(Beijing) Never has so much wealth been created in China as in 2020 despite the pandemic ravaging the global economy, according to an annual ranking which shows a new jump in the number of billionaires in the Asian country.
The first country affected last year by the new coronavirus, China has since managed to practically eradicate the epidemic on its soil, where new contaminations are now limited to a few cases each day.
And the drastic lockdowns ordered in the country to contain the virus have proved particularly lucrative for the digital giants, at a time when millions of Chinese were hiding in their homes for fear of being infected.
If “the first two months of the epidemic wiped out enormous amounts of wealth […] the new economy, driven by digital technology, has reached unprecedented levels since June, ”notes the Hurun firm’s annual ranking.
Wang Xing, founder of the Meituan meal delivery company, quadrupled his wealth this year to become the 13e fortune of China.
Richard Liu, boss of e-commerce giant JD.com, has doubled his fortune, which now weighs $ 23.5 billion (€ 19.9 billion). It is now the 16e fortune of the country.
Health was also a promising sector: Jiang Rensheng, founder of the vaccine manufacturer Zhifei, tripled his fortune estimated at 19.9 billion dollars. He won the twentieth place.
As a result, this year has seen in China “more wealth created than the previous five years combined,” despite the epidemic, says Hurun, which is based on the ranking of the country’s top 500 fortunes.
The iconic Jack Ma, e-commerce pioneer with his Alibaba platform, is still the biggest national fortune, with 58.8 billion dollars. He is followed by Pony Ma, the boss of Tencent, a digital giant which notably publishes the popular WeChat application ($ 57.4 billion).
The third step of the podium saw the arrival of Zhong Shanshan, discreet boss of Nongfu Spring, a bottled water giant whose products are essential in China. His fortune is valued at $ 53.7 billion.
The Asian giant has more billionaires than the United States. They are 257 more than last year, according to Hurun, who counted 878 at the end of August in mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao).