Internet tech mogul joins China’s billionaire list as wealth shrinks

news analysis

A newly released list of China’s 100 richest people shows a significant drop in entrepreneurial fortunes, especially in internet technology. Experts believe this could be related to an overall economic decline, with assets declining further from future trends.

Compared to the previous year, the total wealth of listed entrepreneurs fell by 18% to 24.5 trillion yuan ($3.38 trillion), according to the 2022 annual China’s richest list. release Nov. 8 by Hurun Research Institute.

There are 11% fewer Chinese entrepreneurs with personal fortunes of 5 billion yuan ($690 million) or more, at 1,305. The number of entrepreneurs is 1,187 for him, wealth remains declining or stagnant, and 293 of his are off the list this year. Only 411 entrepreneurs became wealthier, including 133 new entrants.

Over the past year, the wealth of the Chinese entrepreneurs on the list will fall to 24 years in 2022 as a result of the Russian-Ukrainian war, sharp interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve and the recurring COVID epidemic. It was the fifth decrease in Also, according to Rupert Hogewerf, chairman and chief research officer of the Hurun Institute of Chinese financial media Security Times, the total number of wealthy people on the list has fallen, also the largest decline. It is said that it is. report November 9th.

internet technology private entrepreneurial decrease in wealth

Investigation found Wealth growth among Chinese entrepreneurs has slowed, with tycoons engaged in internet platforms being the most affected in terms of the amount of wealth decline.

Epoch Times photo
Qin Rupei (2nd-L), Deputy Secretary of Guizhou Province and Ma Huateng (C), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tencent Holdings Ltd., attended the 2017 China International Conference held at the Guiyang International Eco-Conference Center in Guiyang. Attend the Big Data Industry Expo. , China, May 28, 2017. Tencent is China’s largest Chinese web portal. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Among the top 10 billionaires, Ma Huateng, chairman of the board and CEO of multimedia conglomerate Tencent, said: saw His wealth was 102 billion yuan ($14 billion), or 32% down to rank fifth, and 215 billion yuan ($29.6 billion), down one rank from last year and the lowest ranking in a decade.

In addition, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma’s wealth fell to 75 billion yuan ($10.3 billion), or 29 percent, at 180 billion yuan ($24.8 billion), ranking ninth, and China’s e-commerce Huang Zheng, the founder of the company Pingduoduo, lost 59 billion in assets. With yuan ($8.1 billion), or 26 percent, 170 billion yuan ($23.4 billion), he ranks 10th.

Xie Tian, ​​a professor of business and marketing at the University of South Carolina Aiken, told The Epoch Times on Nov. 9 that China’s tech giants mostly hail from high-tech companies, cutting-edge internet technology. said. The value, revenue, and e-commerce benefits of these companies are all tied to the nation’s economy and the spending power of its inhabitants.

“When the economy as a whole declines and people run out of money, online shopping will decline and these businesses will depreciate accordingly. It is clear that the crackdown on these private companies by the

He believes this decline in wealth will continue as China’s economy is basically getting back to normal. “We are returning to a closed state where state-owned enterprises dominate the economy and the private sector is suppressed.

Beverage, healthcare and pig breeding bring wealth

Hoogewerf said the rich’s wealth in traditional industries has increased significantly this year, suggesting beverages, health care and pig farming.

Zhong Shanshan, the founder of China’s largest bottled water maker, Nongfu Spring, has become China’s richest person.his wealth grown Total assets reached 455 billion yuan ($62.7 billion), an increase of 65 billion yuan ($8.9 billion) from last year.

Zhong’s fortune also exceeds the wealth of the second and third richest men combined, setting a record for over 20 years on the Hu Run 100 Rich List.

In addition to working in the beverage industry, Mr. Zhong manages Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co., a manufacturer of hepatitis vaccines and Covid-19 test kits. according to In a 2020 Financial Times report.

The second richest is TikTok owner Zhang Yiming, founder of Chinese internet technology company ByteDance. The company’s devaluation reduced Zhang’s fortune by 28%, or his 95 billion yuan ($13.1 billion), leaving him in second place, unchanged from last year.

In third place is Zeng Yuqun, president and executive chef of Chinese new energy technology company CATL, with total assets of 230 billion yuan ($31.7 billion), down 90 billion yuan ($12.4 billion) from last year, or a 28% decrease. doing.

Qin Yinglin, China’s largest pig farmer, overtook Jack Ma for the first time.

Qin is the founder and chairman of Muyuan Foodstuff based in Henan province. On the Hurun 100 list, Qin and his wife’s fortunes rose 9% from last year to bring him to 185 billion yuan ($25.5 billion), jumping seven places to his eighth place.

“With the Internet and e-commerce bubble, it’s no surprise that the traditional industry’s wealthy will rise.”

In China, when this bubble bursts, wealth in the high-tech sector will shrink, affecting other traditional and non-high-tech industries such as food, healthcare, and poultry and livestock farming. Resource-related industries will stand out, Xie added.

Official media invests in private internet giant

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) fears the growth of the internet will spread news and opinions from within, and increased censorship and restrictions are undoubtedly partly responsible for the decline in the wealth of the tech rich. There is none. From China to the world.

In an attempt to turn the internet into a propaganda tool, the public media has attempted to gain access to several tech giants by acquiring equity stakes to influence their decision-making.

According to November 6th report On October 26, China’s official media, Kuaidu, raised strategic funds with the investment of the Beijing Municipal Commission and Beijing Television Television, a direct subsidiary of the government.

Beijing Radio and Television owns a 1% stake in Kuaishou, as revealed by Chinese business information searcher Tianyancha.

Epoch Times photo
The TikTok app download page displayed on an Apple iPhone in Washington DC on August 7, 2020. (Photo Illustration by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In early 2021, a 1% stake in ByteDance will be held by China Internet Investment Fund Management Co. Ltd., established by the Central Cyberspace Commission and Ministry of Finance and partially controlled by Mouthpiece CCTV’s multimedia company. It was Quote Reuters, 17 August 2021.

Douyin and its international version TikTok are the main short-form video sharing apps created by ByteDance.

Either Beijing Radio and Television or CCTV with a communist background, despite holding only 1% of the shares, will have special management rights with “one vote veto”. right.

January 2017, Central Committee and State Council offices said Special administrative departments should be set up on a trial basis in the areas of Internet news and information services, online publishing services, information network transmission and audiovisual program services.In May of the same year, the National Internet Information Administration issued Regulation to “implement a special administrative unit system for qualified Internet news and information service providers.”

The so-called special management stock of publishing and media companies is a system in which state-owned capital transfers income rights and certain operating rights, and attracts capital while maintaining the highest decision-making power. According to an article in the It was published In May 2017, a paper on Beijing-based science, technology and publishing was published.

“It is clear that the Chinese Communist Party is preparing for the next merger and acquisition with a 1% stake. Who dares to go against party representatives on the board of directors, which basically means they can control these companies,” Hsieh continued.

“The Chinese Communist Party has no confidence in private enterprises, cannot trust them, is jealous of their wealth, and has revealed the party’s robbery and robbery nature, so it will take this wealth by force.”

The CCP’s “purpose is to take the lifeline of China’s economy, state-owned enterprises and central enterprises into its own hands,” Xie added.

Ellen Wang contributed to this report.

Jessica Mao


Jessica Mao is a writer for The Epoch Times, covering China-related topics. She started writing her Chinese version in 2009.

Lin Shu