Ma Huateng, boss of Tencent, is the second richest billionaire in China.
PHILIPPE LOPEZ / AFP
China has never had so many billionaires despite the pandemic that is shaking the world economy and the country now outnumbers its two cumulative pursuers, including the United States, according to a ranking published on Tuesday.
The first country affected at the end of 2019 by the new coronavirus which paralyzed its economy, China is also the first to have recovered and to have found the path to growth.
And despite unprecedented containment measures that plagued activity in early 2020, China saw the number of its dollar billionaires increase last year, according to the annual ranking of the Hurun cabinet.
In front of the United States and India
The Asian giant has 253 more and largely dominates the world ranking with now 992 super-rich (including Hong Kong).
In number, the United States is second with 696 billionaires but the three biggest fortunes in the world remain American and French: 197 billion dollars for Elon Musk, the fantastic boss of Tesla, ahead of Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Bernard Arnault (LVMH) .
India is the third country in the world with the most billionaires (177).
The richest man in China is now the discreet boss of bottled water giant Zhong Shanshan, who was not included in the ranking of the world's top 100 fortunes a year earlier.
His fortune is estimated at 85 billion dollars (70.71 billion euros), after the IPO of his company Nongfu Spring last year.
Tencent and TikTok
For the first time in the history of the Hurun Ranking, China's biggest fortunes are no longer tied to real estate, a sector on which the country's growth has long depended.
The owners of Tencent (internet, video games) and ByteDance (owner of the TikTok short videos app) are respectively second and third.
Jack Ma, who has long held the top step of the podium of the richest personalities in China, falls to fourth place, with a fortune estimated at 55 billion dollars (45.75 billion euros).
Jack Ma's loss of his crown coincides with his Alibaba group's woes with Chinese regulators.
At the end of 2020, Beijing put an abrupt halt to the IPO of payment giant Ant Group, a subsidiary of Alibaba, which should have been the largest operation of all time.
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