Wealth Of China’s 100 Richest On Forbes List Edges Down To $895 Billion

Wealth Of China’s 100 Richest On Forbes List Edges Down To $895 Billion

Nongfu Spring’s Zhong Shanshan retains No. 1 spot for third year in a row

SINGAPORE (November 9, 2023) – The collective net worth of tycoons on the 2023 Forbes list of China’s 100 Richest edged down to US$895 billion from $907.1 billion last year. The complete list can be found here. The list can also be found in the November issue of Forbes Asia.

Despite signs that mainland China’s economy has been picking up, shrinking manufacturing and an export slowdown amid heightened U.S.-China tensions undermined the momentum. High-profile defaults by property developers, who were hit by a prolonged downturn in housing prices, also took a toll. The dip in combined wealth was in line with the 1% drop in the benchmark CSI 300 Index since fortunes were last measured.

Bottled water billionaire Zhong Shanshan ranks number one for the third year in a row, though his estimated wealth fell to $60.1 billion from $62.3 billion last year. Nongfu Spring’s strong position in the domestic market offset a decline in Zhong’s investment in Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, a vaccine and diagnostics firm for infectious diseases, including Covid-19.

ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming retains the second spot but his net worth dropped to $43.4 billion from $49.5 billion, as the tech giant’s video-sharing platform TikTok continued to face regulatory strictures in international markets.

Forty-two fortunes were up on this year’s list, including that of Colin Huang, founder of e-commerce giant PDD Holdings. Huang notched up the biggest rise in wealth, in both dollar and percentage terms, to occupy the No. 3 position for the first time. As PDD’s budget shopping app Pinduoduo and its international offshoot Temu won over consumers around the world, Huang nearly doubled his net worth to $36.2 billion.


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At No. 4 with $32.1 billion is Ma Huateng, chairman and CEO of Tencent, who saw his fortune jump from $23.4 billion a year ago. Another big gainer was online gaming tycoon William Ding, who takes the No. 5 spot as NetEase’s two new blockbuster titles contributed to boosting his wealth by 71% to $32 billion.

Robin Zeng, chairman of CATL, slipped to No. 6 with $25.8 billion as the world’s largest electric vehicle battery maker reportedly ceded some domestic market share to smaller competitors. Yang Huiyan, chairperson of debt-ridden property developer Country Garden, fell 24 spots to No. 93 with $3.6 billion.

With solar module prices plummeting to record lows, solar magnates were worse off this year. JA Solar chairman Jin Baofang (No. 66) saw his fortune more than halve to $5 billion. Of the 17 dropoffs this year, ten were from battery, solar and other related sectors.

A total of 14 individuals returned to the ranks after a hiatus, including Li Xiang, founder of electric vehicle maker Li Auto, who appears at No. 34 with $7.4 billion. Shares of his company soared as the spacious seats and extended range of its cars found favor with large families.

There are three newcomers on this year’s list: Wu Xiangdong (No. 84, $3.95 billion), founder and chairman of liquor maker ZJLD Group, which listed on the Hong Kong exchange in April; drug developer Biokin Pharmaceutical chairman Zhu Yi (No. 90, $3.8 billion), who became a billionaire after his firm’s January IPO in Shanghai. Jian Yao, the ex-wife of Mindray cofounder Xu Hang (No. 30, $8.3 billion), makes her debut at No. 95 with $3.55 billion, following their divorce based on her minority stake in Mindray.

The minimum net worth needed to make the top 100 fell slightly to $3.4 billion from $3.5 billion a year ago.

The top 10 richest in China are:

  1. Zhong Shanshan; US$60.1 billion
  2. Zhang Yiming; $43.4 billion
  3. Colin Huang; $36.2 billion
  4. Ma Huateng; $32.1 billion
  5. William Ding; $32 billion
  6. Robin Zeng; $25.8 billion
  7. Jack Ma; $25.1 billion
  8. He Xiangjian; $21.2 billion
  9. Wang Chuanfu; $17.6 billion
  10. Eric Li; $15.3 billion

This list of mainland China’s richest was compiled using shareholding and financial information obtained from families and individuals, stock exchanges, analysts, private databases and other sources. Net worth figures are based on exchange rates and stock prices on October 20, 2023. Private companies are valued by using financial ratios and other comparisons with similar companies that are publicly traded. Some family fortunes were split. In order to facilitate comparisons among individuals with similar backgrounds, a number of entrepreneurs from mainland China whose citizenship is not People’s Republic of China but whose main source of wealth is the mainland were included.

The full list of China’s 100 Richest can be accessed at www.forbes.com/china.

About Forbes

Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 140 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE and Forbes Virtual events, custom marketing programs and 41 licensed local editions in 73 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements.

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