With a fortune of 95 billion RMB ($14 billion), 38-year-old Colin Huang, founder of the e-commerce giant Pinduoduo, ranked 13th on the Hurun China List 2018 released on Oct. 10.
Huang made his wealth reach 100 billion yuan ($14.4 billion) in record time in China and even across the globe, according to Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report.
Led by Huang, there were in total 219 new faces on this year’s list. Newcomers are mainly from newly listed companies such as Xiaomi and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd, and some unicorn companies like Bitmain, a bitcoin mining company, and Xpeng Motors, the electric car maker.
“We are happy to see more new business models and young entrepreneurs on the list. ”said Hoogewerf. “Their success stems from their awareness of future trends as well as their care for customers.”
Alibaba founder Jack Ma and his family topped the list with a wealth of $39 billion, following a value explosion of Alibaba‘s digital payment arm, Ant Financial. Xu Jiayin, chairman of Evergrande Group, has slid down to second place as his wealth shrank by 14 percent to $36 billion.
Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, the smartphone tycoon, broke into the Top 10 after his wealth jumped 62 percent to US$16 billion.
Only 1,893 individuals made it into the list this year, however, representing an 11 percent drop from the total number of 2,130 last year. This is the first downsize of the list since 2012. “For the first time, the threshold to join the Top 10 remained at 110 billion RMB,” said Hoogewerf. He attributed the downsize to the downturn of A shares and China-U.S. trade tensions.
Yet he remains optimistic. “Although the economy grows slower and China is in a trade war with the U.S., we still see many new faces on the rich list”, said Hoogewerf. “Promoted by professional investors, the opportunities created by the new economy bred numerous unicorn and super-unicorn companies.”