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Top Ten Richest People in China 2013

Having the largest population in the world, it is expected that China has produced a number of billionaires over the years. Over the past decade, China’s economy has transformed China into a modern and competitive nation. At the current growth rates, China is expected to become the largest economy in the world within the next 20 years. Here are the top ten richest people in China:

10

Wu Yajun

Net worth: $4.3 billion

Age: 49

Country: China

Source of wealth: Real estate

The second richest woman in China, Wu Yajun, is the founder, former CEO, and chairman of Longfor Properties. Prior to 2012 she was the richest woman in China before losing her position to Yang Huiyan. She was rated by Forbes as being among the top 50 power-women in the world. In addition to her company, she currently serves as a member of the National People’s Congress.

9

Wei Jianjun

Net worth: $5.3 billion

Age: 49

Country: China

Source of wealth: Automobiles

Wei Jianjun is the chairman of one of China’s largest non-government owned auto manufacturers, Great Wall Motors. 2012 sales increased 43% compared to the previous year to a total of $7.1 billion. Great Wall was originally founded in 1984 and now operates 10 plants outside of China and ships vehicles to more than 100 countries around the world. Currently Great Wall Motors employs 48,000 people and makes more than 676,000 cars per year. They are the largest sport utility vehicle manufacturer in all of China.

8

Yang Huiyan

Net worth: $5.7 billion

Age: 31

Country: China

Source of wealth: Real estate

Yang Huiyan is the majority shareholder of Country Garden Holdings and is both the youngest billionaire to appear on this list and the richest woman in all of China. Yang Huiyan is the daughter of Yang Guoqiang who started his company Biguiyuan in 1997 and transferred 70% of Country Garden’s shares to her before its IPO in 2007. The initial offering raised more than $1.6 billion or equivalent to as much as Google raised in its 2004 initial offering. Huiyan is also a graduate of The Ohio State University.

7

Hui Ka Yan

Net worth: $5.9 billion

Age: 54

Country: China

Source of wealth: Real estate

Born in 1958 in the Henan Province, Hui Ka Yan has been acting as the chairman of Evergrande Real Estate Group Limited since 1996. Hui Ka Yan went to school at the Wuhan University of Science and Technology and studied metallurgy, graduating in 1982. Later he obtained an honorary Ph.D. from the University of West Alabama in 2008.  This year the Evergrande Real Estate Group contracted sales of $16.4 billion, an increase of over 25% from 2012. In addition to his business enterprise, Hui Ka Yan is one of China’s largest philanthropists. In 2011 alone, he donated over $62 million to various charities. In addition to real estate Hui Ka Yan also owns a soccer team and a movie studio.

6

Liu Yongxing

Net worth: $6 billion

Age: 65

Country: China

Source of wealth: Agribusiness

Liu Yongxing’s East Hope Group is one the largest privately held industrial materials manufacturers in all of China. East Hope Group is considered by many to be one of China’s greatest success stories.  Today the East Hope Group invests more than $1 billion in an aluminum and power complex located in Xinjiang and is also putting money into commercial real estate in Sichuan’s capital. His brother Liu Yonghao is also a multibillionaire.

5

Ma Huateng

Net worth: $6.8 billion

Age: 41

Country: China

Source of wealth: Internet

Founder of Tencent Inc., Ma Huateng was named in 2007 by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people. Tencent Inc. is the Chinese equivalent to AOL. One of Tencent’s first products was Tencent QQ, a instant messaging program which people very popular in China during the early 2000′s. Today Tencent QQ still maintains more than 784 active users making it one of the most used instant messaging products in the entire world. Tencent’s latest release in 2011 is a product called Wechat mobile which already has an active community of more than 200 million people. In addition to messaging platforms, Tencent also offers services which include web portals, e-commerce, and multiplayer games. Tencent’s two biggest online games Legend of Yulong and Legend of Xuanyuan boosted revenue of Tencent to nearly $5 billion per year.

4

Robin Li

Net worth: $6.9 billion

Age: 44

Country: China

Source of wealth: Technology

Sometimes Robin Li is referred to as the Bill Gates of China. He is the co-founder of China’s most popular search engine Baidu. Li studied information management at Peking University and later computer science at the University at Buffalo. Baidu was founded in 2000 alongside Eric Xu. Li was named the CEO of Baidu and has been operating the company since January 2004. Baidu’s success was rapid, like many tech companies are are, and Baidu first appeared on the NASDAQ in August 2005. Prior to Baidu, in 1994 Li worked at IDD Information Science in New Jersey where he helped develop the first online edition of The Wall Street Journal. He also performed research and received several patents on algorithms to increase the accuracy and efficiency of search engines.

3

Liang Wengen

Net worth: $7.3 billion

Age: 56

Country: China

Source of wealth: Manufacturing

Liang Wengen is a Chinese entrepreneur in the fields of heavy manufacturing. He is the founder and chairman of the Sany Heavy Industry. For a number of years he held the position of the richest man in mainland China until be overtaken earlier this year. Like many success stories in China, Wengen was born to a very poor peasant family. Prior to founding the Sany Group, he worked as the top manager at state ran arms manufacturing plant. He eventually attended college at Central South University and holds a Bachelor of Arts.

2

Wang Jianlin

Net worth: $8.6 billion

Age: 58

Country: China

Source of wealth: Real estate

Serving as chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, one of the largest real estate developers in China, Wang Jianlin has amassed a fortune over the years. Interestingly enough, the Dalian Wanda Group is also the world’s largest operator of movie theaters after purchasing AMC Entertainment Holdings for $2.6 billion earlier this year. As a youth, Wang Jianlin served in the People’s Liberation Army and held a number of menial jobs before taking the reigns of the Dalian Wanda Group in 1992 as General Manager. In total, he owns 9.03 million square miles of investment properties including 49 Wanda Plazas, 26 luxury hotels, 86 movie theaters, 40 department stores, and 45 karaoke centers all over China.

1

Zong Qinghou

Net worth: $11.6 billion

Age: 67

Country: China

Source of wealth: Beverages

Zong Qinghou is the richest person in mainland China and is one of the quickest movers on the list of the world’s billionaires. His net worth has increased by 75% in a single year. Qinghou is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, the number on beverage company in all of China. Qinghou also is a delegate to the Chinese National People’s Congress. An interesting fact about Qinghou, he he had very little formal education. He accredits his accomplishments to his workaholic personality and entrepreneurial spirit alone. He serves as a global icon for determination, hard work, and testament to the fact that hard work, ingenuity, and coming up with the right idea is all you need to truly be successful in this world.

 

Featured image: Flickr by Kevin Krejci

Source: Forbes