third.
Li Ka-shing, the 94-year-old founder of property developer Cheung Kong Group, and his family ranked fourth with wealth of $31.4 billion, up four places from last year. Pony Ma, the 51-year-old founder of internet giant Tencent, lost $14.6 billion compared with last year, ranking fifth with $30.7 billion, down one place from last year and also his lowest ranking in the past decade.
Hurun Research identified 1,305 individuals with more than 5 billion yuan ($710 million), down 11% (160 individuals) from last year. The total wealth of entrepreneurs on the list decreased by 18% compared with last year to 24.5 trillion yuan.
Industrial products, real estate, healthcare, consumer goods and food and beverage are the top five sources of wealth for entrepreneurs on the list. The once-famous real estate tycoons gradually faded off the list, and internet bosses also dropped due to falling stock prices, while the manufacturing industry became the main force on the list. The industrial products field had the largest number of people on the list this year, accounting for 13%, while the number of people on the list in healthcare, consumer goods, food and beverage, chemical industry and energy, was also quite high.
Rupert Hoogewerf, the Hurun Report Chairman and Chief Researcher, said, “This year has seen the biggest fall in the Hurun China Rich List of the last 24 years with the overall number of individuals down more than 10% and their wealth down by nearly 20%, driven largely by the drop in real estate and healthcare entrepreneurs. Part of the reason has been a global economic downturn, led by the fallout from the Russia-Ukraine war, a sharp drop in tech prices and the generally slow post-COVID economic recovery, but also at the national level, the continued disruptions to the economy from localized COVID outbreaks.”
In the field of new energy vehicles, Li Xiang of Li Auto, He Xiaopeng of XPeng Motors and William Li of NIO have all seen declines in overall wealth. However, BYD’s Wang Chuanfu, who has been vigorously expanding the firm’s operations in overseas markets, has seen relatively stable wealth. With the entry of new entities such as state-owned enterprises, competition in the NEV market has intensified.
The steel industry has performed relatively well throughout the last year, especially until the beginning of this year. The online game industry saw miHoYo and Lilith Games as newly listed firms on the Hurun list. Finally, the logistics industry has also been relatively stable, such as Wang Wei of SF Express, Yu Huijiao of YTO Express and Chen Dejun of STO Express.