Zhong Shanshan, founder of Nongfu Spring, a Chinese bottled water and beverage producer, is the highest-ranking new billionaire on the list, coming in at number seven with US$85 billion.
According to Forbes’ latest annual rich list, Beijing now has more billionaires than any other city worldwide. The United States has long had more billionaires than any other country, but China is quickly catching up.
In the past year, China produced three times as many billionaires as the US, many of whom made their fortunes from industries such as online entertainment and pharmaceuticals, among other things.
The fact that China is quickly gaining on the US in this area can primarily be credited to the buoyant digital economy and a flurry of initial public offering (IPO) activity. In addition, while the pandemic’s sting has taken an extensive toll on China’s economy, it has increased stock prices for many of China’s biggest industries.
For the fourth year, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos remains the richest person in the world with a net worth of US$177 billion, up US$64 billion from a year ago. Beijing has also knocked New York City from the top spot as the city with the greatest number of billionaires.
Zhang Yiming, the founder of Bytedance, is Beijing’s richest person with an estimated worth of US$35.6 billion. In New York City, meanwhile, Michael Bloomberg has the most cash, with a net worth of approximately US$59 billion.
Economic data released earlier this year revealed that China’s economy grew by 2.3% during the pandemic, something that sets it apart from much of the rest of the world, the US included.
According to the National Statistics Bureau, China’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by about 6.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020, further signifying how quickly China was able to rebound from the pandemic’s effect on its economy. China’s GDP also got a big break in 2020, exceeding 100 trillion yuan, or approximately US$15 trillion.
As the list of Chinese billionaires continues to grow, experts note the industries to which these new faces belong. For example, Zhong Shanshan, founder of Nongfu Spring, a Chinese bottled water and beverage producer, is the highest-ranking new billionaire on the list, coming in at number seven with US$85 billion.
In the midst of a pandemic, the world’s wealthy got even wealthier. Worldwide, about 660 new billionaires emerged, bringing the total number of billionaires to 2,755.
The pandemic has shown the wide gap that exists between the world’s most affluent individuals and regular people. In the US, billionaires got 44% richer in 2020 while, in the same period, approximately 80 million Americans lost their jobs and nearly eight million became impoverished.
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