Ma, who stepped down as the Chinese tech giant’s chairman in September, saw his fortune rise to $38.2 billion in 2019, from $34.6 billion in 2018.
“China’s economic growth may be easing but the country’s savvy entrepreneurs continue to find ways to create new businesses and fortunes,” said Russell Flannery, editor-in-chief of Forbes China. “Access to capital markets also notably helped.”
The Chinese economy has been facing some headwinds as the protracted trade war with the U.S. continues to weigh on investor sentiment and outlook. The slowing growth of the domestic economy is not helping either.
Still, the total wealth of the 400 people on Forbes’ China Rich List this year rose to $1.29 trillion this year from $1.06 trillion in 2018, according to the magazine. That’s an increase of more than 20% compared to a year ago.
There were 60 newcomers this year — only those with a minimum net worth of $1 billion each could make the list.
Number 2 on this year’s list was Pony Ma Huateng of Tencent Holdings. The Chinese business magnate, who’s CEO and co- founder of the tech conglomerate, saw his net worth reach $36 billion.
China’s third richest man is Hui Ka Yan, chairman of Evergrande Group — one of the largest real estate developers in China. Hui’s net worth is $27.7 billion.
In fact, more than half of those who made the list saw their wealth climb in 2019, and about a quarter saw their fortunes decline, Forbes said.
Here are the top 10 richest in China and their net worth, according to Forbes:
1) Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba; $38.2 billion
2) Ma Huateng, CEO of tech giant Tencent; $36 billion
3) Hui Ka Yan, chairman of real estate developer Evergrande chairman $27.7 billion
4) Sun Piaoyang, chairman of pharmaceutical company Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine; $25.8 billion
5) Yang Huiyan, co-chairman of real estate developer Country Garden co-chairman; $23.9 billion
6) He Xiangjian, founder of home appliance-maker Midea Group; $23.2 billion
7) Colin Huang, CEO of e-commerce company Pinduoduo; $21.2 billion
8) William Ding, CEO of online and mobile games company NetEase; $17.2 billion
9) Qin Yinglin (and family), chairman of pig breeding and distribution firm Muyuan Foodstuff; $16.6 billion
10) Zhang Yiming, CEO of tech company ByteDance; $16.2 billion