The Hurun Research Institute released its latest rich list report on Nov. 8. It shows that the number of Chinese billionaires fell more than one tenth and their wealth shrank nearly one fifth last year.
In the 2022 Hurun Rich List, the research institute said that a total of 1,305 entrepreneurs with a minimum personal wealth of 5 billion yuan ($710 million) are on the list, a decrease of 11% from last year.
China Daily reported that the total assets of the affluent entrepreneurs on the list are 24.5 trillion yuan ($3.4 trillion), down 18% from last year.
According to the list, Zhong Shanshan, founder of bottled water company Nongfu Spring, ranked first with total assets of 455 billion yuan ($63.3 billion), an increase of 17% from last year.
This is the second consecutive year Zhong, 68, topped the Hurun China Rich List.
Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, ranked second. The 39-year-old man saw his wealth down 28% from a year earlier to 245 billion yuan ($34 billion).
Zeng Yuqun, 54, founder of battery provider CATL, rose to the third place this year. However, his assets decreased 28% year-on-year to 230 billion yuan ($32 billion).
Some other names in the top ten of China’s richest men are Li Ka-shing, Ma Huateng, Ding Lei, He Xiangjian, Qin Yinglin, Ma Yun and Huang Zheng.
Among the list, as many as 1,187 individuals saw their assets shrink or remain unchanged this year, while only 411 individuals became richer.
And 293 dropped off the rich list this year, and 133 new faces were added.
The average age of entrepreneurs on this year’s rich list is 58 years old, two years older than last year.
Rupert Hoogewerf is Hurun Report’s chairman and chief researcher. He said that this year saw the largest decrease in both the number of entrepreneurs on the list and their total wealth in 24 years.
He said that the reasons include a global economic downturn, a sharp drop in tech prices and the slow post-COVID economic recovery.