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Wang Jianlin takes 'rich' crown from Li Ka-shing
Last Updated: 2015-08-20 07:30 | China Daily
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Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group, poses at the listing ceremony for the shares of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co Ltd at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in Hong Kong, China, Dec 23, 2014. [Photo / IC]

Property tycoon Wang Jianlin from the Chinese mainland overtook Hong Kong's Li Ka-shing as the richest man in China, with a personal fortune of about $42.6 billion, a new ranking said on Wednesday.

According to the latest data from Hurun Research Institute, billionaires from the Chinese mainland accounted for about 79.5 percent of the Hurun Global Chinese Rich List 2015, followed by 6.3 percent from Hong Kong and 4.9 percent form Taiwan.

Spread across more than 18 countries and regions, Hurun's research said there were 1,577 individuals with personal wealth in excess of 2 billion yuan ($312.6 million), and of this 302 were from outside the Chinese mainland.

Total wealth of these individuals comes to a staggering $2.1 trillion, which is equivalent to the GDP of Russia, or 1.5 times that of South Korea.

Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman and chief researcher of the Hurun Report, said: "A decade ago, the most successful Chinese were those outside the Chinese mainland. Today that has changed completely, with entrepreneurs like Wang Jianlin of Wanda charting a new path."

Ben Cavender, principal at China Market Research Group, said: "Chinese entrepreneurs have become more successful over the years and many of their businesses have got high valuations after they expanded abroad.

"The new wave of Chinese billionaires are very clever and business savvy. They will change their management ideas and growth strategies quickly," he said.

The recent listings of Wanda's real estate and cinema businesses have helped drive Wang's wealth, according to Hurun's research.

Hong Kong real estate mogul Li Ka-shing, 87, came in second with personal fortune of $32.8 billion. Li has also invested heavily in the United Kingdom.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Jack Ma, 51, was third-richest man with a wealth of $27 billion.

The Chinese mainland had 1,254 billionaires with total wealth of $1.4 trillion. Beijing has the highest concentration of billionaires-181, followed by Shenzhen with 111.

All the billionaires on the Chinese mainland are self-made while the ratio is only 67 percent in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao.

About half the non-mainland Chinese on the list have their origins in Guangdong and Fujian provinces. Billionaires with origins on the Chinese mainland are dominated by those from Zhejiang province.

Cavender said challenges still remain for Chinese billionaires to do business overseas and it is important for them to change their cultural mindset and hire top international talent in the markets they are planning to enter.

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