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Bottled water mogul is China’s richest man

Bottled water mogul Zhong Shanshan became China’s richest person according to a ranking released Wednesday after a government campaign to control the big fortunes hit traditional leaders like Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba.

Zhong saw his wealth grow after his companies went public Nongfu Spring, mineral water, and Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise, favored by the massive demand for COVID-19 testing.

Its value is US $ 60.5 billion, according to the Hurun Rich List.

Zhong It was third on last year’s list, but rose to number one for the government’s wealth redistribution campaign in the name of equality, which took a few billion dollars from the fortunes of other tycoons.

Jack Ma, the richest of last year, fell to fifth place after his fortune fell 36% to $ 39.6 billion.

Ma and Alibaba lost favor with Beijing after the businessman criticized Chinese financial regulators in a speech last year.

Given this, the Chinese authorities canceled an initial public offering of the financial group Ant, from Alibaba, and adopted a series of measures to control the technology companies and the big tycoons.

Pony Ma, chairman of tech giant Tencent, fell two notches to fourth place on Chinese restrictions on video games, which caused a 19% loss in his fortune.

In second place was the founder of TikTok, Zhang Yiming.

The Hurun Research Institute, which makes the list, said that for the first time there were no real estate entrepreneurs in the top ten.

The biggest loser in the industry was Xu Jiayin, founder of the troubled real estate giant Evergrande.

Coins He topped the list in 2017 and last year was the fifth, but this year he dropped to 70th place.

Evergrande suffers from a liquidity crisis, making it difficult to service its $ 300 billion debt.

The list of individuals in China worth more than 2 billion yuan (US $ 310 million) this year rose to 2,918, according to Hurun.

The growth in the electric car market, in particular, caused the fortunes of several entrepreneurs to increase, according to the list.

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