Chelsea_SunChelsea_Sun ・ Mar. 27, 2024
AI Tycoons Dominate 2024 Hurun Global Rich List
China remains the country with the largest number of billionaires, but Beijing, the capital of China, ceded the No. 3 spot to India’s Mombai as the city concentrated with ultra-rich people, only after New York and London.

(TMTPOST)— While the world gained 167 new billionaires from a year earlier, China lost 155 to host 814 billionaires although it managed to top the 2024 Hurun Global Rich List, according to the data released by the Hurun Research Institute on Tuesday.

Graph made by TMTPOST

Graph made by TMTPOST

The total number of billionaires in the world expanded to 3,279 in 2023, according to the list.

The U.S. came in second with 800 billionaires while India came in third with 271, according to the ranking by country. In particular, with the booming development of artificial intelligence (AI), over half of the newly acquired wealth globally comes from this emerging sector.

India added nearly 100 billionaires in 2023 as compared to 2022, according to the Hurun Global Rich List 2024. According to the report, Mumbai has overtaken Beijing to become Asia’s billionaire capital and one of top three cities globally. The number of billionaires in Mumbai in the 2024 list is 92, compared with 91 in Beijing, according to the report.

India has retained its title of the world's fastest growing major economy as it expanded 8.4% in the last three months of 2023, from a year earlier. The country recorded an average growth of over 7.5% in 2023.

Hoogewerf said that AI has been the major driver for wealth growth, generating over half of all the new wealth this year. Whilst Jensen Huang has grabbed many of the headlines as Nvidia broke through the $2 trillion mark and catapulting him into the Hurun Top 30 as a result, the billionaires behind Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Oracle and Meta have seen significant surges in their wealth as investors bet on the value generated by AI.”

According to the list, Elon Musk, 52, reclaimed the title of the world's richest person with a wealth of 1.67 trillion yuan ($190 billion) from the previous year, thanks to Tesla's record-breaking delivery volumes that boosted its stock price.

Meanwhile, Musk's space exploration technology company, SpaceX, reached new heights in valuation thanks to successful launches, satellite internet projects, and lucrative government contracts. This marks his third time to become the world's wealthiest person in the past four years.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon rose two places to second, with his wealth increasing by 480 billion yuan, a 57% rise, reaching 1.33 trillion yuan. Last year's number one, Bernard Arnault, dropped to third place, with his wealth decreasing by 190 billion yuan to 1.26 trillion yuan.

In China, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen are the top three cities preferred by Chinese billionaires. In the Yangtze River Delta region, there are a total of 252 billionaires listed, while the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has 220 billionaires. China boasts the largest number of self-made billionaires globally and the most self-made female billionaires. The total wealth of Chinese billionaires is nearly 19 trillion yuan, a 15% decrease from the previous year.


Graph made by TMTPOST

Graph made by TMTPOST

A total of 241 billionaires saw an increase in wealth, with 55 being new faces. China ranks third globally in terms of the number of new billionaires. The wealth of 702 billionaires shrank, with 208 dropping off the list, while 80 retained their wealth. There are 27 centibillionaires, nine fewer than the previous year.

Zhong Shanshan, 70, saw his wealth shrink by 9% from the previous year to 450 billion yuan, making him China's richest person for the fourth consecutive time and ranking 21st globally, down six places. His Hong Kong-listed company, Nongfu Spring, performed well in the first half of last year, with sales revenue and profits rising by 14% and 16% year-on-year, respectively. Another A-share listed company under his control, Wantai Biological Pharmacy, saw a stock price decline of nearly 30% over the past year, resulting in a market capitalization evaporation of 35 billion yuan from the same period last year. Nongfu Spring ranked 211th in the "2023 Hurun Global 500."

Colin Huang, the founder of e-commerce platform Pinduoduo, 44, saw the most significant increase in wealth among Chinese entrepreneurs last year, with his wealth growing by 71%, or 160 billion yuan, to 385 billion yuan, making him China's second richest person for the first time, rising three places to 24th globally.

Pinduoduo's third-quarter report last year showed a revenue increase of over 90%, far exceeding market expectations. Additionally, its overseas businesses, Temu and Kuaituantuan, showed promising development. In November 2023, Pinduoduo's market value briefly exceeded Alibaba's.

Tencent CEO Ma Huateng saw a 10% decrease in wealth from the previous year to 250 billion yuan, ranking third in China. Globally, he ranks 36th, down five places.

In the third quarter of last year, Tencent's revenue exceeded 150 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 10%, while net profit was over 36 billion yuan, down 9%. Its international gaming revenue exceeded 13 billion yuan, up 14%.

In comparison, entrepreneurs in China's new energy and real estate sectors saw a significant decrease in wealth over the past year. Zeng Yuqun, from Fujian-based battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), saw his wealth decrease by 90 billion yuan, while Wang Jianlin's family saw their wealth shrink by 72% to 30 billion yuan, with most of Wanda Commercial Management's shares frozen. The family of Yang Huiyan, the chairman of Country Garden, saw their wealth decrease by 60% to 44 billion yuan. Liu Qiangdong and his wife, Zhang Zetian, from JD.com saw their wealth drop by 50 billion yuan to 49.5 billion yuan.

The number of global billionaires increased by 5%, almost offsetting all the losses caused by the global economy emerging from the impact of the pandemic last year and the widespread expectation of interest rate cuts in the U.S., he added.

(1 yuan equals US$ 0.14)

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