Wealth Of China's Richest Plunges By 39% In 2022

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Nov 18, 2022 - 01:20 AM

Authored by Nie Law, Shan Lam, and Harry McKenny via The Epoch Times,

Forbes recently released China’s Richest 2022.  Among the top 100 richest people, 79 of them saw their wealth fall.

The biggest wealth drop since Forbes’ records began with a drop of 39 percent - from $1.48 trillion in 2021 to $907.1 billion in 2022.

At the same time, the “Hurun China Rich List” also shows that the number of Chinese billionaires in 2022 has the biggest drop within the past 24 years.

The following information is from the Forbes report dated Nov. 11, 2022, and the previous year’s totals are dated Nov. 17, 2021:

  1. Nongfu Spring, Zhong Shanshan, the richest people in mainland China, wealth dropped five percent to $62.3 billion from $65.9 billion in 2021.

  2. ByteDance, Zhang Yiming, with a fortune of $49.5 billion, down $9.9 billion from $59.4 in 2021.

  3. CATL, Zeng Yuqun, battery manufacturer, with a fortune of $28.9 billion, down 43 percent from last year’s $50.8 billion.

  4. Tencent, Ma Huateng, with a fortune of $23.4 billion, plummeted $25.7 billion (nearly 50 percent) from 2021.

  5. Alibaba, Jack Ma, with a fortune of $20.3 billion.

  6. SF Holding, Wang Wei, $19.6 billion.

  7. Midea Group, He Chunjian, $18.8 billion.

  8. NetEase Inc., Ding Lei, $19.7 billion.

  9. Pinduoduo, Huang Zheng, $18.6 billion.

  10. Muyuan Shares, Qin Yinglin, $18.4 billion.

Xiao mi, the founder Leijun dropped 50 percent of wealth from US$17.9 billion in 2021 to US$7.6 billion in 2022, ranked 37th this year, the chairperson Liu Qiangdong, fell more than 50 percent to $8.3 billion from $17.6 billion, ranked 32nd this year.

Worst Drop from Real Estate

The 82 percent biggest drop in net worth from real estate tycoon Yang Huiyan, Country Garden (Property Development), from $27.8 billion to $4.91 billion.

China Evergrande, the founder Xu Jiayin and many other real estate billionaires even failed to make the list this time.

Biggest Loss of Billionaires in 24 Years

The 2022 Hurun China Rich List released by the Hurun Research Institute on Nov. 8 shows that the drop in the number of Chinese billionaires this year is the largest within the past 24 years.

A total of 1,305 entrepreneurs in China have wealth of more than 5 billion yuan (approx. US$0.71 billion) this year, a decrease of 160 people or 11 percent from last year, and their total wealth also fell 18 percent from last year to 24.5 trillion yuan (US$3.5 trillion).

Only 411 people on the list saw their wealth increase compared to last year.  1,187 people shrank or stayed more or less the same compared to last year, while 293 people even fell off the list this time round.

On the list, 1,121 billionaires live in mainland China, 90 in Hong Kong, 67 in Macau and Taiwan, and the remaining 27 live outside China.

Among the 293 who fell out of the list, the real estate sector suffered the most, accounting for 14 percent of the loss, followed by the health industry, accounting for another 12 percent.  When it comes to locations, the city with the largest number of dropouts is Shanghai at 15 percent, followed by Beijing at 11.

Traditional Industries Overtake Information Technology

Rupert Hoogewerf (also known by his Chinese alias as Hu Run), chairperson of the Hurun Report, described that traditional industries had risen significantly this year.

It is surprising to see that in an era of rapid technological development, China’s richest man is Zhong Shanshan of Nongfu Spring, a mineral water company, whose wealth is almost the sum of  Zhang Yiming from ByteDance in 2nd place, and Zeng Yuqun, the 3rd ranked owner of an electric vehicle battery manufacturer. 

Li Ka-shing surpassed Ma Huateng of Tencent for the first time in five years.

Pig farmer Qin Yinglin, overtook Ma Yun of Alibaba for the first time.

‘Global Economic Recession and Inflation Will Persist’

Xie Tian, ​​a professor at the Aiken School of Business at the University of South Carolina in the U.S., told the Epoch Times on Nov. 12 that the wealth of the Chinese riches in high-tech and Internet-related companies has declined, while those in traditional real industries such as mineral water and pig farming are raising. This is a trend that can be seen globally.

The overall U.S. stock market has fallen 30 percent to 40 percent this year, with technology stocks bearing most of the brunt, leading to many e-commerce and Internet giants, such as Twitter and Facebook, laying off workers.

Xie analyzed that the decline of U.S. technology stocks is the result of inflation and economic downturn in the entire world, and such a decline of U.S. technology stocks also has a negative impact on the shares of China’s tech companies. China’s technology stocks had long been criticized as overpriced and frothy. Coupled with the current economic recession in China, it is no surprise it has a tremendous negative impact on the wealth of mainland China’s richest. When stocks in high-tech, Internet, e-commerce, and other industries decline, in contrast, stocks in more traditional primitive industries such as mineral water and pig farming will go up.

Xie also speculates that this trend will continue for at least the next half to one year because the global economic recession and inflation problems will persist in 2023, casting a similar trend in next year’s rich list.

The Economic Indicator

Political and economic commentator Simon Li Sai-man (pen name) pointed out to the Epoch Times on Nov. 12 that it is not just the wealth of the richest in China that has fallen. The wealth of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and other wealthy guys has also shrunk. The strong dollar itself is indeed causing a certain impact on the global economy.

Simon Li also believes that how much wealth the richest have is not the best indicator of the region’s economy.  When the economy turns bad, it is the average person who will bear most of the brunt. To analyze the economic situation of a region, we should better refer to indicators such as the employment rate of students leaving college.